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Powering a new era of enterprise computing

Contributed by Charlie Foo, Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific Enterprise Business, NVIDIA.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is redefining enterprise computing and heralding a new era in the data center. It has become mission critical for every enterprise.

Many enterprises are already deploying NVIDIA AI in the data center, highlighting the importance of AI in today’s multi-tenant data centers, hybrid-cloud environments, and accelerated infrastructure deployments.

Powering the AI platform are NVIDIA GPUs, sophisticated chips that accelerate many aspects of AI including both training and inference. And helping securely connect GPU-powered servers to each other and to store is the Arm-based NVIDIA BlueField data processing unit (DPU), which ignites unprecedented innovation for modern data centers. The DPU is a new type of processor that offloads, accelerates and isolates a wide range of advanced networking, security services and storage. With the DPU, enterprises get a secure and accelerated infrastructure for any workload–including AI, in any environment, from cloud to data center to edge.

The DPU-accelerated computing platform reduces the processing burden on CPUs, improving application performance and server efficiency. DPUs can also accelerate encryption, protect application integrity, and provide security isolation, helping create a zero-trust security model.

Partnership with VMware

In 2020, NVIDIA and VMware started partnering on an end-to-end enterprise platform for AI as well as a new architecture for data center, cloud and edge that uses NVIDIA GPUs and VMware virtualization to support current and next-generation applications.

The result is the NVIDIA and VMware AI-Ready Enterprise Platform accelerated by NVIDIA GPUs and optimized and delivered on VMware vSphere 8. This represents a huge moment for enterprise computing and the modern data center. The platform can drive new AI-enabled applications such as recommender systems, speech and vision analytics, and natural language processing.

Last August, VMware and NVIDIA launched an additional collaboration around NVIDIA DPUs.

Watch NVIDIA’s Anissh Pandey participate in the ‘Enabling the intelligent 5G Edge’ panel at FutureNet Asia 2022

VMware vSphere on DPU

VMware vSphere 8 Plus comes with ESXi and NSX support on the NVIDIA BlueField DPU. ESXi is a hypervisor installed on the physical machine while NSX is a software-defined approach to network virtualization and security.

The latest release of the VMware solution lets users improve infrastructure performance by offloading and accelerating ESXi and NSX functions with the DPU, providing more host resources to business applications.

Certain latency- and bandwidth-sensitive workloads that previously used virtualization “pass-thru” can now run fully virtualized with similar performance in this new architecture, without losing key vSphere capabilities around VM mobility, such as vMotion and DRS.

Enterprises can depend on vSphere to manage the DPU lifecycle to reduce operational overhead.  They can also boost infrastructure security by isolating infrastructure domains on a DPU.

vSphere 8 can fit seamlessly into today’s data center architecture while enabling the future to come about.

Vinod Joseph, Technical Leader, APJ & China, VMware adds “The Network Edge is the next major evolution after the advent of the Cloud, capable of delivering more revenue services and innovative use-cases for consumers, businesses, and society in general. VMware is at the forefront of building technology partnerships with NVDIA, to drive the adoption of DPUs, and GPUs at the network edge – in order to build, & deliver newer applications and services.”

Zero-trust security

VMware vSphere 8 with BlueField DPUs is vital to bringing hybrid clouds, multi-tenant clouds and zero-trust security to enterprises.

As enterprises continue to generate and process increasing amounts of data, they need better performance and security.

Here’s where DPUs in the new infrastructure architecture accelerate performance, free up CPU cycles and provide better security.

Running the VMware vSphere 8 NSX distributed firewall on BlueField DPUs (available as tech preview in NSX 4.0) makes every node more secure at virtually every touch point. It is like having a firewall in every single computer.

Experience the solution on NVIDIA LaunchPad

NVIDIA recently announced a new data center solution with Dell Technologies that combines Dell PowerEdge servers with BlueField DPUs, NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software, and it is optimized for VMware vSphere 8. The potent combination brings state-of-the-art AI training, AI inference, data processing, data science and zero-trust security capabilities to enterprises.

It is something that enterprises across industries have been clamoring for. In the telecommunications sector, Japan’s NTT Communications is deploying multi-tenant services based on the platform.

Enterprises can quickly experience the power and benefits of these technologies on NVIDIA LaunchPad, a free, hands-on lab program that provides access to hardware and software for end-to-end workflows in AI, data science and more. Customers can test vSphere 8 running on Dell servers with vSphere offloads to the BlueField DPU, for example.

There’s no need to procure and stand up infrastructure to offload, accelerate and isolate vSphere on a DPU before experiencing the lab.

Those interested in trying out the VMware vSphere 8 engine with BlueField DPUs on NVIDIA LaunchPad can apply to try out the solution.

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