Nvidia Expands Its Certified Server Models, Unveils DGX SuperPod Subscriptions

By Todd R. Weiss

June 2, 2021

Nvidia is busy this week at the virtual Computex 2021 Taipei technology show, announcing an expansion of its nascent Nvidia-certified server program, a range of new Nvidia BlueField DPU-equipped server models and the coming availability of its Base Command Platform which will include a subscription option for its DGX SuperPods so customers can give them a try.

Under its expanded certified server program, which was initially unveiled in April at Nvidia’s own GTC21 conference, dozens of new servers are being certified to run the full suite of Nvidia AI enterprise software, giving customers more options for demanding workloads in traditional datacenters or in hybrid cloud infrastructures.

Also announced were more new servers from partners using the company’s latest BlueField-2 data processing units, including from ASUS, Dell Technologies, GIGABYTE, QCT and Supermicro.

The Nvidia announcements also included the news that the Nvidia Base Command Platform, which is available presently only to early access customers after being unveiled at GTC21 in April, will be offered jointly with NetApp as a premium monthly subscription with Nvidia DGX SuperPod AI supercomputers and NetApp data management services.

 

Manuvir Das of Nvidia

The new products are part of the company’s ongoing democratization of AI, Manuvir Das, Nvidia’s head of enterprise computing, said during a May 27 briefing with reporters on the news.

“The work we are doing with the ecosystem is really to get it ready now to fully participate in this coming wave of the democratization of AI, where AI is utilized by every company on the planet rather than just the early adopters,” said Das. “That’s really the theme of what we’ve talked about at Computex.”

That democratization includes taking Nvidia’s software tools, libraries, frameworks and other pieces that the company has built and putting it all into what it is calling Nvidia AI enterprise software, said Das.

Servers Certified to Run Nvidia AI Enterprise Software

That strategy is what is behind the company’s news that it is certifying its enterprise AI software suite on the latest wave of servers from partners including ASUS, Advantech, Altos, ASRock Rack, ASUS, Dell Technologies, GIGABYTE, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lenovo, QCT and Supermicro. Presently the number of certified servers includes more than 50. The certified server program is aimed at helping customers in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, retail and financial services find the mainstream servers they require, according to the company.

The Nvidia systems include certifications for running VMware vSphere, Nvidia Omniverse Enterprise for design collaboration and advanced simulation and Red Hat OpenShift for AI development, as well as with Cloudera data engineering and machine learning.

The systems can be acquired in a wide range of price and performance levels and can be equipped with a wide range of Nvidia hardware, including A100, A40, A30 or A10 Tensor Core GPUs as well as BlueField-2 DPUs or ConnectX-6 adapters.

An earlier group of Nvidia certified servers were unveiled in April at GTC21.

Nvidia further said it would facilitate expanded access to Arm CPUs in 2022 through partnerships with GIGABYTE and Wiwynn. These companies plan to offer new servers featuring Arm Neoverse-based CPUs as well as Nvidia Ampere architecture GPUs or BlueField DPUs (or both), according to Nvidia. These systems will be submitted for Nvidia certification when they come to market.

New BlueField-2-Equipped DPU Servers

With this new round of DPU-2-equipped servers, Nvidia is expanding the line to give customers more options to find just the right servers for their needs, according to the company. The servers are aimed at workloads including software-defined networking, software-defined storage or traditional enterprise applications, which can benefit from the DPU’s ability to accelerate, offload and isolate infrastructure workloads for networking, security and storage, according to Nvidia. The DPU-equipped servers can also benefit systems running VMware vSphere, Windows or hyperconverged infrastructure solutions for AI and machine learning applications, graphics-intensive workloads or traditional business applications.

Nvidia BlueField DPU-2. Image courtesy: Nvidia

Nvidia’s BlueField DPUs – which can be thought of as next-generation SmartNICs – are designed to shift infrastructure tasks from the CPU to the DPU, which makes more server CPU cores available to run applications and increases server and datacenter efficiency, the company states.

The BlueField-2 DPU-accelerated servers are expected this year.

Nvidia Base Command and SuperPod Subscriptions

For customers, the idea behind Nvidia’s Base Command Platform and its related DGX SuperPod subscription option is that it can help companies move their AI projects more quickly from prototypes to production.

The Base Command software platform, which is designed for large-scale, multi-user and multi-team AI development workflows hosted on-premises or in the cloud, enables researchers and data scientists to simultaneously work on accelerated computing resources, according to Nvidia.

The cloud-hosted Base Command Platform will be offered in conjunction with NetApp, including an option to try out a DGX SuperPod on a subscription basis, said Das. Also included is NetApp all-flash storage. More information about these options will be released later this week, according to Nvidia.

Nvidia Base Command Platform management screens. Image courtesy: Nvidia

The Base Command Platform works with DGX systems and other Nvidia accelerated computing platforms, such as those offered by its cloud service provider partners. Many of the features of Base Command were unveiled by the company at GTC21. Base Command Manager is used to manage resources on an on-premises DGX SuperPod. Base Command Platform provides a wide range of controls to manage workflows from anywhere and makes it possible to offer the hosted subscription service with NetApp.

Das said the upcoming is the first time that DGX SuperPod subscriptions are being offered and that the move came after it was requested by customers. “All of the gear is hosted by Nvidia in Equinix datacenters,” he said. “And customers can come into this environment and rent access to a SuperPod or to a smaller part of the SuperPod, and they can rent it for just months at a time.”

For customers, this new option can provide a simple, easy to use experience for AI, said Das.

“What we’re doing here is we’re really lowering the barrier to entry to experience this best of breed system and equipment, and democratizing in that way,” he said. The expectation is that once customers try out the SuperPods that they will buy their own and use them more widely, he added.

Also announced were plans for Google Cloud’s marketplace to add support for Base Command Platform later this year to give its customers access to the additional services.

“This hybrid AI offering will allow enterprises to write once and run anywhere with flexible access to multiple Nvidia A100 Tensor Core GPUs, speeding AI development for enterprises that leverage on-demand accelerated computing,” Manish Sainani, director of product management for machine learning Infrastructure at Google Cloud, said in a statement.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) also has plans to integrate services with the Base Command Platform, providing the ability for Nvidia customers to deploy their workloads from Base Command directly to Amazon Sagemaker using GPU cloud instances.

So far, the Nvidia Base Command Platform with NetApp is only available to early access customers. Monthly subscription pricing starts at $90,000.

Analysts On Nvidia’s Latest News

So, what do industry analysts think about Nvidia’s Computex announcements?

Karl Freund, analyst

And while starting out on a cloud instance of a DGX SuperPod at $90,000 a month may seem rich, it does provide an easy on-ramp for customers, with no hardware to buy and install and no additional software needed, he said.“Nvidia is clearly climbing up the value chain, from chips to systems to software and eventually datacenters,” Karl Freund, founder and principal analyst of Cambrian AI Research, told EnterpriseAI. “The announcements will appeal to enterprises that are starting out on their AI journeys, with a pretty vast array of software to develop, manage, and collaborate on AI applications.”

“Taking out the hassles will help enterprises get started in AI,” said Freund. “When ready for production, these Base Command clients can buy DGX systems, systems from their server vendor, or deploy on public clouds, all with the same software.”

Another analyst, James Kobielus, the senior research director for data communications and management at research, training, and data analytics consultancy TDWI, said he is impressed by Nvidia’s focus on helping customers productionize the full range of its AI software.

 

James Kobielus, analyst

“Most noteworthy is the Base Command Platform, which offers cloud-based access for AI development teams to Nvidia’s most powerful DGX SuperPod AI supercomputer, along with NetApp’s data management suite,” said Kobielus. “Once this offering is available in Google Cloud marketplace later in the year, I expect that many enterprises will shortlist Nvidia Base Command Platform for their development of machine learning apps to be deployed into hybrid cloud environments and run various Nvidia-certified systems from Nvidia partners in support of high-performance enterprise apps.”

Bob Sorensen, an analyst with Hyperion Research, told EnterpriseAI that Nvidia’s DPU-equipped servers provide opportunities for HPC server suppliers to develop new capabilities for intelligent and targeted compute capabilities right where they are needed by customers.

Bob Sorensen, analyst

“The added benefit is that these devices can help offload data management responsibilities from the CPUs, freeing them up for more CPU-relevant tasks,” said Sorensen. “Indeed, one could argue that DPUs such as these could be the harbinger of a new form of HPC design based on composable computing, which seeks to break down and distribute discrete server functions across specific smart devices scattered throughout a traditional HPC architecture.”

Rob Enderle, analyst

The importance of this technology is notable, he said.Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group, said that Nvidia appears to be setting up to make a significant push into enterprise servers. “Their DPU technology is mind-bending,” said Enderle. “It frees up significant CPU resources, which can then be applied to other projects. That is particularly ideal for cloud solutions where you need a massive amount of flexibility.”

“This is just the beginning of what is expected to be the most significant effort to displace x86 server technology in over a decade,” said Enderle. “This initiative is only the start and coupled with their Arm HPC Developer Kit with Gigabyte, it anticipates an endgame where x86 becomes obsolete.”

This article originally appeared on sister site EnterpriseAI.news.

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!

Q&A with Google’s Bill Magro, an HPCwire Person to Watch in 2021

June 11, 2021

Last Fall Bill Magro joined Google as CTO of HPC, a newly created position, after two decades at Intel, where he was responsible for the company's HPC strategy. This interview was conducted by email at the beginning of A Read more…

A Carbon Crisis Looms Over Supercomputing. How Do We Stop It?

June 11, 2021

Supercomputing is extraordinarily power-hungry, with many of the top systems measuring their peak demand in the megawatts due to powerful processors and their correspondingly powerful cooling systems. As a result, these Read more…

Honeywell Quantum and Cambridge Quantum Plan to Merge; More to Follow?

June 10, 2021

Earlier this week, Honeywell announced plans to merge its quantum computing business, Honeywell Quantum Solutions (HQS), which focuses on trapped ion hardware, with the U.K.-based Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC), which Read more…

ISC21 Keynoter Xiaoxiang Zhu to Deliver a Bird’s-Eye View of a Changing World

June 10, 2021

ISC High Performance 2021 – once again virtual due to the ongoing pandemic – is swiftly approaching. In contrast to last year’s conference, which canceled its in-person component with a couple months’ notice, ISC Read more…

Xilinx Expands Versal Chip Family With 7 New Versal AI Edge Chips

June 10, 2021

FPGA chip vendor Xilinx has been busy over the last several years cranking out its Versal AI Core, Versal Premium and Versal Prime chip families to fill customer compute needs in the cloud, datacenters, networks and more. Now Xilinx is expanding its reach to the booming edge... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Building highly-available HPC infrastructure on AWS

Reminder: You can learn a lot from AWS HPC engineers by subscribing to the HPC Tech Short YouTube channel, and following the AWS HPC Blog channel. Read more…

Space Weather Prediction Gets a Supercomputing Boost

June 9, 2021

Solar winds are a hot topic in the HPC world right now, with supercomputer-powered research spanning from the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (which used Oak Ridge’s Titan system) to University College London (which used resources from the DiRAC HPC facility). One of the larger... Read more…

A Carbon Crisis Looms Over Supercomputing. How Do We Stop It?

June 11, 2021

Supercomputing is extraordinarily power-hungry, with many of the top systems measuring their peak demand in the megawatts due to powerful processors and their c Read more…

Honeywell Quantum and Cambridge Quantum Plan to Merge; More to Follow?

June 10, 2021

Earlier this week, Honeywell announced plans to merge its quantum computing business, Honeywell Quantum Solutions (HQS), which focuses on trapped ion hardware, Read more…

ISC21 Keynoter Xiaoxiang Zhu to Deliver a Bird’s-Eye View of a Changing World

June 10, 2021

ISC High Performance 2021 – once again virtual due to the ongoing pandemic – is swiftly approaching. In contrast to last year’s conference, which canceled Read more…

Xilinx Expands Versal Chip Family With 7 New Versal AI Edge Chips

June 10, 2021

FPGA chip vendor Xilinx has been busy over the last several years cranking out its Versal AI Core, Versal Premium and Versal Prime chip families to fill customer compute needs in the cloud, datacenters, networks and more. Now Xilinx is expanding its reach to the booming edge... Read more…

What is Thermodynamic Computing and Could It Become Important?

June 3, 2021

What, exactly, is thermodynamic computing? (Yes, we know everything obeys thermodynamic laws.) A trio of researchers from Microsoft, UC San Diego, and Georgia Tech have written an interesting viewpoint in the June issue... Read more…

AMD Introduces 3D Chiplets, Demos Vertical Cache on Zen 3 CPUs

June 2, 2021

At Computex 2021, held virtually this week, AMD showcased a new 3D chiplet architecture that will be used for future high-performance computing products set to Read more…

Nvidia Expands Its Certified Server Models, Unveils DGX SuperPod Subscriptions

June 2, 2021

Nvidia is busy this week at the virtual Computex 2021 Taipei technology show, announcing an expansion of its nascent Nvidia-certified server program, a range of Read more…

Using HPC Cloud, Researchers Investigate the COVID-19 Lab Leak Hypothesis

May 27, 2021

At the end of 2019, strange pneumonia cases started cropping up in Wuhan, China. As Wuhan (then China, then the world) scrambled to contain what would, of cours Read more…

AMD Chipmaker TSMC to Use AMD Chips for Chipmaking

May 8, 2021

TSMC has tapped AMD to support its major manufacturing and R&D workloads. AMD will provide its Epyc Rome 7702P CPUs – with 64 cores operating at a base cl Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

Berkeley Lab Debuts Perlmutter, World’s Fastest AI Supercomputer

May 27, 2021

A ribbon-cutting ceremony held virtually at Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) today marked the official launch of Perlmutter – aka NERSC-9 – the GPU-accelerated supercomputer built by HPE in partnership with Nvidia and AMD. Read more…

CERN Is Betting Big on Exascale

April 1, 2021

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) involves 23 countries, 15,000 researchers, billions of dollars a year, and the biggest machine in the worl Read more…

Google Launches TPU v4 AI Chips

May 20, 2021

Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke for only one minute and 42 seconds about the company’s latest TPU v4 Tensor Processing Units during his keynote at the Google I Read more…

Iran Gains HPC Capabilities with Launch of ‘Simorgh’ Supercomputer

May 18, 2021

Iran is said to be developing domestic supercomputing technology to advance the processing of scientific, economic, political and military data, and to strengthen the nation’s position in the age of AI and big data. On Sunday, Iran unveiled the Simorgh supercomputer, which will deliver.... Read more…

HPE Launches Storage Line Loaded with IBM’s Spectrum Scale File System

April 6, 2021

HPE today launched a new family of storage solutions bundled with IBM’s Spectrum Scale Erasure Code Edition parallel file system (description below) and featu Read more…

Quantum Computer Start-up IonQ Plans IPO via SPAC

March 8, 2021

IonQ, a Maryland-based quantum computing start-up working with ion trap technology, plans to go public via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) merger a Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

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…

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

AMD Launches Epyc ‘Milan’ with 19 SKUs for HPC, Enterprise and Hyperscale

March 15, 2021

At a virtual launch event held today (Monday), AMD revealed its third-generation Epyc “Milan” CPU lineup: a set of 19 SKUs -- including the flagship 64-core, 280-watt 7763 part --  aimed at HPC, enterprise and cloud workloads. Notably, the third-gen Epyc Milan chips achieve 19 percent... Read more…

Can Deep Learning Replace Numerical Weather Prediction?

March 3, 2021

Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is a mainstay of supercomputing. Some of the first applications of the first supercomputers dealt with climate modeling, and Read more…

Livermore’s El Capitan Supercomputer to Debut HPE ‘Rabbit’ Near Node Local Storage

February 18, 2021

A near node local storage innovation called Rabbit factored heavily into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s decision to select Cray’s proposal for its CORAL-2 machine, the lab’s first exascale-class supercomputer, El Capitan. Details of this new storage technology were revealed... Read more…

GTC21: Nvidia Launches cuQuantum; Dips a Toe in Quantum Computing

April 13, 2021

Yesterday Nvidia officially dipped a toe into quantum computing with the launch of cuQuantum SDK, a development platform for simulating quantum circuits on GPU-accelerated systems. As Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang emphasized in his keynote, Nvidia doesn’t plan to build... Read more…

Microsoft to Provide World’s Most Powerful Weather & Climate Supercomputer for UK’s Met Office

April 22, 2021

More than 14 months ago, the UK government announced plans to invest £1.2 billion ($1.56 billion) into weather and climate supercomputing, including procuremen Read more…

African Supercomputing Center Inaugurates ‘Toubkal,’ Most Powerful Supercomputer on the Continent

February 25, 2021

Historically, Africa hasn’t exactly been synonymous with supercomputing. There are only a handful of supercomputers on the continent, with few ranking on the Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire