In a groundbreaking move, Salesforce is set to transfer a staggering 200,000 servers to a new operating system (OS), marking a pivotal shift in infrastructure management. Spearheaded by Tyson Lutz, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, this ambitious 18-month migration project hinges on the deployment of proprietary large language models (LLMs) from Salesforce's generative AI platform.
The choice to migrate from CentOS to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) stems from Salesforce's pursuit of a more secure, flexible, compliant, and commercially supported OS for its burgeoning global compute infrastructure. Given CentOS's integration into the RHEL beta stream chain, Salesforce opted for RHEL after an extensive selection process in December.
What sets this migration apart is Salesforce's innovative use of its generative AI platform. This platform will offer real-time infrastructure health and telemetry, elevating automation and scripting to a new level. The IT team honed these LLMs by training them on event logs, significantly enhancing real-time data log prediction and analysis. What used to demand extensive human hours for log reading is now streamlined through AI.
Lutz emphasizes the pivotal role of generative AI in bringing human intent into the realm of machine management. The bleeding-edge approach taken by Salesforce positions them at the forefront of operations, using generative AI to not only analyze logs but also to decipher content and present data in a human-readable format.
This monumental OS transition is part of "Hyperforce," a 2020 infrastructure overhaul geared towards fortifying Salesforce's suite of products. Over the past four years, Salesforce has transformed its products into a containerized model, rendering them "third-party ready" and highly adaptable for shifting workloads across various cloud providers.
RHEL, in the eyes of Lutz and CIO Juan Perez, promises to maximize flexibility, security, and reliability, ensuring Salesforce is prepared to meet any future demand. This initiative also serves as a wake-up call to the industry, underscoring the importance of building solutions on secure, trustworthy, and supported platforms.
As cloud environments expand, the integration of AI becomes imperative for managing and securing apps and infrastructure. Dave McCarthy, Research Vice President at IDC, highlights how AI can enhance cloud operations, identify configuration issues, and automate solutions. To entice CIOs to make the leap to the cloud, SaaS companies must build on enterprise-grade infrastructure with robust data protection and resilience.
By merging a massive server migration with an AI-powered operating system, Salesforce is poised to revolutionize operational expenditure and infrastructure management. Lutz envisions a future where generative AI offers engineers a rapid, precise understanding of infrastructure operations, providing tighter control and management than ever before.