HP’s Z8 Workstation: making data science easy through edge computing

Datacentrix, an HP Platinum Partner, explains how the Z8 Workstation enables machine learning at the edge, which gives developers more control, better performance and added security.

Johannesburg, 10 Sep 2020
Read time 3min 40sec

There is a saying that suggests that data is the new oil, and there can be little doubt that the most successful modern businesses are those that critically analyse information with a view to using it to make data-driven decisions.

Data science is the key to assisting such companies to generate new opportunities, increase revenues, predict trends and optimise processes, and goes hand-in-hand with cloud computing. As businesses increasingly move to the cloud and look to data science for answers, so they need the workstation technology to match – one which can deliver new and increased capabilities, such as edge computing and advanced analytics.

Answering this call is the HP Z8 Workstation, which is top-of-the-line hardware that enables businesses to run complex simulations, handle advanced machine learning algorithms and process huge amounts of data.

Of course, points out Elmari Keyser, End User Computing Manager for Datacentrix, the larger the amount of data being handled, the more important the edge becomes, as it fosters effective, unthrottled, real-time performance.

“Forget clicking and waiting – the Z8 workstation has up to 56 cores, three Terabytes of high-speed memory and certification for hardcore applications, meaning users get optimal performance every time. This powerful workstation can be more cost-effective than the cloud for creating complex models with mountains of data. In addition, machine learning at the edge gives developers more control, better performance and added security, all of which leads to faster results,” she says.

“Data is comparable to oil in that it too is only truly valuable once it has been refined – so the sooner a business can make sense of its data, refine it and use it, the better. With new NVIDIA technology, the Z8 is ideally suited for local processing at the edge of the network, giving developers more control, better performance and added security over cloud-based solutions.”

Other sectors where this workstation could prove invaluable, she continues, include media and entertainment – where a lot of visual rendering is undertaken – oil and gas, mining, agriculture and architecture and interior design.

“It is clear that the Z8 is a fit-for-purpose design, ideal for all those industries where high-speed performance, real-time application response and the ability to handle enormous quantities of data are vital. Not only does this machine open new realms of possibility in respect of machine learning, but in this era of inescapable intelligence and the explosion of smart devices, edge workstations like this are the platforms of the future.

“Its also important to realise that when you are dealing with large volumes of critical data, your security needs to also be up to the task. The Z8 has a number of advanced security features that come standard, such as HP Sure Start, Sure Run and Sure Recover.”

These features, points out Keyser, include hardware-enforced, self-healing protection, assurance that critical applications and processes keep running – even if malware tries to shut them down – and the ability to quickly and securely restore the workstation to the latest image using a network connection.

“Naturally, when it comes to making the kind of significant investment required of a machine designed to meet the needs of the burgeoning data science arena, it goes without saying that HP offers a name and brand that is recognised for its quality and reliability. Moreover, as the implementation partner, Datacentrix delivers the added assurance of being an HP Platinum Partner, with all the deep and extensive knowledge of the product itself that comes with this.

“Remember that in today’s world, it is not only about the information, but how quickly you can mine the data for the insights that will give you a competitive advantage. Therefore, investing in the processing power and edge computing capability of the Z8 is the answer to staying ahead of your rivals – the edge will, after all, always give you the edge,” she concludes.

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