AWS beats Google and Microsoft to launching instances with Nvidia Volta GPUs

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Amazon Web Services is the first cloud to launch new compute instances that allow developers to build applications that tap into Nvidia’s new generation of Volta GPUs, which are designed to provide high-performance acceleration for applications like AI computation.

Companies all over are turning to machine learning to help propel their businesses, but building new models often requires a great deal of computation. The Volta is supposed to be a good deal faster at that than past generations of Nvidia’s silicon, and making it available through Amazon’s cloud means that companies will be able to get started using them right away.

Customers will be able to run instances with up to 8 V100 GPUs, which will be made available initially from AWS’s Northern Virginia, Oregon, Ireland, and Tokyo datacenters.

Nvidia launched a new GPU Cloud offering alongside AWS, which is designed to provide companies with the most optimized environment for running deep learning applications on top of the company’s hardware in a public cloud. Developers will be able to sign up for a free GPU Cloud account and then connect their credentials with an Amazon Machine Image that Nvidia created for machine learning.

That AMI will let developers deploy containers on AWS that are optimized for using different machine learning frameworks with CUDA, the library that Nvidia created for doing machine learning calculations with its hardware. The containers created in that way are the same ones that run on Nvidia’s machine learning hardware for private data centers, meaning that it’s possible for developers to test applications in AWS and deploy them on-premises, or vice versa.

The GPU Cloud software is compatible both with Nvidia’s new Volta GPUs as well as the older Pascal series hardware that is already deployed on AWS and other clouds.

In the future, Nvidia plans to bring its GPU Cloud software to other providers, though the company doesn’t have a timeline for doing so. Now that Amazon has launched Volta hardware on its cloud, it’s likely that others will follow suit in the near future.

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