Taiwan AI Labs was established in 2017 as Asia’s first non-profit artificial intelligence research organizations. Working with academic and industry talent, such as from semiconductors, the research hub has spearheaded cutting-edge smart healthcare, smart city, metaverse, and human-machine interface research leveraging the power of AI.

Responding to the global pandemic, Taiwan AI Labs worked with the public sector to develop automated diagnostics for COVID-19 using chest X-rays. It also joined forces with the local Centers for Disease Control to design and implement the decentralized architecture of Taiwan’s social distancing app.

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Overcoming IT challenges to transform data into intelligence

Building more capable AI requires storing and processing massive amounts of data. Besides this constant, infrastructure demands vary significantly between projects and depending on the stage in the AI development process.

Storage requirements in the industry span from massive parallel processing during the training phase to high data and service availability when applying newly developed models to the real world.

Data security and confidentiality demand particular attention at all stages of the process. And while compliance with applicable data protection regulations is a must (particularly when handling healthcare-related data), today’s privacy-conscious consumers also expect further innovation in privacy protection.

Faced with complex and diverse challenges, the Taiwan AI Labs IT team opted for Synology’s comprehensive line of storage systems to build the core of their infrastructure.

Building multi-petabyte data warehouses with Synology

To support a highly diverse portfolio of projects, Taiwan AI Labs was looking for a versatile solution to efficiently store the ever-growing pool of data used to feed its AI training pipelines. Keeping scalability and reliability requirements in mind, the IT team chose Synology enterprise storage systems to build a powerful object storage cluster.

Synology all-flash systems were also deployed to support the data warehouse infrastructure when tackling latency-sensitive workloads, building an efficient training pipeline specifically developed to quickly move data from the primary storage repository to high-performance AI accelerator clusters.

Automating storage provisioning through Kubernetes

Widely used across any industry because of its powerful automation, integration, and management capabilities, Kubernetes (K8s) was another essential component that Taiwan AI Labs’s engineers were looking to build into their new infrastructure.

Synology systems support management from Kubernetes through the Synology CSI Driver. This allows for the provisioning, management, and mirroring of storage volumes across Synology systems directly by K8s, which can significantly reduce management overhead when running dynamic workloads.

To eliminate single points of failure in critical production environments, the IT team relies on Synology High Availability (SHA) clusters.

Designing an industry-standard data protection strategy

Data security is paramount when designing solutions for heavily regulated sectors, including healthcare and public sector institutions. To fulfill this essential requirement, the IT team designed a backup architecture using highly scalable Synology SA series units as primary backup servers.

The SA series was chosen for its unmatched scalability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of management in the most demanding scenarios. Snapshot Replication was deployed to create point-in-time copies of shared folders and LUNs, which can be restored quickly in the event of accidental or malicious deletion. Efficient storage and computing resource use makes it ideal for deployments that require low latency.

The organization also plans to leverage Hyper Backup and C2 Storage as one of the backup solutions needed to complete its 3-2-1 backup architecture. With excellent data protection features and AES-256 encryption to ensure data security, C2 Storage meets Taiwan AI Labs’ high privacy standards.

Meeting diverse data management needs

From project conceptualization to final delivery and support, Synology solutions provide a solid foundation for Taiwan AI Labs’ storage infrastructure. A dependable and highly scalable storage platform that drastically reduces IT management overhead, Synology data management systems allow Taiwan AI Labs to focus on research and development without being limited by infrastructure.

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