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Thaum

A popular application for "artificial intelligence" technologies involves processing continuous data streams to "teach" learning algorithms how to correctly process and categorize that data.

One company at the forefront of artificial intelligence, computer vision, and emerging technologies is Thaum. Thaum is a technical consultancy and software development agency that focuses on artificial intelligence and data science. Thaum has a team of highly skilled data scientists who work with clients to provide targeted and reliable business solutions. They have tackled problems from physiotherapy, carpooling, and whale-detection systems.

The nature of Thaum's work means they need to constantly adapt to new challenges based on each of their client's specific requirements. For example, during one of Thaum's recent machine learning projects, they required a mobile storage solution that would be placed on a boat for an expedition across one of the most dangerous stretches of the sea.

Data Challenges for a Machine learning Consultancy

Thaum's project required them to place cameras on a science vessel that would continuously stream data that needed to be recorded in an uncompressed format to be later used to train image recognition algorithms. These continuous, uncompressed data streams require a lot of data storage. They had to deploy the cameras and supporting compute and storage onboard a ship that would travel between Hobart and Antarctica.

They turned to 45Drives' to provide the data storage because of the price, turnaround time, and their experience with Linux.

Really, the price point, as well as leaning on a bit of our technical know-how of Linux administration, meant we can flexibly set it up ourselves; this gave us confidence.

The support has been incredible — very, very impressive. We all have been blown away by the support from 45 Drives.

The project setup has six cameras onboard the boat, capable of color and infrared recording. These cameras continuously record uncompressed, 16-bit footage. This sort of setup produces a large amount of data over time.

This setup led them to the XL60 Storinator, with 60, 16GB Seagate drives for the large size. In addition, they have 6, 10 drive Vdevs — which provides much-needed efficiency for an application that requires full quality data to best function. In the end, they had over 600TB of usable storage onboard the ship.

"It just handles it, and it's great. I love the simplicity of just being able to have a simple computer I can just SSH into, make shares, mount it, and it works at peak performance."

Unfortunately, the voyage was canceled due to challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the system Thaum implemented will remain on the boat until its voyage can be rescheduled. The team was still happy with having such a quick turnaround.

"The voyage got canceled, but it's on the boat. It's staying on the ship. It's going to be there for a few years. And we're going to make other voyages soon as well."