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QNAP launches their AI-ready NAS

Tue 5 Mar 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

QNAP Systems officially launched the TS-2888X, an AI-ready NAS specifically optimised for AI model training. Built using powerful Intel Xeon W processors with up to 18 cores and employing a flash-optimized hybrid storage architecture for IOPS-intensive workloads, the TS-2888X also supports installing up to 4 high-end graphics cards and runs QNAP’s AI developer package QuAI. 

The TS-2888X supposedly packs everything required for machine learning AI, greatly reducing latency, accelerating data transfer, and eliminating performance bottlenecks caused by network connectivity to expedite AI implementation.

Conventional AI workstations usually have massive price tags, and the complexity of configuring hardware and software is an obstacle for most data scientists and developers. The use of public clouds for storage and training may also raise concerns when using sensitive data. 

QNAP’s TS-2888X supposedly introduces an all-in-one AI solution that integrates huge storage potential, powerful computing, a ready-to-use AI environment, and comprehensive data protection to supplement AI workflows. 

It aims to not only serve as a Training Server for AI models but can also serve as an Inference Server, thereby further lowering the R&D entry barrier, making AI development more feasible and easily accessible.

The AI-Ready TS-2888X features Intel Xeon W processors with up to 18 cores and 36 threads and up to 4.5 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 to deliver uncompromising performance. Up to 512 GB DDR4 ECC RDIMM 2666 MHz RAM is supported, providing ample space for huge projects while protecting against potential memory errors. 

The TS-2888X supports mainstream NVIDIA, AMD and Intel accelerator cards, providing eight PCIe slots and a 2,000 watt 80Plus Platinum PSU that accommodates up to 4 high-end graphics cards to unleash tremendous computing power. 

To meet the simultaneous needs for scale and performance, the TS-2888X employs a hybrid storage architecture with eight 3.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s drive bays for hard drives, sixteen 2.5-inch SATA 6Gb/s drive bays for SSDs, and four 2.5-inch drive bays that support U.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe SSDs. 

This hybrid storage architecture provides the ability to enable SSD caching or auto-tiering to boost performance-demanding applications. There are six smart fans that separately detect temperatures in different zones (CPU, PCIe slots, power supply unit, and storage) to provide smarter, quieter, and energy-efficient cooling.

The TS-2888X introduces a comprehensive software environment for organisations to easily set up and maintain AI applications. 

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