Amazon Web Services Unveils Nvidia GPU Instance
The new G2 instances will be aimed at organizations that need parallel computing capabilities for their cloud workloads.Amazon Web Services is offering new instances to its public cloud that will leverage Nvidia's graphics technology and will be aimed at workloads that need high levels of parallel processing capabilities, such as video creation, visualization and streaming graphics-intensive applications. The new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) G2 instances will use Nvidia's Grid GPUs, which come with 1,536 parallel processing cores and will enable developers to create applications and services leveraging OpenGL, CUDA, DirectX and OpenCL. The G2 instances will complement Amazon Web Services' (AWS) compute clouds and the cluster GPU instances, which the company launched about two years ago. However, since then, organizations using AWS have been looking for more GPU capabilities, according to Matt Garman, vice president of Amazon EC2 for AWS. "Many customers have asked for expanded functionality to extend the power of our GPU instances beyond HPC [high-performance computing] applications to graphics-intensive workloads such as video creation services, 3D visualizations and game streaming,” Garman said in a statement. “By enabling the use of DirectX and OpenGL, G2 instances allow developers to cost-effectively build scalable, fast 3D applications on Amazon EC2 and deliver high-performance 3D graphics using the cloud.”
Organizations running HPC environments have been turning to GPU accelerators from Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices to increase the performance of their systems without ramping up the power consumption. Certain workloads, particularly those needing parallel processing capabilities, can be offloaded from the CPUs and onto the GPUs, which offer many more processing cores and better power efficiency. In parallel processing, workloads can be broken up and the various pieces can be processed at the same time before being brought back together. CPUs tend to complete one job before going onto the next.