VMware and Nvidia Partner on Hybrid Cloud Architecture

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VMware and Nvidia announced today what the companies called “a broad partnership” in support of an enterprise platform for AI and a new architecture for data center, cloud and edge using Nvidia DPUs (data processing units).

The collaboration will enable AI software on the Nvidia NGC hub to be integrated into VMware vSphere, VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Tanzu, according to the companies. NGC software is supported on Nvidia A100 GPU-powered servers expected from system manufacturers, including Dell Technologies, HPE and Lenovo, according to VMware.

“This will help accelerate AI adoption, enabling 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 center, cloud and edge.”

Additionally, as part of VMware’s announcement today of Project Monterey, which is focused on evolving the company’s architecture for the data center, cloud and edge, VMware and Nvidia will partner to deliver an architecture for the hybrid cloud based on SmartNIC technology, including Nvidia’s programmable BlueField-2 DPU. The offering includes an extra layer of security, according to the companies, by offloading data center services from the CPU to SmartNICs and programmable DPUs.

“We are partnering with Nvidia to bring AI to every enterprise; a true democratization of one of the most powerful technologies,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware. “We’re also collaborating to define a new architecture for the hybrid cloud — one purpose built to support the needs and demands of the next generation of applications. Together, we’re positioned to help every enterprise accelerate their use of breakthrough applications to drive their business.”

“AI and machine learning have quickly expanded from research labs to data centers in companies across virtually every industry and geography,” said Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang. “Nvidia and VMware will help customers transform every enterprise data center into an accelerated AI supercomputer. Nvidia DPUs will give companies the ability to build secure, programmable, software-defined data centers that can accelerate all enterprise applications at exceptional value.”

The first aspect of Nvidia and VMware’s collaboration – the integration of Nvidia NGC with VMware vSphere and VMware Cloud Foundation – is designed to simplify deployment and management of AI workloads using containers and virtual machines on the same platform as their enterprise applications. “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,” VMware said in its announcement.

Among the organizations integrating their VMware and Nvidia ecosystems is the University of California San Francisco Center for Intelligent Imaging. A leader in the development of AI and analysis tools in medical imaging, the center uses the Nvidia Clara healthcare application framework for AI-powered imaging, and VMware Cloud Foundation to support a broad range of mission critical workloads.

“AI can be used to detect disease in large patient imaging studies more rapidly than the human eye, and, with further research, this technology will enable doctors to provide the fastest, most accurate and safest diagnoses and treatments for patients,” said Christopher Hess, chair of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at UCSF. “Bringing our Nvidia Clara AI application frameworks and VMware Cloud Foundation together will help us expand our work in AI using a common data center infrastructure for activities such as training and research, and to help support time-sensitive urgent care diagnostics.”