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GPU Supercomputing Arrives on AWS’s Cloud

This week marks a meaningful stage in the ongoing GPU coming-out party in the realm of high-performance computing–both in the cloud and beyond.

While there have been steady conversations about the power of GPU computing for certain HPC applications for some time already, the word “GPU” on the lips of thousands more this week following the official announcement of China’s number one-ranked GPU-powered supercomputer the Tianhe-1a, which runs on 14,336 Xeon X5670 processors and 7,168 NVIDIA Tesla M2050 GPGPUs.

Another major announcement, this time from cloud infrastructure giant Amazon Web Services, brings the mighty GPU to the forefront of conversations again with its unveiling of Cluster GPU Instances, a spin-off of the still fresh Cluster Compute Instances.

Those whose work resides in visualization, rendering, oil and gas, financial and climate modeling and a wide range of other fields are being granted yet another alternative to investing in their own GPU clusters with this addition to Amazon’s short list of HPC-oriented offering. While there are other providers with GPU clusters for rent, including Penguin Computing, Peer1 Hosting and a handful of others who do have some of the support framework (and oftentimes performance benchmarking comparisons) in place, the concept of GPU supercomputing on an affordable public cloud resource is big news in the HPC “cloudosphere” indeed.


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