In July, VMware acquired Bitfusion, a company whose technology virtualizes compute accelerators with the goal of enabling modern workloads like artificial intelligence and data analytics to take full advantage of systems with GPUs or with FPGAs. Specifically, Bitfusion's software allows for virtual machines to offload compute duties to GPUs, FPGAs, or even other kinds of ASICs. The deal didn't get a ton of attention at the time, but for VMware, it was an important step in realizing its cloud ambitions. "Hardware acceleration for applications delivers efficiency and flexibility into the AI space, including subsets such as machine learning," Krish Prasad, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's Cloud Platform business unit, wrote in a blog post announcing the acquisition. "Unfortunately, hardware accelerators today are deployed with bare-metal practices, which force poor utilization, poor efficiencies, and limit organizations from sharing, abstracting and automating the infrastructure. This provides a perfect opportunity to virtualize them – providing increased sharing of resources and lowering costs."
Update: As of August 2019, the Bitfusion acquisition has closed. We would like to welcome Bitfusion and its staff to VMware. Increasingly businesses are applying artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to differentiate and advance their processes and offerings. Today, I am pleased to announce our intent to acquire Bitfusion to help businesses more efficiently use AI technologies on-premises and in hybrid cloud environments. Hardware acceleration for applications--which can take the form of GPUs (graphics processor units), FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays), and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits)--delivers efficiency and flexibility into the AI space including subsets such as machine learning.
NVIDIA and VMware today announced their intent to deliver accelerated GPU services for VMware Cloud on AWS to power modern enterprise applications, including AI, machine learning and data analytics workflows. These services will enable customers to seamlessly migrate VMware vSphere-based applications and containers to the cloud, unchanged, where they can be modernized to take advantage of high-performance computing, machine learning, data analytics and video processing applications. Increasingly businesses are applying artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to differentiate and advance their processes and offerings. Enterprises are rapidly adopting AI(1) and implementing new AI strategies that require powerful computers to create predictive models from petabytes of corporate data. Across industries, enterprises are implementing machine learning applications such as image and voice recognition, advanced financial modeling and natural language processing using neural networks that rely on NVIDIA GPUs for faster training and real-time inference.
VMware has taken another step to integrate its virtual kingdom with Amazon Web Services' world with an on-premise service that will let customers automate database provisioning and management. The package, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) on VMware is available now for customers running VMware vSphere 6.5 or later and supports Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and MySQL. Other DBs will be supported in the future, the companies said. The RDS lets customers run native RDS Database instances on a vSphere platform and manage those instances from the AWS Management Console in the cloud. It automates database provisioning, operating-system and database patching, backups, point-in-time restore and compute scaling, as well as database-instance health management, VMware said.
Nvidia and VMware today announced the launch of an accelerated GPU service on VMware Cloud on AWS, forming an advanced hybrid cloud infrastructure for machine learning workloads. The new service will allow organisations to migrate VMware vSphere-based applications and containers to VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware's cloud service that runs on bare metal infrastructure in AWS data centres, where they can take advantage of high-performance computing, machine learning, data analytics and video processing applications, backed up by Nvidia accelerators. Specifically, VMware Cloud on AWS customers will be able to rent Amazon EC2 bare metal instances, an AWS service that provides resizable compute capacity, that are accelerated by Nvidia T4 100 GPUs. The lynchpin of the hybrid platform is Nvidia's vComputeServer, virtual vGPU technology that enables GPU-accelerated deployment of workloads in virtual environments. The technology is not technically new but Nvidia has expanded support to VMware virtual environments including vSphere, vCenter and VMware cloud.