Accurate location data is essential to ensure that workers and assets make it from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. Yet, far too often logistics companies rely on outdated location technology or unreliable homegrown solutions.
In this webinar, Nick Patrick, Radar CEO and Co-founder, will explain how modern and logistics innovators are using location infrastructure to drive operational efficiency and deliver amazing customer experiences.
Join this webinar to learn:
With use cases like computer vision, natural language processing, predictive modeling, and much more, deep learning (DL) provides the kinds of far-reaching applications that change the way technology can impact human existence. The possibilities are limitless, and we’ve just scratched the surface of its potential.
But designing an infrastructure for DL creates a unique set of challenges. Even the training and inferences steps of DL feature separate requirements. You typically want to run a proof of concept (POC) for the training phase of the project and a separate one for the inference portion, as the requirements for each are quite different.
Deep Learning Infrastructure Challenges
There are three significant obstacles for you to be aware of when designing a deep learning infrastructure: scalability, customizing for each workload, and optimizing workload performance.
The hardware-related steps required to stand up a DL technology cluster each have unique challenges. Moving from POC to production often results in failure, due to additional scale, complexity, user adoption, and other issues. You need to design scalability into the hardware at the start.
Specific workloads require specific customizations. You can run ML on a non-GPU-accelerated cluster, but DL typically requires GPU-based systems. And training requires the ability to support ingest, egress, and processing of massive datasets.
Optimize Workload Performance
One of the most crucial factors of your hardware build is optimizing performance for your workload. Your cluster should be a modular design, allowing customization to meet your key concerns, such as networking speed, processing power, etc. This build can grow with you and your workloads and adapt as new technologies or needs arise.
Infrastructure Needs for DL Processes
Training an artificial neural network requires you to curate huge quantities of data into a designated structure, then feed that massive training dataset into a DL framework. Once the DL framework is trained, it can leverage this training when exposed to new data and make inferences about the new data. But each of these processes features different infrastructure requirements for optimal performance.
Training is the process of learning a new capability from existing data based on exposure to related data, usually in very large quantities. These factors should be considered in your training infrastructure:
Inference is the application of what has been learned to new data (usually via an application or service) and making an informed decision regarding the data and its attributes. Once your framework is trained, it can then make educated assumptions about new data based on the training it has received. These factors should be considered in your inference infrastructure:
Inference on the Edge
There are several special considerations for inference on the edge:
Achieving DL Technology Goals
Your goals for your DL technology are to drive AI applications that optimize automation and allow you a far greater level of efficiency in your organization. Learn even more about how to build the infrastructure that will accomplish these goals with this white paper from Silicon Mechanics.
To transfer files back and forth to CS unix servers from a unix system, use either the scp(non-interactive) or sftp(interactive) commands. Both of these commands will do file transfers between unix/linux 'ssh' hosts, with each one working differently.
Click HERE for instructions on how to open up a terminal session to a CS unix system via ssh.
SCP1. SCP : This utility provides non-interactive file transfers between ssh-enabled unix/linux systems. After contacting the ssh server/host, the scp program will prompt you for your password. If that password is correct, the file transfer will take place, with a status message indicating file transfer times and other items.
To copy a file TO a CS server from another UNIX server :
scp localfilename firstname.lastname@example.org:~/destination_file_name
To transfer entire directory structures, use the '-r' option to scp:
scp -r localdirectory email@example.com:~/destination_directory_name
To transfer files/directories FROM the CS server while logged into a remote unix/linux server, reverse the syntax:
scp [-r] firstname.lastname@example.org:~/destination_file_name localfilename
If the username you are using on the local unix/linux system matches the remote unix/linux system username, you do not need to use the username prefix before the name of the ssh server you are transferring files to/from:
scp [-r] localfilename cs.uml.edu:~/destination_file_name
scp [-r] cs.uml.edu:~/destination_file_name localfilename
SFTP2. SFTP : This utility provides a interactive file transfer session between ssh-enabled unix/linux systems. After contacting the ssh server/host, the scp program will prompt you for your password. If that password is correct, you will be entered into an interactive command line session, analogous to the standard 'FTP' program.
To start the sftp program, type :
This will connect to the sftp server and will prompt you for your password. As with scp and ssh, it will use the same username as the user that executed the sftp program. If you wish to 'sftp' to another server with a different username, use the following syntax:
Once you successfully log into the 'sftp' session, your prompt will be "sftp>". From this prompt you can use the get command to receive files from the server you have connected to and the put command to send files to the server you have connected to.
To learn more about using sftp, type man sftp at your unix prompt.
Pennsylvania’s infrastructure received a “C-” in the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The grading is designed to highlight where infrastructure needs are not being met in hopes of securing funding to make repairs.
ASCE’s Bob Wright said this is one report card people should be thinking about.
“Our state is home to a rapidly aging infrastructure network and increasingly severe weather events, which put significant strain on our built environment,” he said. “We rely on the infrastructure to stand up to these strains and threats so the residents can feel safe and our communities can prosper.”
Wright believes if this was a report card he brought home to his parents, he would have been in trouble, and so is Pennsylvania’s crumbling infrastructure.
“It’s a ‘C-’, not the best grade in the world. Again, that means our infrastructure is in a mediocre condition and we require some attention. The cumulative grade is reflective of the data available to us. And with so much growth and new projects throughout the state could surely Improve if we keep our foot on the gas.”
SEPTA general manager Leslie Richards said the whole reason for their crumbling infrastructure and “D” grade is a lack of money.
“We have stayed steady since 2018 which means that we have not fallen farther behind in our state of good repair. Our teams are working and planning tirelessly to keep the system in a state of good repair with the resources that we have.”
Federal spending will add $100 million a year to SEPTA’s capital budget for the next five years, but that’s nowhere near the money necessary to bring all the structures back to perfect condition.
Richards believes they are in need of $4 billion to get ahead on just routine maintenance and repairs. She says while transit agencies in other parts of the country get local matching funds for their capital work, SEPTA doesn’t. She’s hopeful a new legislature will change that next year so they can be competitive in the bid process.
Sooho.io, a provider of decentralized finance (DeFi) services, has raised $4.5 million to help forge links between separate blockchains in its native South Korea.
The Series A+ funding round was led by Woori Technology Investment, the company said via email Tuesday. It extends a $4.5 million Series A funding round earlier this year.
The Seoul-based company, whose clients include Samsung and LG, intends to use the funds to develop a range of blockchain tools, such as software development kits (SDKs) and application programming interface (APIs) for setting up DeFi infrastructure and forging bridges between independent blockchains in South Korea and internationally.
Without it, blockchain initiatives in South Korea could see the emergence of numerous competing ecosystems, "content in their isolation, seldom fully interacting with one another," according to Sooho.io.
Its aim therefore is to build the infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between different networks. To this end, it compares itself to SWIFT, the global messaging system that enables cross-border payments by allowing banks in different countries to transact with one another.
Read more: Crypto Winter Hurt Confidence, but Building Digital-Asset Infrastructure Remains Key, Morgan Stanley Says
The shift to a developer-centric vision of infrastructure that started about 15 years ago offered users frequent updates and a way to simplify API-centric automation. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) became the standard method for software developers to describe and deploy cloud infrastructure. While on the surface, having more freedom sounds like a nearly utopian scenario for developers, it has become a nightmare for operations teams who are now tasked with understanding and managing the infrastructure and the underpinning tools in the DevOps toolchain. As cloud infrastructure became commoditized, new limitations emerged alongside the broader adoption of IaC, limitations that can have negative impacts for the overall business.
If you think of application environments like a pizza (or in my case, a vegan pizza), IaC is just the unbaked dough, and the individual IaC files alone are simply flour, salt, yeast, water and so on. Without the other necessary components like the data, network topology, cloud services and environment services – the toppings, if you will – you don’t have a complete environment. Additionally, the need for proper governance, cost controls, and improved cross-team collaboration has become even more critical.
While the needs of developers are application-centric, IaC is infrastructure-centric. There is a disconnect between the expectations of the development and operations teams that creates delays, security risks, and friction between those two teams. For IaC to be used effectively, securely and in a scalable manner, there are some challenges that need to be addressed.
Let’s discuss the top four challenges of IaC and how developer and DevOps teams can overcome these pain points and obstacles using Environments-as-a-Service (EaaS).
Integrating IaC assets
One of today’s central challenges is in generating a pipeline that provides a way to deploy infrastructure assets continuously and consistently. Many DevOps organizations are sitting on top of mountains of IaC files, and it’s a monumental task for these teams to understand, track and deploy the right infrastructure for the right use case.
EaaS solves this problem by automating the process of discovering, identifying, and modeling infrastructure into complete, automated environments that include all the elements that the end user requires.
Furthermore, EaaS solutions eliminate the application environment bottleneck and enable faster innovation at scale by defining elements in modular templates, otherwise known as “blueprints,” and help organizations manage the environments throughout the entire application life cycle. Existing IaC scripts can easily be imported and managed in an infrastructure stack, or users can choose to build “blueprints” from scratch.
Distributing the right environments to the right developers
Using the wrong environment definitions in different stages of the SDLC is like using a chainsaw to slice your pizza; it won’t get the job done right and could create more problems. It’s crucial for developers to have access to properly configured environments for their use case. Developers don’t necessarily have the expertise to properly configure environments. Yet, in some cases, they’re expected to, or they attempt to do it because there aren’t enough people in their organization with the cloud infrastructure skills to do so in a timely manner. The result could be an environment that’s horribly misconfigured like putting sauce on top of your pizza (sorry, Chicago) or even worse, pineapple and ham (not sorry).
Organizations should distribute complete environments to their developers with “baked-in” components and customized policies and permissions. To accomplish this, most EaaS solutions have the ability to provide a self-service environment catalog that simplifies this process, while also dramatically reducing provisioning times. Operations teams can take advantage of role-based policies, so developers have access only to the environments that are appropriate for their use case, ensuring consistency throughout the pipeline. Consumption of this service should be available via command line or API, so it can seamlessly integrate into your CI/CD pipeline.
Managing the environment life cycle & controlling costs
The orchestration of environments is only one piece of the pie. It has to be served, consumed, and then, of course, you have to clean up afterward. In addition to configuring and serving up the right environments for the developers to consume, EaaS allows for seamless enforcement of policy, compliance, and governance throughout the entire environment life cycle, providing information on how infrastructure is being used. During deployment, end users can set the environments for a specified runtime, automating teardown once resources are no longer required to ensure the leanest possible consumption of cloud resources.
We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so understanding and managing cloud resource costs is a crucial element of the full environment life cycle and demonstrates the business value of a company’s infrastructure. By leveraging auto-tagging and custom-tagging capabilities, businesses can easily track how environments are deployed in a centralized way, providing complete operational transparency, and ensuring resources are being provisioned in line with an organization’s prescribed standards. Understanding the business context behind cloud resource consumption allows businesses to optimize costs and better align those expenses with specific projects, applications, or development teams.
Creating a reliable IaC infrastructure
There are several critical steps to ensure infrastructure reliability. This includes depositing IaC code into a source control repository, versioning it, running tests against it, packaging it, and deploying it in a testing environment – all before delivering it to production in a safe, secure, and repeatable manner.
In maintaining a consistent and repeatable application architecture, the objective is to treat IaC like any application code. You can meet the changing needs of software development by creating a continuous IaC infrastructure pipeline that is interwoven with the software development and delivery process, leveraging best practices from software delivery, and transposing them to the infrastructure delivery process.
To ensure that your infrastructure is reliable, you must consider the larger picture. IaC has become ubiquitous and has certainly advanced infrastructure provisioning, but that’s where it ends. Organizations need to start thinking about not just configuring and provisioning infrastructure but managing the entire life cycle of complete environments to realize the true value of infrastructure. Just like you wouldn’t go to a pizza parlor and order a blob of raw dough, you wouldn’t serve your developers just the infrastructure – they need the complete environment.
Using EaaS, developers are able to achieve their project objectives, support the entire stack, integrate IaC assets, and deliver comprehensive environments needed to orchestrate the infrastructure life cycle. Buon appetito!
In this article, we will be taking a look at the top 15 infrastructure companies in the US. To skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to see the Top 5 Infrastructure Companies in the US.
People in developed countries tend to take infrastructure for granted because they've grown up in countries and cities which have top infrastructure, be it railroads, roads, bridges, tunnels or even telecom. However, only a small, privileged percentage of the total global population enjoys this kind of security, with most developing nations struggling to build even basic, durable infrastructure which is also intrinsic to the success of any nation's economy.
The railroad in the U.S. is integral to continuing operations in the country and a shutdown would cause billions of dollars' worth of damage. All four of the major railroads in the country, three of which are in our list of the top infrastructure companies in US, reported some form of records profits in the previous year.
There are several issues which have governed the current railroad crisis which is threatening to spiral out of control. Railroad workers are governed under the Railway Labor Act which imposes restrictions on when unions can strike, as opposed to most other unions in the country which are under no such obligation. Because of a breakdown in negotiations where railway management and the unions couldn't agree on a new deal, President Biden ordered the unions to not go on strike and instead, engage in a 60-day cooling off period as both sides would present proposals to the President in order to reach a better deal. At the forefront of this issue is sick leaves.
On the 1st of December 2022, the Senate rejected a proposal which would give railroad workers seven days of paid sick leaves. Immediately after, President Biden signed a bill which would prevent the railroad workers from striking as that would devastate the country's economy.
The top infrastructure companies in the U.S. are giants of the industry, providing employment to hundreds of thousands of people while recording hundreds of billions in revenue in total. To determine these companies, we have considered their market cap, revenue, profit and assets, assigning 30% weightage to the first three criteria and 10% to the last one.
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $1,343
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $4,711
Total profits of the company (in millions): -$82
Total assets of the company (in millions): $2,570
Radius Global Infrastructure, Inc. (NASDAQ:RADI) is one of the largest international aggregators of rental streams underlying wireless sites through the acquisition and management of ground, tower, rooftop and in-building cell site leases. Radius Global Infrastructure, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:RADI) infrastructure portfolio include wireless towers, small cells, fiber, data and switching centers, and wireless and adjacent telecom real properties.
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $1,343
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $4,711
Total profits of the company (in millions): -$82
Total assets of the company (in millions): $2,570
Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:PARR) is headquartered in Houston and is an oil and gas exploration company. Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:PARR) is the only company in our list which has made a loss rather than a profit. After the U.S. sanctions, Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:PARR) announced that it would obtain non-Russian sources for one of its refineries.
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $1,559
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $1,302
Total profits of the company (in millions): $21
Total assets of the company (in millions): $4,809
Construction Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROAD) is one of the fastest-growing civil infrastructure companies in the U.S. Construction Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROAD) is primarily engaged in the construction and maintenance of roadways across six states. Publicly funded projects dominate the portfolio of Construction Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROAD).
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $1,770
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $1,100
Total profits of the company (in millions): $124
Total assets of the company (in millions): $4,809
Uniti Group Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT) is involved in the acquisition as well as construction of infrastructure pertaining to critical communication. Uniti Group Inc. (NASDAQ:UNIT) is owned by a consortium of highly regarded digital infrastructure investors.
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $31,877
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $2,309
Total profits of the company (in millions): $238
Total assets of the company (in millions): $9,802
SBA Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:SBAC) is one of several real estate investment trusts which owns and also operates wireless infrastructure in the U.S. SBA Communications Corporation (NASDAQ:SBAC) may be one of the top infrastructure companies in the U.S. but it also operates in several other continents including Africa and South America.
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $60,700
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $6,340
Total profits of the company (in millions): $1,158
Total assets of the company (in millions): $39,040
Crown Castle Inc. (NYSE:CCI) is a real estate investment trust and also provides shared communication infrastructure in the U.S. Crown Castle Inc. (NYSE:CCI) operates around 40,000 cell towers and in addition, Crown Castle Inc.'s (NYSE:CCI) network also includes around 85,000 miles of fiber.
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $8,548
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $42,078
Total profits of the company (in millions): $593
Total assets of the company (in millions): $28,609
Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NASDAQ:PAA) is engaged in pipeline transport. In addition, Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NASDAQ:PAA) also engages in the marketing and storage of petroleum and liquified petroleum gas in the U.S. and Canada. Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. (NASDAQ:PAA) is currently headquartered in Texas.
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $52,157
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $12,857
Total profits of the company (in millions): $1,318
Total assets of the company (in millions): $72,045
Sempra (NYSE:SRE) is an energy infrastructure company in the U.S. Headquartered in California, Sempra (NYSE:SRE) has around 40 million consumers. Currently, Sempra (NYSE:SRE) has around 20,000 employees.
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $42,707
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $16,610
Total profits of the company (in millions): $1,784
Total assets of the company (in millions): $70,486
Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI) is the biggest energy company in the U.S. Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI) owns and controls several oil and gas terminals and pipelines. Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI) either has an interest in or operates around 83,000 miles of pipelines in addition to 143 terminals.
Total market cap of the company as at 3rd December 2022 (in millions): $58,821
Total revenue of the company (in millions): $11,142
Total profits of the company (in millions): $3,005
Total assets of the company (in millions): $38,493
Railways dominate the top half of the top infrastructure companies in U.S. and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) is a part of it. Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) operates more than 19,000 miles in 22 states in the Eastern side of the U.S. and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) is also responsible for the maintenance of 28,400 miles.
Please click to continue memorizing and see the Top 5 Infrastructure Companies in the US.
Disclosure: None. Top 15 infrastructure companies in the US is originally published at Insider Monkey.
Check out all the on-demand sessions from the Intelligent Security Summit here.
Bentley Systems, the infrastructure engineering software giant, launched phase 2 of the infrastructure metaverse at its Year in Infrastructure conference in London. This new phase includes many enhancements intended to bridge gaps between data processes in information technology (IT), operational technology (OT) and engineering technology (ET). It also significantly improves the handoff across infrastructure projects’ design, construction and operation workflows.
The essential vision is to help infrastructure companies evolve from using workflows built on documents and files to a more nimble, actionable and precise “data-centric” approach. This builds on Bentley’s years of experience with its iTwin platform, launched in 2018 with seven years of planning before that.
Bentley CTO Keith Bentley stressed that these enhancements were designed to augment rather than replace existing tools. Engineers could continue to use their existing tools, workflows and processes and then bring in new digital twin capabilities as appropriate. The idea is to provide a path toward the future.
Bentley has been instrumental in pioneering several infrastructure-related developments. One is a new data model for infrastructure digital twins. Another is a data schema for describing infrastructure. And a third is an approach to storing all digital twin data on top of an SQLite database. This differs from other cross-industry digital twin efforts like Nvidia’s Omniverse, built on the USD format. However, Bentley is committed to interoperability with Omniverse, gaming platforms like Epic Unreal and Unity, and industrial metaverse giants like Siemens.
GamesBeat Summit: Into the Metaverse 3
Join the GamesBeat community online, February 1-2, to examine the findings and emerging trends within the metaverse.
Bentley is launching several new capabilities on the iTwin platform to extend the scope and interoperability of infrastructure data:
iTwin Experience provides a single pane of glass for overlaying IT, OT and ET data to help users visualize, query and analyze infrastructure data in its full context. It takes advantage of Bentley’s work on the 3D Fast Transfer (3DFT) codec for streaming 3D data.
iTwin Capture helps teams automatically capture and analyze reality data from cameras, lidar sensors, drones and satellite imagery. This replaces Bentley’s ContextCapture. It uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as Neural Radiance Fields (NeRF) to generate high-quality models from a few photos. Adobe is using this new tool as part of its Adobe Substance 3D tool.
iTwin IoT automates processes for acquiring and analyzing IoT data generated by sensors and condition-monitoring devices. This will help teams align sensor measurements associated with physical infrastructure. It will also make it easy to train new algorithms to identify deterioration progression and prioritize repairs.
Integration with Immersive Environments such as Unreal, Unity and Nvidia Omniverse will enable immersive experiences across a wide range of devices. The iTwin platform supports interoperability with USD, glTF, DataSmith and 3DFT. Bentley VP of technology Julien Moutt said, “We are excited to see what our users can achieve by combining such technologies, which are fundamental building blocks of the infrastructure metaverse.”
In most larger infrastructure projects today, the vast majority of raw data is lost as projects move from the design phase through the construction and operations phases. Bentley has improved iTwin’s integration with ProjectWise for design and planning, Synchro for construction and AssetWise for ongoing operations. Other enhancements include:
In an interview with VentureBeat at the conference, Keith Bentley said he started thinking about how digital twins might benefit the construction industry in 2011. This was when the aviation and auto industries were starting to integrate computer aided design (CAD), simulation, and product life cycle management (PLM) tools into digital twins. Bentley Systems was already a leader in offering many tools for designing, scheduling and operating large infrastructure projects.
Bentley decided to focus on the data management and integration aspect. Every tool in the industry used its own unique file format, making it hard to move data from one application to the next. He recognized the need for sharing small updates rather than requiring everyone to download the latest large file, which could grow into gigabytes for larger projects.
“The information in those CAD models, we just threw it away, and I thought this was insane,” Bentley explained. “I started thinking about the alternative, which was a database. I was kind of disturbed that a database requires a server and an external connection, and then I discovered SQLite.”
Then his team developed the Bentley Infrastructure Schema to help connect information about the things embedded in digital files. “One of the hardest parts about digital modeling is that things need to have an identity,” he said. “And that means something in the real world, something in the model, and something when it’s related to something else. And all those identifiers are different formats.”
They also invented their iModel format as a kind of “Git for infrastructure information.” This helps enterprises create distributed copies of all the records in a digital twin that are synchronized by sending changes across copies of the digital twin.
“The approval process can now be against the database, not against the individual files,” Bentley said.
Up until now, most automation has involved automating the flow of approvals on documents, using tools for contract lifecycle management. Innovations in connecting engineering approvals to signed datasets will unlock the next wave of digital transformation.
Bentley expects what he calls “phase 2” of the infrastructure metaverse to last at least another five years. It will also take time for enterprises and governments to figure out how to move from signing documents to datasets and to take advantage of new AI and machine learning capabilities.
“Getting there from here has to be incremental because the Big Bang isn’t gonna happen,” Bentley said. “I don’t care how great the other side of that Big Bang is.”
VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.
It’s tough in the current economic climate to hire and retain engineers focused on system admin, DevOps and network architecture. In a latest Gartner survey, IT executives cited talent shortages as the top barrier to adopting emerging technologies. Unfortunately for execs, at the same time recruiting is posing a major challenge, IT infrastructure is becoming more costly to maintain. Business monitoring company Anodot reports that nearly half of corporations are finding it difficult to get cloud costs alone under control.
Aiming to overcome some of the blockers to success in IT, Lucas Roh co-founded MetalSoft, a startup that provides “bare metal” automation software for managing on-premises data centers and multi-vendor equipment. MetalSoft allows companies to automate the orchestration of hardware, including switches, servers and storage, making them available to users that can be consumed on-demand.
MetalSoft spun out from Hostway, a cloud hosting provider headquartered in Chicago. Hostway developed software to power cloud service provider hardware, which went into production in 2014. In 2019, the software spun out as a separate company — MetalSoft — with the goal of broadening its capabilities to service additional service providers and enterprises.
“We provide a turnkey solution to service providers to offer … cloud services,” Roh told TechCrunch in an email interview. “We’re differentiated from others in that we automate and manage the full stack [of infrastructure], including switches, servers, storage and networking as well as cloud enablement.”
So how does that solve the talent shortage and cost overruns in tech? Well, Roh — who previously helped to launched cloud provider Bigstep and the aforementioned Hostway — asserts that MetalSoft’s software can eliminate many of the problems associated with hardware silos, reducing the complexity of managing them to the point where non-technical consumers can build their own infrastructure. By allowing customers to pull workloads back from the cloud and run them in-house if they so wish, MetalSoft can bring down IT costs while offering a higher level of control, including security posture, Roh argues.
For instance, MetalSoft can automatically deploy and configure operating systems and firmware upgrades while discovering running hardware on a network. It also can auto-configure storage volumes and storage-related system network settings, generating a visual blueprint that captures a company’s infrastructure, including servers, storage and networking.
Roh says that MetalSoft’s targeting both enterprises that have their own equipment (for example, in a data center or co-location facility) as well as cloud service providers that want to offer “bare metal as a service” or “private cloud as a service” products to their customers (think a provider deploying infrastructure to a client’s on-premises server room). It’s early days — MetalSoft landed its first customers last year, and the company isn’t talking revenue or operating cash flow at the moment — but Roh claims that MetalSoft’s solution is beginning to gain traction in the marketplace.
“We have some major enterprise customers with hundreds of thousands of devices that we are not revealing but include a major telco and major data center and cloud service providers, and have a strong partnership with major OEM,” Roh said. “In the past couple of years, we’ve especially focused on adding many enterprise features and support for more hardware vendors.”
While MetalSoft competes with heavyweights like Cisco and OpenStack, it’s likely to benefit from the latest uptick in investment in on-premises infrastructure. During the past year, 30% of organizations moved workloads or data from the public cloud back to a private cloud or on-premises or colocation facility, according to a report from the Uptime Institute. Their primary reasons were cost, regulatory compliance, performance issues and perceived concerns over security, the report said.
“We help reduce the cost of IT and we have become even more important in a more stringent spending environment … Our software can help reduce the technical labor requirements while significantly reducing cost while delivering the full functionality to their end-users.” Roh said. “After the spinout [from Hostway], we continue improving our product, especially in terms of the enterprise features that customers need.”
MetalSoft, which has around 40 employees, has raised $17 million in venture capital to date; $16 million came from its Series A that closed this week, led by DNS Capital. Roh says that the proceeds will be put toward growing MetalSoft’s sales and marketing functions and product development.
“We have done quite a bit of work on AI and machine learning that’s not yet part of our software stack,” Roh added. “We are currently working to incorporate AI and machine learning to intelligently manage and monitor bare metal hardware. We’ll be excited to introduce that product the second half of next year.”