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Dell Servers with NVIDIA DPUs and VMware vSphere 8 Announced

by Harold Fritts

NVIDIA used VMware Explore to announce a new data center solution with Dell Technologies bringing AI training, AI inference, data processing, data science, and zero-trust security capabilities to enterprises globally. The solution combines Dell PowerEdge servers with NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, NVIDIA GPUs, and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software and is optimized for the newly announced VMware vSphere 8 enterprise workload platform.

NVIDIA used VMware Explore to announce a new data center solution with Dell Technologies bringing AI training, AI inference, data processing, data science, and zero-trust security capabilities to enterprises globally. The solution combines Dell PowerEdge servers with NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, NVIDIA GPUs, and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software and is optimized for the newly announced VMware vSphere 8 enterprise workload platform.

NVIDIA has already added the technology to the NVIDIA LaunchPad hands-on lab to allow enterprises to experience the combination of these technologies and get access to hardware and software for end-to-end workflows in AI, data science, and more.

Dell EMC PowerEdge R750 label

Manuvir Das, head of Enterprise Computing at NVIDIA, said:

“AI and zero-trust security are powerful forces driving the world’s enterprises to rearchitect their data centers as computing and networking workloads are skyrocketing. VMware vSphere 8 offloads, accelerates, isolates, and better secures data center infrastructure services onto the NVIDIA BlueField DPU and frees the computing resources to process the intelligence factories of the world’s enterprises.”

Dell’s Travis Vigil, senior vice president, portfolio and product management, Infrastructure Solutions Group, added:

“Dell and NVIDIA’s long tradition of collaborating on next-generation GPU-accelerated data centers has already enabled massive breakthroughs. Now, through a solution that brings NVIDIA’s powerful BlueField DPUs along with NVIDIA GPUs to our PowerEdge server platform, our continued collaboration will offer customers performance and security capabilities to help organizations solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

vSphere on BlueField DPUs will unlock hardware innovation helping customers meet the throughput and latency needs of modern distributed workloads. vSphere will enable this by offloading and accelerating network and security infrastructure functions onto DPUs from CPUs.

The BlueField DPUs will be managed through the iDRAC BMC with a special cable, allowing full out-of-band management versus a traditional edge-card installation. This means that the DPU in this deployment won’t usually be a customer-installed device, but one that you select when the server is configured.

Customers running applications that demand high network bandwidth and fast cache access such as in-memory databases can expect to reduce the number of cores required but achieve better performance. Reducing the number of cores will also improve TCO. Offloading to DPUs can also result in a higher transaction rate with lower latency by leveraging freed CPU cores and better cache locality, all while benefitting from vSphere DRS and vMotion.

By running infrastructure services on DPUs and isolating them from the workload domain, vSphere on DPUs will boost infrastructure security. Additionally, now in beta, NSX Distributed Firewall will offload to DPUs to scale customers’ security operations by securing East-West traffic at line rate without the need for software agents.

vSphere 8 will dramatically accelerate AI and machine learning applications by doubling the virtual GPU devices per VM, delivering a 4x increase of passthrough devices, and vendor device groups that allow binding of high-speed networking devices and the GPU.

Krish Prasad, VMware’s senior vice president and general manager of the Cloud Platform Business Unit, explained:

“Dell PowerEdge servers built on the latest VMware vSphere 8 innovations, and accelerated by NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, provide next-generation performance and efficiency for mission-critical enterprise cloud applications while better protecting enterprises from lateral threats across multi-cloud environments.”

NVIDIA AI Enterprise Support for VMware vSphere 8 Coming Soon

As NVIDIA-Certified Systems, the Dell PowerEdge servers can run the NVIDIA and VMware AI-Ready Enterprise Platform, featuring the NVIDIA AI Enterprise software suite and VMware vSphere.

NVIDIA AI Enterprise is a comprehensive, cloud-native suite of AI and data analytics software optimized to enable organizations to use AI on familiar infrastructure. It is certified for any deployment, from the enterprise data center to the public cloud, and includes global enterprise support to keep AI projects on track.

An upcoming release of NVIDIA AI Enterprise will support new capabilities introduced in VMware vSphere 8, including the ability to support larger multi-GPU workloads, optimize resources and efficiently manage the GPU lifecycle.

Availability

With NVIDIA LaunchPad, enterprises can get access to a free hands-on lab of VMware vSphere 8 running on NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPU.

Dell servers with vSphere 8 on NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPU will be available later in the year.

NVIDIA AI Enterprise with VMware vSphere is now available and can be experienced on NVIDIA LaunchPad hands-lab.

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