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VMworld 2020: VMware and NVIDIA to Bring AI to Every Enterprise
September 30, 2020 News


During his keynote address at VMworld 2020, Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, pointed out that only about 20% of enterprises are using AI. One of the problems for this is due to the pain points faced when it came to adapting and implementing AI.

In order to bring AI to every enterprise, VMware and NVIDIA announced a broad partnership to deliver both an end-to-end enterprise platform for AI and a new architecture for data centre, cloud and edge that uses NVIDIA data processing units to support existing and next-generation applications.

According to Sanjay Poonen, COO of VMware, the partnership with NVIDIA allows VMware to expand its reach to GPUs – moving beyond CPUs and X86s. NVIDIA has become a serious player in chip and hardware. He feels it is important for VMware to extend to them, especially since it is relevant to the VMware stack.

Through this collaboration, the rich set of AI software available on the NVIDIA NGC hub will be integrated into VMware vSphere, VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Tanzu. 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 centre, cloud and edge.

The combination of VMware Cloud Foundation and NVIDIA BlueField-2 will offer the next-generation infrastructure that is purpose-built for the demands of AI, machine learning, high-throughput and data-centric apps. It will also deliver expanded application acceleration beyond AI to all enterprise workloads and provide an extra layer of security through a new architecture that offloads critical data centre services from the CPU to SmartNICs and programmable DPUs.


Enterprise-Ready Platform for AI

The first aspect of NVIDIA and VMware’s collaboration – the integration of NVIDIA NGC with VMware vSphere and VMware Cloud Foundation – will simplify the deployment and management of AI for the most demanding workloads. Industries ranging from healthcare to financial services, retail and manufacturing will be able to easily develop and deploy AI workloads using containers and virtual machines on the same platform as their enterprise applications, at scale across the hybrid cloud.

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. Data scientists, developers and researchers will gain immediate access to the wide array of NGC’s cloud-native, GPU-optimised containers, models and industry-specific software development kits. NGC Software is supported on a select set of pre-tested NVIDIA A100-powered servers expected from leading system manufacturers, including Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Lenovo.


Delivering New Hybrid Cloud Architecture for Next-Gen Apps

The second element of VMware and NVIDIA’s collaboration recognises that, as next-generation workloads grow in complexity, SmartNICs and DPUs are critical technologies for securely accelerating a wide range of enterprise applications where the data resides.

VMware and NVIDIA are delivering a new architecture for the hybrid cloud that will help organisations evolve their infrastructure and operations and introduce a new security model that offloads hypervisor, networking, security and storage tasks from the CPU to the DPU. This new architecture will also extend the VMware Cloud Foundation operating model to bare metal servers.

The architecture is the cornerstone of VMware’s Project Monterey, a technical preview announced at VMworld 2020 today. Leveraging the NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPU with VMware Cloud Foundation, customers will be able to speed up a wide range of next-gen and general-purpose applications, deliver programmable intelligence and operate a distributed, zero-trust security model across data centres, the edge and telco clouds.