Sep 17, 2020

Alibaba debuts cloud-powered palm-sized PC

Alibaba
Cloud
streaming
5G
William Smith
2 min
Chinese technology giant Alibaba has debuted a small PC which it says is capable of high-end tasks despite weighing just 60 grams
Chinese technology giant Alibaba has debuted a small PC which it says is capable of high-end tasks despite weighing just 60 grams...

Chinese technology giant Alibaba has debuted a small PC which it says is capable of high-end tasks despite weighing just 60 grams.

The demonstration took place at the company’s annual Aspara cloud conference, and is made possible via access to cloud resources, operating on either a subscription or pay-as-you-go model.

In a press release, Jeff Zhang, President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, said: “We hope our cloud computer can help people access resilient computing power whenever they need to, so they can conduct complex tasks which usually require sophisticated and powerful PCs, such as video editing, animation rendering, software development, and online customer services, with a tiny personal computer at hand now.”

The company touted the system’s usefulness as also coming from the fact any upgrades would be performed remotely, transforming hardware into operational rather than capital expenditure in much the way cloud software does.

“As working from home becomes the new normal during and after the pandemic, we believe our innovation can also help users more easily enjoy the benefits of cloud computing anytime, anywhere, in a cost-effective yet secure way,” said Zhang

As the connectivity revolution enabled by 5G grows, granting access to low latency, high speed connectivity remotely, the current model of increasingly powerful devices may give way. In its place, devices may only need to be powerful enough to stream their computing power from a more powerful device located remotely.

It’s a model that has been repeatedly tested in the gaming industry, with examples such as Google’s Stadia platform which allows the streaming of video games from powerful hardware, with the player’s inputs sent in the other direction.

Alibaba also used the conference to debut an autonomous logistics robot intended for last-mile deliveries. The robot is capable of travelling 62 miles to deliver packages in settings such as campuses.

(Image: Alibaba)

Share article

Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

Share article