IBM SoftLayer Cloud Adds Supercomputing Power with NVIDIA Tesla K80 Accelerators

Joins small club of cloud providers that offer GPU capacity as part of their service offerings

Nicole Henderson, Contributor

July 10, 2015

2 Min Read
IBM SoftLayer Cloud Adds Supercomputing Power with NVIDIA Tesla K80 Accelerators
NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPU Accelerator (Photo: NVIDIA)



This article originally appeared at The WHIR

IBM began offering NVIDIA Tesla K80 dual-GPU accelerators on SoftLayer cloud servers this week, bringing supercomputing capabilities to enterprises, startups and research facilities.

According to NVIDIA, GPU-accelerated helps applications run significantly faster because compute-intensive portions of the application are offloaded to the GPU, while the remainder of the code runs on the CPU. SoftLayer said customers using Tesla GPUaccelerators are seeing 10 times higher performance than today’s CPUs.

According to NVIDIA, there are six cloud providers that offer GPUs in the cloud: SoftLayer, RapidSwitch, Penguin Computing, Peer 1 Hosting, Nimbix and Amazon Web Services.

The Tesla K80s will initially be available in SoftLayer’s Dallas, Texas data center but will eventually be rolled out to all of its data centers, according to a report by The Platform.

“While most cloud providers talk about having infrastructure on demand, for add-ons like GPU or even for anything exotic such as needing to fire up more than a few hundred nodes at the same time, you actually have to call first. SoftLayer has some nodes with Tesla K80s installed, and will roll them out worldwide, but it is really wanting to engage with customers to figure out the demand and build this to order,” The Platform reports.

In addition to Tesla K80 GPU accelerator, IBM Cloud offers other NVIDIA GPU offerings, including the NVIDIA Grid K2 and Tesla K10 GPUs.

“The Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform is used by researchers and data scientists around the world to drive innovation and scientific discovery,” Ian Buck, vice president of Accelerated Computing at NVIDIA said in a statement. “With the addition of Tesla K80 GPUs, SoftLayer’s unique cloud offering for HPC will dramatically expand access to supercomputing-class performance, accelerating the pace of important new advances.”

SoftLayer already has dozens of customers using NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPU accelerators to support workloads. New York University recently used the accelerators to support a deep-learning course while MapD uses the accelerators for data and analytics.

“While we offer on-premises appliance solutions, having a cloud GPU offering on SoftLayer is a perfect way to deploy to customers who would rather use MapD on a subscription basis or ‘try before they buy,’” MapD founder and CEO Todd Mostak said in a statement. “The fact that IBM Cloud offers SoftLayer bare metal GPU servers dovetails perfectly with our focus on overwhelming performance, as virtualization can increase query latencies.”

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About the Author(s)

Nicole Henderson

Contributor, IT Pro Today

Nicole Henderson covers daily cloud news and features online for ITPro Today. Prior to ITPro Today, she was editor at Talkin' Cloud (now Channel Futures) and the WHIR. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto.

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