Transforming the data centre into an AI supercomputer

NVIDIA Founder Jensen Huang and VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at VMworld 2020.

VMware and NVIDIA are teaming up to transform the enterprise data centre architecture and turn it into an end-to-end AI platform.

The new architecture for data centre, cloud and edge will use NVIDIA data processing units (DPUs) to support existing and next-generation applications.

Under the collaboration, the rich set of AI software available on the NVIDIA NGC hub will be integrated into VMware vSphere, VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Tanzu. This will help enterprises to extend existing infrastructure for AI, manage all applications with a single set of operations, and deploy AI-ready infrastructure where the data resides, across the data centre, cloud and edge.

“We are partnering with NVIDIA to bring AI to every enterprise; a true democratisation of one of the most powerful technologies. Together, we are positioned to help every enterprise accelerate their use of breakthrough applications to drive their business,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware.

Evolving the architecture

As part of VMware’s Project Monterey, which is focused on evolving its architecture to address the changing requirements of next-generation applications, the two partners will deliver an architecture for the hybrid cloud based on SmartNIC technology, including NVIDIA’s programmable BlueField-2 DPU.

The combination of VMware Cloud Foundation and NVIDIA BlueField-2 will offer next-generation infrastructure that is purpose-built for the demands of AI, machine learning, high-throughput and data-centric apps. It will also deliver expanded application acceleration beyond AI to all enterprise workloads and provide an extra layer of security through a new architecture that offloads critical data centre services from the CPU to SmartNICs and programmable DPUs.

“AI and machine learning have quickly expanded from research labs to data centres in companies across virtually every industry and geography. NVIDIA and VMware will help customers transform every enterprise data centre into an accelerated AI supercomputer,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA.

Simplifying deployment and management

The integration of NVIDIA NGC with VMware vSphere and VMware Cloud Foundation will simplify the deployment and management of AI for the most demanding workloads. Industries ranging from healthcare to financial services, retail and manufacturing will be able to easily develop and deploy AI workloads using containers and virtual machines, on the same platform as their enterprise applications, at scale across the hybrid cloud.

VMware customers will be able to accelerate data science and AI workloads building on existing infrastructure, resources and toolsets – helping to broaden adoption of AI and ML technologies. Data scientists, developers and researchers will gain immediate access to the wide array of NGC’s cloud-native, GPU-optimised containers, models and industry-specific software development kits.

As next-generation workloads grow in complexity, SmartNICs and DPUs are critical technologies for securely accelerating a wide range of enterprise applications where the data resides.

VMware and NVIDIA are delivering a new architecture for the hybrid cloud that will help organisations evolve their infrastructure and operations and introduce a new security model that offloads hypervisor, networking, security and storage tasks from the CPU to the DPU. This new architecture will also extend the VMware Cloud Foundation operating model to bare metal servers.

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