Colocation Giant Flexential Plans to Launch AI Platform Services in Its Data Centers

Flexential, a colocation data center company co-headquartered in Charlotte and Denver, with 40 connectivity-rich data centers spanning 21 markets, will host ONTAP AI Test Drive (by NetApp and NVIDIA) at its Portland, Oregon (Hillsboro) data center. This is a fully optimized and tested infrastructure solution for AI workloads. Flexential has planned to offer the ONTAP AI platform in more of the 21 markets served by Flexential in the future.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning will soon be used in almost every industry, meaning that now is the time for businesses to plan how they will manage, support and optimize the technology to run these mission-critical applications,” said Jason Carolan, chief innovation officer, Flexential. “Our data centers are ready to provide the power, cooling, resiliency, security, and connectivity to support these high-density AI workloads. Plus, through our professional services practice, we are able to help customers seamlessly migrate data, integrate to hyper-scale or private cloud, and provide services to secure their platforms.”

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NetApp data driven

In January, Flexential first announced its collaboration with NVIDIA to bring DGX-Ready data center colocation services to customers. This capability would ensure Flexential data centers can support the high-density power and cooling necessary for advanced AI workloads. ONTAP AI, available in the Flexential Portland data center, allows select customers to pilot their AI workloads starting today.

“AI places unique, unprecedented demands on data center resources, exceeding the capabilities of traditional IT infrastructure,” said Charlie Boyle, vice president, general manager, DGX systems, NVIDIA. “ONTAP AI colocated at Flexential gives users a simple, faster way to deploy fully-optimized AI infrastructure and reduce time to insight. The new ONTAP AI test drive allows users to eliminate risk by testing their own workloads on this world-class AI infrastructure solution before purchasing.”

AI Platform by NetApp and NVIDIA

Jason Carolan
“Artificial intelligence and machine learning will soon be used in almost every industry, meaning that now is the time for businesses to plan how they will manage, support and optimize the technology to run these mission-critical applications,” said Jason Carolan, chief innovation officer, Flexential.

This comprehensive ‘AI platform reference architecture’ is powered by the NVIDIA DGX-1 and DGX-2 AI systems paired with NetApp cloud-connected all flash storage.

“Businesses across nearly every industry are adopting AI to stay competitive, drive growth, and decrease expenses,” said Santosh Rao, head of AI and Data Engineering at NetApp. “NetApp ONTAP AI enables customers to quickly embark on their AI journey with reduced cost, complexity and risk – and with NetApp’s Data Fabric, creates an integrated data pipeline across edge, core and cloud, so that data can be ingested, collected, stored, and protected – no matter where that data resides. Our collaboration with NVIDIA and Flexential allows customers to optimally apply their data to train AI, drive machine learning and empower the deep learning algorithms necessary to bring AI to life.”

Also delivering key technology to the test drive program are NVIDIA and NetApp partner Trace3, providing hardware and system integration; along with Mellanox, which provides the high-performance network fabric.

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