Power8 with NVLink Coming to the Nimbix Cloud

By Tiffany Trader

October 6, 2016

Starting later this month, HPC professionals and data scientists wishing to try out NVLink’d Nvidia Pascal P100 GPUs won’t have to spend upwards of $100,000 on NVIDIA’s DGX-1 server or fork over about half that for IBM’s Power8 server with NVLink and four Pascal GPUs. Soon they’ll be able to get the power of Pascal in a public cloud.

On Wednesday (Oct. 5), the Dallas, Texas-based cloud provider Nimbix revealed that it was adding IBM Power S822LC for HPC systems (codenamed “Minsky”) to its heterogeneous HPC cloud platform. Target markets include high-performance computing, data analytics, in-memory databases, and machine learning.

“We are definitely the first public cloud to deploy the Minsky technology and one of the first to deploy Power8 in a high performance high-scalability setting,” said Leo Reiter, CTO and vice president of software engineering at Nimbix. “Obviously what was really interesting on Minksky in addition to Power8 was the Pascal GPUs and we’ve integrated that with our JARVICE platform so it’s a seamless experience for both end users and developers.”

Unveiled by IBM last month, the new Power8 with NVLink processor features 10 cores running up to 3.26 GHz. The processors have higher memory bandwidth than x86 CPUs at 115 GB/s and can have as much as half a terabyte of system memory per socket. There are larger caches per core inside the Power8 processor, and this coupled with the faster cores and memory bandwidth leads to higher application performance and throughput.

The NVIDIA Tesla P100 for NVLink-optimized servers is Nvidia’s most performant GPU yet, delivering a whopping 5.3 teraflops of double-precision performance, 10.6 teraflops of single-precision, and 21 teraflops of half-precision. The accelerator card includes 16 gigabytes of the HBM2 stacked memory with an on-GPU memory bandwidth of 720 GB/s. The Tesla P100 with NVLink GPU in the SXM2 (Mezzanine) form factor, currently only shipping in the DGX-1 and the Minsky platform, delivers 13 percent more raw compute performance than the PCIe variant due to the higher TDP (300 watts versus 250 watts).

IBM.POWER8.NVLINKCrucially for many users that Nimbix is targeting with the new hardware, the Minsky platform provides high-bandwidth NVLink connections between the CPU and the GPUs and from GPU to GPU. IBM says the NVLink optimized Power8 servers “enable data to flow 5x faster” than on a comparable x86-based system.

Along with its support for HPC and deep learning workflows, Nimbix says adoption of GPU-accelerated databases is advancing quickly. “Accelerated analytics, like in-memory databases, benefit so much from having the Pascal GPUs as well as the high performance link between them to the point where some customers are getting multiple times performance boost for advanced queries,” says Reiter.

Nimbix is working with Kinetica and MapD to facilitate the use of the NVLink optimized Power servers for database acceleration. Reiter says Kinetica has the ability to scale horizontally across multiple systems so it’s not just being able to take advantage of the GPUs on a single box but to scale across using a high performance fabric like the one at Nimbix.

“So you have both the high density in each chassis where you are going to have four Pascal GPUs with this high performance link, a lot of host memory but then also being able to scale that horizontally to dozens of machines at the same time to be able to do these accelerated databases,” says Reiter.

From its start in 2010, Nimbix has focused on high-performance heterogeneous cloud computing. “While it’s true that the market is heavily tilted toward Intel in terms of the system architecture, we already have the capabilities of running heterogeneous compute, both accelerators as well as central processors, so it wasn’t a technology challenge for us to deploy a non-Intel architecture into our existing cloud,” explains Reiter.

“We’re not requiring that people embrace the system architecture change. We’re not selling architecture here, what we’re selling is turnkey workflows that happen to run in a more optimized way when they’re hooked into the right resources.”

Reiter notes that they’ve been working with Nvidia for a while now and they have multiple datacenters outfitted with Tesla K80s and other Nvidia chips.

Now they’re also partnering with IBM, whom they say has provided and continues to provide a lot of support. “They are extremely motivated to speed Power,” says Reiter, “not just in HPC, but in cloud specifically. And there are a couple reasons. One is that the traction in public cloud for Power is almost non-existent, relatively speaking, but more importantly, even a lot of their customers who are buying Power clusters are asking them for an actual cloud bursting strategy. It’s not just for capacity, but it’s for a lot of these bids now, people are looking at emerging technology in the bids.”

The secret sauce of the Nimbix cloud is the JARVICE container runtime. “The native execution model for JARVICE is containers running on bare metal, so there are no virtual machines,” says Reiter. “There are containers but these are custom-built containers, not Docker. There was too much overhead and complexity and performance loss with getting Docker to run, especially for tightly-coupled, high performance workloads, so we designed our container technology from the ground up, and [with our PushtoCompute technology] we accept ordinary Docker containers as input and convert them on the fly to run natively on the JARVICE platform.”

Asked if they would ever productize JARVICE outside of the Nimbix cloud, Reiter said they are happy to discuss that with anyone who is interested but do not have an immediate play to offer it as an off-the-shelf software product. That said, Nimbix does have select datacenter customers who are trying out the software.

Nimbix’s specialty is enabling turnkey cloud via a software-as-a-service delivery model. It’s not for the user looking to spin up virtual clouds.

“IaaS public cloud is fine for dev-tests of single machine instances,” says Reiter. “Sometimes you want to test out some code and see if it works and that’s great. But when we’re talking about deploying tightly-coupled workflows at scale, deploying the software and tuning the software is extremely complicated.”

“What customers enjoy on Nimbix is they look for the workflow they want to run, they click on it, they specify whatever parameters are relevant to that workflow and they click submit and then their data comes back processed the way they want it to without having to care about ‘How am I going to scale this? How am I going to install it? Am I running the right version? Do I have the right libraries installed?’ JARVICE takes care of all of that – and it’s extensible through technologies like PushtoCompute to enable the onboarding of more and more functionality.”

Every machine in the Nimbix cloud is InfiniBand connected via a Mellanox EDR InfiniBand spine and FDR InfiniBand to the compute nodes. JARVICE also employs distributed block storage and distributed storage over InfiniBand, plus 20GB Ethernet (bonded 10GB) for accessing the internet.

Nimbix expects to have customers using the Minsky platform publicly by the end of this month and prior to that will be conducting benchmarking tests with early-access customers. Initially, demand will likely outstrip availability, and Nimbix says it’s already planning the next step of the expansion, essentially taking orders as soon as IBM can ship.

“The line is there and it’s only going to get bigger,” observes Reiter. “We’re excited to be able service these customers and position ourselves to service more in the future.”

Pricing has not yet been disclosed, but Minsky will be offered in single-GPU and quad-GPU units – via subscription or pay-as-you-go.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Machines, Connections, Data, and Especially People: OAC Acting Director Amy Friedlander Charts Office’s Blueprint for Innovation

August 3, 2020

The path to innovation in cyberinfrastructure (CI) will require continued focus on building HPC systems and secure connections between them, in addition to the increasingly important goals of data best practices and work Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated, analysts said the acquisition would cement Nvidia’s stat Read more…

By George Leopold

Summer Reading: Here’s a Quantum Advantage You Can Bet On!

August 3, 2020

While quantum computing researchers today vigorously chase a demonstration of a quantum advantage – an application which when run on a quantum computer provides sufficient advantage to warrant switching from a classica Read more…

By John Russell

What’s New in HPC Research: the LHC, Nuclear Reactors, Legion & More

August 1, 2020

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPC Career Notes: August 2020 Edition

August 1, 2020

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it’s a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we’ Read more…

By Mariana Iriarte

AWS Solution Channel

AWS announces the release of AWS ParallelCluster 2.8.0

AWS ParallelCluster is a fully supported and maintained open source cluster management tool that makes it easy for scientists, researchers, and IT administrators to deploy and manage High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters in the AWS cloud. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Heterogeneous Computing Gets a Code Similarity Tool

July 31, 2020

A machine programming framework for heterogeneous computing championed by Intel Corp. and university partners is built around an automated engine that analyzes code for similarities. The approach could eventually allow n Read more…

By George Leopold

Machines, Connections, Data, and Especially People: OAC Acting Director Amy Friedlander Charts Office’s Blueprint for Innovation

August 3, 2020

The path to innovation in cyberinfrastructure (CI) will require continued focus on building HPC systems and secure connections between them, in addition to the Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

PEARC20 Plenary Introduces Five Upcoming NSF-Funded HPC Systems

July 30, 2020

Five new HPC systems—three National Science Foundation-funded “Capacity” systems and two “Innovative Prototype/Testbed” systems—will be coming onlin Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Nvidia Dominates Latest MLPerf Training Benchmark Results

July 29, 2020

MLPerf.org released its third round of training benchmark (v0.7) results today and Nvidia again dominated, claiming 16 new records. Meanwhile, Google provided e Read more…

By John Russell

$39 Billion Worldwide HPC Market Faces 3.7% COVID-related Drop in 2020

July 29, 2020

Global HPC market revenue reached $39 billion in 2019, growing a healthy 8.2 percent over 2018, according to the latest analysis from Intersect360 Research. A 3 Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Agenting Change: PEARC20 Keynote Encourages Cultural Change to Make Tech Better, More Diverse

July 29, 2020

The tech world will need to become more diverse if it is to thrive and survive, said Cherri Pancake, director of the Northwest Alliance for Computational Resear Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

In Big Win for COVID-19 Research, Neocortix Brings Arm Support to [email protected], [email protected]

July 28, 2020

Normally, Neocortix offers distributed cloud computing for its clients by way of PhonePaycheck, an app that pays users in exchange for the idle processing time Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of ‘Bradykinin Storm’ That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms

July 28, 2020

Doctors and medical researchers have struggled to pinpoint – let alone explain – the deluge of symptoms induced by COVID-19 infections in patients, and what Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

Joliot-Curie Supercomputer Used to Build First Full, High-Fidelity Aircraft Engine Simulation

July 14, 2020

When industrial designers plan the design of a new element of a vehicle’s propulsion or exterior, they typically use fluid dynamics to optimize airflow and in Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

John Martinis Reportedly Leaves Google Quantum Effort

April 21, 2020

John Martinis, who led Google’s quantum computing effort since establishing its quantum hardware group in 2014, has left Google after being moved into an advi Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This