Most major cloud vendors have, or are preparing, support for GPU-enabled compute instances. But IBM hopes its next step will keep it ahead of the pack—or at least abreast with it.
IBM plans to make available instances of Nvidia’s current-generation GPU, the Tesla P100, via its Bluemix cloud service. But initially the instances will only be available on bare-metal machines, not via more malleable VM types as offered by some of the competition.
Tesla on metal
The Tesla P100 is regarded as the leader of Nvidia’s GPU pack. It uses the Pascal GPU architecture, which is not only speedier overall than the previous generation of 2012 Kepler-powered processors, but includes new types of GPU instructions to accelerate certain calculations. Software that takes advantage of the Pascal instruction set, like the Torch deep learning framework, runs even faster.