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Nvidia gets broad support for cutting-edge Volta GPUs in the data center

Marc Ferranti | Sept. 28, 2017
IBM, Dell EMC, HPE, and Supermicro are among system providers that will tap the Tesla V100, as software makers also voice support.

While the massively parallel architecture of GPUs make them particularly suitable for machine-learning tasks such as training neural networks, servers incorporate the processors for a variety of tasks.

"The common theme is anything that needs a GPU but it's not just AI," Mercury Research's McArron said. "AI, machine learning, virtualization, rendering, lots of parallel search functions -- all of that can obviously fit into a data center and that's where we've seen a lot of Nvidia's growth."

Kinetica, an in-memory database application that harnesses the computing power of GPUs, is also running on Nvidia DGX systems as well as other servers running Pascal- or  Volta-based GPUs. "We've definitely seen a performance increase," with Volta, said Woody Christy, director of partner engineering at Kinetica, on the sidelines of Strata.

Kinetica's database speeds up Tableau queries and is used in financial services, retail, health care utilities and the public sector for fast OLAP, AI, business intelligence, and geosptial analytics.


Servers now available to support Tesla V100 GPUs

At Strata, meanwhile, server makers announcing systems based on Volta V100 GPUs include:

--Dell EMC: The company's PowerEdge R740 supports up to three V100 GPUs for PCIe; the PowerEdge R740XD runs up to three V100 GPUs for PCIe; and the PowerEdge C4130 can include up to four V100 GPUs for PCIe or four V100 GPUs for NVIDIA NVlink technology in an SXM2 form factor. 

--HPE: The HPE Apollo 6500 supports up to eight V100 GPUs for PCIe and the HPE ProLiant DL380 systems can run up to three V100 GPUs for PCIe.

--Supermicro: Products supporting the new GPUs include a 7048GR-TR workstation for general, high-performance computing; 4028GR-TXRT, 4028GR-TRT and 4028GR-TR2 servers designed to handle machine-learning applications; and 1028GQ-TRT servers built for applications such as advanced analytics.

--IBM: Upcoming IBM Power System servers based on the POWER9 processor will incorporate multiple V100 GPUs and use NVLink, featuring an OpenPower CPU-to-GPU design for maximum throughput. IBM said it will unveil more details by the end of the year.

In addition, at the GPU Technology Conference in Beijing, another vote of support for the Volta architecture came from hyperscale cloud providers Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, who said they would shift from Pascal to Volta based GPUs in their data centers and cloud-service infrastructures. 


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