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Layering AI with Robotic Automation

Author: David Wang   Publication Date: April, 2017

If you’ve been keeping up with industry discussion, you will know that the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a big one. From where AI will be implemented, to how, as well as what effects it will have, many organizations have been giving their two cents. For example, a Forrester report from last November on predictions for 2017 said that AI will “drive faster business decisions in marketing, ecommerce, product management and other areas of the business by helping close the gap from insights to action.” An IDC Spending Guide from October of last year also mentioned AI, noting that they found cognitive/AI solutions will experience a CAGR of 55.1% over 2016-2020.


While the applications of AI seem like they could go on continuously, I believe there is an area that the industry is not thinking of – the data center network. AI could potentially have a large impact when deployed to make physical adjustments to the network. The way I see this specifically playing out, is by layering AI onto robotics within the data center.


This past year saw the trend of deployment of robotics start to emerge, aimed at automating the management of physical connections within the network infrastructure. With robotics, many saw simpler and more dynamic data center network infrastructure, as well as decrease in costs. The use of robotics also brought reduction in security concerns and increased speed on reaction time to security issues, as well as future-proofing of critical infrastructure.


To maximize these benefits and take them a step further, AI should be paired with robotics in the data center. Additionally, doing this can increase the potential benefits of AI itself in the data center network. By deploying these technologies alongside each other, switching of connections within the network will be able to occur based on network settings and real-time traffic. This will free up time for network operators, as they won’t need to monitor and direct these adjustments manually.


Currently, a firewall would alert IT that something has been detected in the event of a security breach. With AI, robotic technology could immediately make the appropriate adjustments to the physical connections within the network to more quickly quarantine an effected server while IT investigates to determine if a threat exists. The immediate action being taken to respond to security threats is the difference from satisfactory to catastrophe.


Layering AI on robotic automation technology in the data center will help shape and shift the next-generation data center. With this pairing the data center, human intervention will be little to none. How data centers respond to requests, analyze them, and make adjustments accordingly will all be done by AI software talking to robotic automation hardware.


For data centers to become more efficient, cost effective, and secure, AI needs to be layered on top of robotic automation technology. This becoming reality will change the future of networks and data and could possibly be the next great generational data center innovation.