IBM Unleashes Latest Nvidia GPU Accelerator for Cloud Deployment

This powerful GPU--born and raised in the video-game world--runs in tandem with the central processing unit (CPU) in a server to boost performance to high-performance levels.


Who would have thought this only a few years ago? Cloud computing services have become so granular that users are able to select the type of processor they want to run for a particular workload.

IBM on April 5 announced that it will make the Nvidia's Tesla P100 graphics processing unit (GPU) accelerator available in a cloud service for high-performance computing projects later this month.

Specifically, this powerful chip--born and raised in the video-game world--runs in tandem with the central processing unit (CPU) in a server to boost performance to high-performance levels. Combining Nvidia's acceleration technology with IBM's cloud platform, enterprises can more quickly and efficiently deploy compute-heavy workloads, such as artificial intelligence, deep learning and high-performance data analytics.

With the increasingly easy availability of cloud-based analytics services, these workloads are becoming more common by the day.

What a lot of people don't realize is that IBM has been working closely with Nvidia since 2014 to bring GPU availability to the cloud. IBM was the first cloud provider to introduce the Nvidia Tesla K80 GPU accelerator in 2015 and the Tesla M60 in 2016.

By making the Tesla P100 GPU accelerator available in the cloud, IBM will make it more accessible for businesses in industries including health care, financial services, energy and manufacturing to extract valuable insight from big data. For example, clients in the financial services industry can use GPUs on the IBM Cloud to run complex risk calculations; health care companies can more quickly analyze data or identify possible genetic variations; and energy companies can identify new ways to improve operations.

Clients will have the option to equip individual IBM Bluemix bare metal cloud servers with two Nvidia Tesla P100 accelerator cards. The Tesla P100 provides 4.7 teraFLOPS of double-precision performance and 16 gigabytes of GPU memory in a single server to accelerate compute-intensive workloads, IBM said.

The combination of IBM's connectivity and bare metal servers with the Tesla P100 GPUs provides clients with higher throughput than traditional virtualized servers. This high level of performance can allow clients to deploy fewer, more powerful cloud servers to more quickly deliver increasingly complex simulations and big data workloads, IBM said.

The Tesla P100 joins Nvidia's portfolio of GPU offerings on the IBM Cloud, including the Tesla M60, Tesla K80 and Tesla K2 GPUs.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...