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How Cloud Computing Is Reshaping EVs

Misha Cetrone
By Misha Cetrone Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Megaport

It’s apparent that cloud computing and networking have been prominent priorities for organizations across multiple industries. Organizations are realizing the cloud, while continuing to rapidly evolve and expand, not only gives organizations powerful new capabilities but also creates complexity, which traditional networking is ill-suited to manage.

Karma Automotive, a luxury electric automaker, for example, rethought its network architecture to keep its increasingly disparate environments well connected while delivering state-of-the-art vehicles. While Karma’s networking transition occurred well before the pandemic hit, COVID-19 has spurred more companies to shift workloads to the cloud. As companies adapt their networks to manage a distributed workforce and the distributed infrastructure that supports that workforce, they can gain valuable insight from Karma’s experience optimizing its network.

For Karma Automotive, innovating luxury automobiles with uncompromised dynamics was a challenge, but ensuring the IT systems “under the hood” were optimized to bring the design and manufacturing together was another.

Transforming Traditional Networks

Karma Automotive’s production databases and steady-state workloads were based in co-location facilities, while aerodynamics studies and manufacturing designs were hosted on AWS EC2 instances for high-performance computing. In short, Karma Automotive needed its design and production environments to share real-time data in order to assemble vehicles efficiently while upholding its reputation as an innovator in its field.

Traditional networking was simply not suited to make this possible in a cost-effective and scalable way. Provisioning circuits connecting AWS and Karma’s on-premises infrastructure could take 30 to 90 days. During burst periods common in high-performance computing, Karma would have had to provision more circuits for more bandwidth. But during periods when they didn’t need that much bandwidth, they would be stuck paying for those circuits.

Hybrid Cloud Driving Success

A flexible, scalable, and dedicated Software Defined Network (SDN) made it possible for Karma Automotive to simplify the way it moved data between on-premises production workloads and the company’s design environments in the cloud. Now, not only can Karma Automotive run complex simulations and deliver real-time insights to its team, it’s also able to bring its disparate working environments together by using private, on-demand connectivity to ensure low-latency communication between public cloud workloads and legacy databases in the data center. During burst periods, it can provision with the click of a mouse. During non-burst periods, it can scale down bandwidth needs immediately.

Karma Automotive’s hybrid cloud strategy modernized its network, creating greater operational agility and reliable connectivity between on-premises and cloud workloads. This allows for more visualizations, simulations and prototyping, enabling Karma Automotive to bring its ideas to life and deliver its state-of-the-art luxury cars faster than ever before.

Embracing the Cloud

As more organizations begin shifting workloads to the cloud to innovate and grow, they must ensure they have the right network infrastructure to do so. A multi-cloud environment serving a distributed workforce and the distributed infrastructure supporting that workforce, however, is only as flexible as the network tying it all together. As Karma discovered, software-defined networks give them the operational agility to connect distributed infrastructure in a cost-effective and scalable way.

Companies like Karma Automotive are increasingly realizing that the flexibility of the cloud is critical to maximizing productivity and innovation.

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