HPE Brings Startup Determined AI Into Its HPC Business Group

By Todd R. Weiss

June 22, 2021

Making machine learning easier to use is all the rage in enterprise computing as more and more businesses are finding out that adopting and integrating AI is harder to do than they first anticipated.

HPE, like other large technology vendors, has been hearing that message from customers and in response, has acquired Determined AI, a San Francisco-based startup that built an open source machine learning training platform that is designed to make the process faster and simpler.

Determined AI’s platform, which is also cloud neutral, uses the Horovod deep learning distributed framework which works with TensorFlow, Keras, PyTorch and Apache MXNet to make distributed deep learning easier to use. The platform is a software stack that can train AI models faster and at any scale, while removing complexity and lowering the costs of machine learning development, according to Determined AI.

A price tag was not announced for the deal, which was unveiled on June 21 (Monday).

HPE says it will combine Determined AI’s platform with its own AI and high performance computing (HPC) products and services to speed up and expand the work of ML engineers as they create and train new models to gain improved insights from their data.

“As we enter the Age of Insight, our customers recognize the need to add machine learning to deliver better and faster answers from their data,” Justin Hotard, a senior vice president and general manager of HPE’s HPC and mission critical solutions division, said in a statement. “AI-powered technologies will play an increasingly critical role in turning data into readily available, actionable information to fuel this new era. Determined AI’s unique open source platform allows ML engineers to build models faster and deliver business value sooner without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure.”

By bringing in Determined AI’s technology, HPE says it will enable researchers and scientists to spend less time on configuring complex training models so they can spend more time focusing on innovations and accelerating their time to delivery. The platform is built to simplify set-up, configuration, management and sharing of workstations or AI clusters that are running on-premises or in the cloud, according to HPE.

In one case study, Determined AI helped drug discovery vendor, Recursion, cut its machine learning modeling from three days to three hours.

Under the acquisition, the Determined AI team will join HPE’s HPC and Mission Critical Solutions business group.

Founded in 2017, Determined AI launched its open source platform in 2020. The platform has been adopted by customers across a wide range of industries, including biopharmaceuticals, autonomous vehicles, defense contracting and manufacturing, according to the company.

In a blog post on the Determined AI website, CEO Evan Sparks, CTO Neil Conway and chief scientist Ameet Talwalkar wrote that the acquisition by HPE will accelerate the company’s mission and technology as it works to make ML less stressful for enterprises.

“Over the last several years, building AI applications has become extremely compute, data and communication intensive,” they wrote. “Ten years ago, you could do cutting-edge computer vision research on a laptop. Today, you need a massive farm of GPUs or other specialized chips to remain competitive. These problems are not unique to vision or academic research – they are affecting organizations large and small, as we are hearing from our thriving open source community.”

The problem, they wrote, is that AI is rapidly becoming an HPC problem, which makes the acquisition by HPE a smart move for Determined AI’s customers and technology, they wrote.

“HPE is already a global leader in designing and delivering high performance computing systems and, via their acquisitions of Cray and SGI, they have decades of experience in the space working with some of the most sophisticated users on the planet,” the post continues. “We are thrilled about the opportunity to partner with HPE to deliver co-designed software and hardware and tackle some of society’s most pressing challenges.”

A spokesperson for HPE could not be reached for comment by press time today.

Rob Enderle, principal analyst of Enderle Group, told EnterpriseAI that making ML easier for users is a hot topic right now because the process requires specialized skills and creates its own challenges.

“On paper, it appears to shorten the time needed to do AI training significantly, and AI training is one of the biggest impediments to AI implementation at the moment,” Enderle said of Determined AI’s platform. “AI and robotics are the two most promising segments to go vertical this decade, or grow extremely rapidly with the revenue line nearly going vertical, so HPE is ensuring they do not miss out on that opportunity.”

Making ML easier for businesses is a big topic in a crowded marketplace, he said.

“I think IBM is still way ahead with Watson, and they have been working on training for some time,” said Enderle. “Some of the best AI training is coming from Nvidia now. [HPE] will need to make this [acquisition] work, and HPE does not have an excellent reputation for doing company mergers well. Historically, they are more likely to break the acquired company than benefit from it.” Enderle gave examples such as Autonomy, Palm, ArcSight and SGI to illustrate that trend.

Under the deal, HPE is committed to investing in and rapidly growing the Determined Training Platform as an open source project, according to the post. “Our customers and open source community members will continue to receive the same high level of service and support that they always have, from a team of experts who are intimately familiar with the challenges they are facing. Moving forward, we will be in a position to serve a much more global network of users, both large and small. We are excited to continue building new features to both our customers and our open-source community.”

Determined AI’s employees are a collection of ML and distributed systems experts, including key contributors to open source community projects such as Spark MLlib, Apache Mesos and PostgreSQL. The startup’s investors include GV (formerly Google Ventures), Amplify Partners, CRV, Haystack, SV Angel, The House and Specialized Types.

HPE’s new Determined AI technologies will also be tying in with HPE’s GreenLake cloud services for HPC as the company integrates the new platform into its products and services.

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!

Verifying the Universe with Exascale Computers

July 30, 2021

The ExaSky project, one of the critical Earth and Space Science applications being solved by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Exascale Computing Project (ECP), is preparing to use the nation’s forthcoming exas Read more…

What’s After Exascale? The Internet of Workflows Says HPE’s Nicolas Dubé

July 29, 2021

With the race to exascale computing in its final leg, it’s natural to wonder what the Post Exascale Era will look like. Nicolas Dubé, VP and chief technologist for HPE’s HPC business unit, agrees and shared his vision at Supercomputing Frontiers Europe 2021 held last week. The next big thing, he told the virtual audience at SFE21, is something that will connect HPC and (broadly) all of IT – into what Dubé calls The Internet of Workflows. Read more…

How UK Scientists Developed Transformative, HPC-Powered Coronavirus Sequencing System

July 29, 2021

In November 2020, the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) won the HPCwire Readers’ Choice Award for Best HPC Collaboration for its CLIMB-COVID sequencing project. Launched in March 2020, CLIMB-COVID has now resulted in the sequencing of over 675,000 coronavirus genomes – an increasingly critical task as variants like Delta threaten the tenuous prospect of a return to normalcy in much of the world. Read more…

KAUST Leverages Mixed Precision for Geospatial Data

July 28, 2021

For many computationally intensive tasks, exacting precision is not necessary for every step of the entire task to obtain a suitably precise result. The alternative is mixed-precision computing: using high precision wher Read more…

Oak Ridge Supercomputer Enables Next-Gen Jet Turbine Research

July 27, 2021

Air travel is notoriously carbon-inefficient, with many airlines going as far as to offer purchasable carbon offsets to ease the guilt over large-footprint travel. But even over just the last decade, major aircraft model Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Data compression with increased performance and lower costs

Many customers associate a performance cost with data compression, but that’s not the case with Amazon FSx for Lustre. With FSx for Lustre, data compression reduces storage costs and increases aggregate file system throughput. Read more…

IBM and University of Tokyo Roll Out Quantum System One in Japan

July 27, 2021

IBM and the University of Tokyo today unveiled an IBM Quantum System One as part of the IBM-Japan quantum program announced in 2019. The system is the second IBM Quantum System One assembled outside the U.S. and follows Read more…

What’s After Exascale? The Internet of Workflows Says HPE’s Nicolas Dubé

July 29, 2021

With the race to exascale computing in its final leg, it’s natural to wonder what the Post Exascale Era will look like. Nicolas Dubé, VP and chief technologist for HPE’s HPC business unit, agrees and shared his vision at Supercomputing Frontiers Europe 2021 held last week. The next big thing, he told the virtual audience at SFE21, is something that will connect HPC and (broadly) all of IT – into what Dubé calls The Internet of Workflows. Read more…

How UK Scientists Developed Transformative, HPC-Powered Coronavirus Sequencing System

July 29, 2021

In November 2020, the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium (COG-UK) won the HPCwire Readers’ Choice Award for Best HPC Collaboration for its CLIMB-COVID sequencing project. Launched in March 2020, CLIMB-COVID has now resulted in the sequencing of over 675,000 coronavirus genomes – an increasingly critical task as variants like Delta threaten the tenuous prospect of a return to normalcy in much of the world. Read more…

IBM and University of Tokyo Roll Out Quantum System One in Japan

July 27, 2021

IBM and the University of Tokyo today unveiled an IBM Quantum System One as part of the IBM-Japan quantum program announced in 2019. The system is the second IB Read more…

Intel Unveils New Node Names; Sapphire Rapids Is Now an ‘Intel 7’ CPU

July 27, 2021

What's a preeminent chip company to do when its process node technology lags the competition by (roughly) one generation, but outmoded naming conventions make it seem like it's two nodes behind? For Intel, the response was to change how it refers to its nodes with the aim of better reflecting its positioning within the leadership semiconductor manufacturing space. Intel revealed its new node nomenclature, and... Read more…

Will Approximation Drive Post-Moore’s Law HPC Gains?

July 26, 2021

“Hardware-based improvements are going to get more and more difficult,” said Neil Thompson, an innovation scholar at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL). “I think that’s something that this crowd will probably, actually, be already familiar with.” Thompson, speaking... Read more…

With New Owner and New Roadmap, an Independent Omni-Path Is Staging a Comeback

July 23, 2021

Put on a shelf by Intel in 2019, Omni-Path faced a uncertain future, but under new custodian Cornelis Networks, OmniPath is looking to make a comeback as an independent high-performance interconnect solution. A "significant refresh" – called Omni-Path Express – is coming later this year according to the company. Cornelis Networks formed last September as a spinout of Intel's Omni-Path division. Read more…

Chameleon’s HPC Testbed Sharpens Its Edge, Presses ‘Replay’

July 22, 2021

“One way of saying what I do for a living is to say that I develop scientific instruments,” said Kate Keahey, a senior fellow at the University of Chicago a Read more…

Summer Reading: “High-Performance Computing Is at an Inflection Point”

July 21, 2021

At last month’s 11th International Symposium on Highly Efficient Accelerators and Reconfigurable Technologies (HEART), a group of researchers led by Martin Schulz of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (Munich) presented a “position paper” in which they argue HPC architectural landscape... 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…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer called Dojo to process truly vast amounts of video data. It’s a beast! … A truly useful exaflop at de facto FP32.” 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…

CentOS Replacement Rocky Linux Is Now in GA and Under Independent Control

June 21, 2021

The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is announcing the general availability of Rocky Linux, release 8.4, designed as a drop-in replacement for the soon-to-be discontinued CentOS. The GA release is launching six-and-a-half months after Red Hat deprecated its support for the widely popular, free CentOS server operating system. The Rocky Linux development effort... 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…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

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…

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…

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…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

Q&A with Jim Keller, CTO of Tenstorrent, and an HPCwire Person to Watch in 2021

April 22, 2021

As part of our HPCwire Person to Watch series, we are happy to present our interview with Jim Keller, president and chief technology officer of Tenstorrent. One of the top chip architects of our time, Keller has had an impactful career. Read more…

AMD-Xilinx Deal Gains UK, EU Approvals — China’s Decision Still Pending

July 1, 2021

AMD’s planned acquisition of FPGA maker Xilinx is now in the hands of Chinese regulators after needed antitrust approvals for the $35 billion deal were receiv Read more…

Senate Debate on Bill to Remake NSF – the Endless Frontier Act – Begins

May 18, 2021

The U.S. Senate today opened floor debate on the Endless Frontier Act which seeks to remake and expand the National Science Foundation by creating a technology Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire