IBM unleashes NVIDIA GPU on SoftLayer cloud for faster processing power


While the rest of the tech media marvelled at the world’s first seven nanometre chips unveiled by IBM earlier this week, the Armonk giant has quietly pushed out a couple of impressive cloud announcements alongside it.

IBM – who, let us not forget, wants to be seen as a cloud-first organisation – has announced the availability of NVIDIA Tesla K80 dual-GPU accelerators on bare metal cloud servers. In other words, it provides supercomputing powers to the SoftLayer cloud without the need for companies to expand their existing infrastructure.

GPU, in a cloud environment, works alongside a server’s CPU to accelerate application and processing performance. Combining the two instead of using a CPU alone, utilising thousands of small efficient cores, results in faster processing of information.

IBM claims to be the only cloud IaaS provider to offer GPU-accelerated computing on bare metal servers, while now adding NVIDIA Tesla capability. The company wheeled out a series of customers, big and small, who are already seeing the benefits of this accelerated computing shift; New York University used NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPU to support a deep-learning course, while startup MapD is using the accelerators for data and analytics.

Marc Jones, SoftLayer CTO, said: “Our global network of data centres, connectivity features, bare metal servers and GPU offerings meet the rigorous requirements of most supercomputing workloads. By introducing the K80 accelerator on IBM Cloud, we’re giving our customers an even more powerful tool to run demanding applications.”

Elsewhere, IBM also announced a $180 million deal with Columbia Pipeline Group (CPG) offering a range of IT services for five years, moving CPG’s IT infrastructure and business applications, including human resources, billing and finance and IT management, to IBM’s data centre after the transfer of CPG’s natural gas pipeline, midstream and storage business from NiSource on July 1.

The overall setup includes IBM’s data centre and its cloud infrastructure, alongside network services, intelligent security platforms through IBM’s QRadar Security Intelligence Platform, as well as mobile device management and operational analytics.

Bob Skaggs, CPG chief executive, notes the long-standing relationship IBM has with NiSource. “As an independent business, we are counting on IBM to help provide the continued strong enterprise technology support CPG needs,” he said.

You can find out more about IBM’s GPU offerings on SoftLayer here.