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Viking Enterprise Solutions Unveils Innovative Hardware and Software Solutions for AI, Cloud and Edge Computing
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Viking Enterprise Solutions Showcases High-Performance Storage and Compute Platforms for Next-Generation Workloads

Viking Enterprise Solutions, a division of Sanmina Corporation, recently discussed its latest portfolio of innovative hardware and software solutions aimed at addressing the growing demand for high-performance storage, AI/ML, and edge computing infrastructure. During an IT Press Tour briefing with VMblog and other members of the media, the company highlighted how its differentiated product offerings and flexible engagement model are enabling customers to tackle complex data center challenges.

A Legacy of Innovation in Storage and Computing

With over 40 years of experience in electronics manufacturing and engineering services, Sanmina has built a reputation for delivering cutting-edge technology solutions. The Viking Enterprise Solutions division focuses on developing high-performance storage and server platforms tailored for demanding enterprise and cloud environments.

"Viking Enterprise Solutions tends to do more high performance, high density products," explained Mark DeVincent, SVP and GM at Viking Enterprise Solutions. "On the hardware side, for example, we're shipping a high density SAS-4 JBOD unit that can accommodate 102 drives. And it fits in a one meter rack."

This focus on density and performance is evident across Viking's product portfolio. The company's 2U 56-bay storage server can pack up to 3.3 petabytes of capacity using 60TB drives, while its Gen5 NVMe platform delivers blazing fast performance of up to 495GB/s read and 195GB/s write speeds.

Flexible Hardware Platforms for Diverse Workloads

Viking offers a range of storage and compute platforms optimized for different use cases:

  • High-density JBODs and storage servers for massive data capacity
  • All-flash NVMe arrays for extreme performance
  • Hybrid systems balancing performance and capacity
  • GPU-accelerated servers for AI/ML workloads
  • Edge computing appliances for data processing at the network edge

A key differentiator is Viking's willingness to customize and modify its platforms to meet specific customer requirements. As DeVincent noted, "We do that for sure. That is part of our differentiation because some folks will have a catalog of products. We don't have that. You won't find a catalog from us. We have a platform, a series of Platform products that we think is differentiated. We can do the testing, generally, doing some modifications."

This flexibility allows Viking to work closely with OEMs, cloud service providers, and enterprises to develop tailored solutions. The company leverages Sanmina's vertically integrated manufacturing capabilities to control the entire product development process from PCB design to final system assembly.

Software-Defined Infrastructure Powered by Cloud Native Orchestrator

While hardware innovation remains core to Viking's strategy, the company has expanded its software capabilities to deliver more comprehensive solutions. A key focus is the Cloud Native Orchestrator (CNO) platform, which provides a unified framework for deploying and managing storage, compute, and AI/ML workloads.

The CNO platform aims to simplify deployment and management of on-premises cloud infrastructure. It offers:

  • Distributed file and object storage
  • Container orchestration with Kubernetes
  • AI/ML framework integration (TensorFlow, PyTorch, etc.)
  • Data protection with erasure coding and replication
  • Multi-cloud data tiering and migration

Viking is positioning CNO as an alternative to public cloud for organizations that want more control over their data and infrastructure. The company claims it can offer significant cost savings compared to public cloud for many workloads.

Accelerating AI and ML Workloads

With the surging interest in AI and machine learning, Viking is enhancing its platforms to support GPU-accelerated computing. The company is working closely with NVIDIA and AMD to integrate their latest GPU technologies.

"We've taken the same CNO based architecture in the orchestrator, and started working to deploy this first solution. We're working with NVIDIA and AMD, and what our team did was to actually create a software stack that can get NVIDIA and AMD to work in the same enclosure," said Rick Kumar, SVP of Products at Viking.

Viking's AI solutions aim to simplify deployment for data scientists and ML engineers. The company is developing appliances that come pre-configured with popular AI frameworks and tools, allowing users to quickly start training and deploying models.

"The idea being at the end of day, a lot of the data collection is happening on the edge. But today, the business model is, take the data, take it into a data center, take it to a cloud, where you're putting it up for storage, but also for processing. We can do all of that locally, and perhaps with a notion of reducing a dataset that you actually have to move to the cloud," Kumar explained.

This edge AI capability could enable use cases like real-time video analytics, autonomous vehicles, and industrial IoT applications that require low-latency processing of large data volumes.

Expanding Go-to-Market Strategy

Traditionally, Viking has focused on selling directly to OEMs and hyperscale cloud providers. However, the company is now expanding its go-to-market approach to reach a broader set of customers.

"In the last three years, we have started putting our product in the channel, and that business has started to grow," said Kumar. "So traditionally, we had not been in the channel. We had kept all the platforms to the tier one OEMs."

Viking is cultivating relationships with value-added resellers and distributors to expand its market reach. The company sees an opportunity to package its hardware platforms with software solutions to deliver more complete offerings through the channel.

At the same time, Viking continues to work closely with leading technology partners. The company collaborates with storage software vendors, AI/ML framework providers, and cloud platforms to ensure compatibility and optimize performance on its hardware.

Outlook and Future Directions

As data volumes continue to explode and AI/ML workloads become more prevalent, Viking sees strong demand for its high-performance infrastructure solutions. The company is investing in next-generation technologies like PCIe Gen5, CXL, and liquid cooling to push the boundaries of performance and efficiency.

Viking also recognizes the need to make advanced infrastructure more accessible and easier to deploy. Its software-defined approach with CNO aims to abstract away much of the underlying complexity.

While public cloud adoption continues to grow, Viking sees a substantial market for on-premises and hybrid cloud deployments, especially for data-intensive and latency-sensitive workloads. The company's flexible engagement model allows it to work with customers to develop optimal solutions based on their specific requirements.

As AI and edge computing drive demand for more distributed infrastructure, Viking is well-positioned to deliver the high-performance, scalable platforms needed to power next-generation applications. By combining innovative hardware engineering with cloud-native software capabilities, the company aims to play a key role in shaping the future of enterprise IT infrastructure.

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Published Monday, July 08, 2024 2:00 PM by David Marshall
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