The High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) has entered a partnership with a new startup called LandesCloud to host data storage and computing infrastructure for a secure, cloud-based platform for artificial intelligence. The launch of LandesCloud was preceded by a one-year cooperation involving HLRS, the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg (LBBW), and DATATRONiQ.
LandesCloud has been created to address the needs of clients across all industries — from small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's) to large corporations — that have a limited in-house computing infrastructure for artificial intelligence but require secure data storage and high-performance computing for machine learning applications.
"We are delighted to be partnering with HLRS on this exciting new venture," said LandesCloud Managing Director and Founder Stefan Weingärtner. “The startup is unique in that we will be the first to work with a German high-performance computing center to provide such a wide range of AI services — from AI jump-starting services, to self-service AI, to automated and autonomous operation of AI processes. Our clients will also benefit directly from HLRS's expertise in scalable and complex computing operations.”
HLRS Managing Director Bastian Koller underscored the supercomputing center's role in the project: "The High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart is very pleased to be supporting LandesCloud by sharing our expertise in computing infrastructures, data analytics, and artificial intelligence. We expect that the collaboration will clearly demonstrate how valuable these technologies can be in supporting the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises."
Because security of proprietary data is of the highest concern for industry, LandesCloud prioritizes data safety during all stages of data transfer, storage, processing, and analysis. Once a company delivers its data to LandesCloud, it is moved to a dedicated, secure LandesCloud server hosted at HLRS that is assigned exclusively to one particular client. Hardware is not shared among companies, and each server is strictly separated from others, providing maximum security. The data can not be copied or downloaded, and the company owning the data controls access to it on a restricted basis over a virtual client.
At its core, LandesCloud is designed to support collaborative artificial intelligence projects, including teamworking, crowd-working, and even data science competitions. After a company stores data at LandesCloud, for example, it could then define specific projects that would be opened to universities, consultants, and research institutes interested in contributing solutions. Once such entities applied, they would be able to log in and perform analysis of the data directly on the server.
LandesCloud could also provide a useful platform for sharing data between different organisations, particularly — but not limited to — in the area of manufacturing and supply chain. For example, a car manufacturer could share relevant data with an engineer working at an external supplier to develop a particular automobile component. Here, the engineer could leverage AI to process and enrich the data, but would not be able to copy or download it. The company owning the data could also track which data was used and in what way.
LandesCloud's solutions and offerings include commonly used software packages for machine learning and data analysis, saving users from needing to install, maintain, and operate complex software and costly servers. It also offers workflows for key AI application areas, including rapid prototyping services for predictive modelling, forecasting, text mining and natural language processing, image processing, graph and network analysis, active learning, and digital signal processing. Real-time data collection, management, and analysis is possible using the DATATRONiQ IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) platform, which manages artificial intelligence applications for machines and manufacturing processes, including ensuring predictive quality.
Additionally, LandesCloud provides consulting services for companies needing assistance in developing an artificial intelligence strategy, and through partnership with the AdvancedAnalytics.Academy offers training on a variety of relevant data science topics.
Partners in the new project include the AdvancedAnalytics.Academy, AI.Associates, AltaSigma, DATATRONiQ, HLRS, the Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, and SICOS-BW.
— Christopher Williams