Microsoft president Brad Smith recently unveiled a £2.5 billion ($3.16 billion) investment in advanced data centers (DCs) designed to drive future use of AI in the UK.
“[There are] opportunities for the UK to benefit from this investment in innovation, as well as the competition between Microsoft and Google and others. I think that's where the future is going,” Smith told the BBC. “And I think what we’ve done the last couple of weeks in supporting OpenAI will help advance that even more.”
Fears that AI was going to overtake humans in the next year were unfounded, he added. “There’s absolutely no probability that you’re going to see this so called ‘artificial general intelligence’ (AGI) where computers are more powerful than people come in the next 12 months. It’s going to take years, if not many decades.”
The investment in UK DCs has come at a time when commercial competition is shaping the development of AI systems, with fears around the pace at which the technology is moving.
While moving operations to cloud from on-prem infrastructure has been a trend for years, advanced DCs are gradually gaining traction to support the growing field of AI.
For example, a large language model (LLM) is developed on millions of datasets and parameters. This requires more storage space than ordinary DCs, with upgraded network bandwidth requirements. The way DCs used to work in the past has also changed with the rise of AI.
These storehouses are now more focused on sustainability and cybersecurity while dealing with increased computational power based on an ever-increasing amount of data. Here, while sustainable engineering is a must to meet net-zero ambitions, zero-trust cybersecurity also plays an integral role to keep data secured.
Designed to operate in an AI environment, here the same technology is also being used to keep the DCs cool. Simultaneously, there are a variety of ways being introduced by industry leaders in terms of how to use these DCs in a more easy, flexible and agile manner with changes in requirements.
This offering is ideal for sectors like financial services, healthcare and other highly regulated industries and provides comprehensive control, security and compliance capabilities. Offered under a subscription, this gives enterprises the flexibility to customize their product to meet their specific business needs.
“While enterprises across industries are looking to scale and transform their hybrid cloud-based operations, many feel restrained by their operational needs and budgets,” said Rampal Singh, Vice President and Head, Hybrid Cloud Services at HCLTech. “Our Shared DCaaS offering, powered by HCLTech ‘Utility for Everything’ (U4X) consumption model, is designed to accelerate hybrid cloud-based digital transformations with subscription options that align with customers’ specific needs and are scalable to their growth.”
The offering takes advantage of 100+ or similar bare metal configurations on IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions, allowing for a 50% reduction in the number of required servers and up to 30% reduction in total cost of ownership, making it a highly cost-effective option. The Shared DCaaS offering delivers robust data protection through backup and recovery processes, enabling greater business continuity.
An expert in green DC methodology, cloud and AI, HCLTech also offers a unique set of end-to-end AI capabilities and is paving the way for the adoption of generative AI (GenAI) across industries.
Microsoft 365 Copilot
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, HCLTech also has more than 55,000 MS-certified professionals, delivering innovative solutions and services to clients globally.
For example, HCLTech recently announced the launch of a services offering that harnesses the power of GenAI to enable enterprises to deploy Microsoft 365 Copilot to enhance work efficiency and output.
GenAI-powered Microsoft 365 Copilot seamlessly integrates LLMs with Microsoft Graph and popular Microsoft applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams and more to provide users with real-time intelligent assistance that enhances creativity, productivity and skills.
“This new offering will help our clients accelerate their Microsoft 365 Copilot journey and unlock the benefits of AI-powered insights for their employees,” said Rakshit Ghura, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Workplace Business at HCLTech.
Leveraging its proprietary HCLTech Fluid Workplace framework, HCLTech has a strong record of delivering intelligent workplace solutions to enterprises.
“With our deep expertise in Microsoft technologies and our holistic approach to workplace transformation, we are well-positioned to help enterprises leverage Microsoft 365 Copilot for enhanced workplace efficiencies, experiences and outcomes,” added Ghura.
HCLTech will support Microsoft 365 Copilot customers with a range of services, including consulting, customization, change management and support, while implementing it in phases across the organization with minimum disruption to business.