New Ready Solutions offerings leverage GPUs, VMware technologies
Dell Technologies wants to leverage GPUs and tight integration with VMware to help drive enterprise adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in their IT environments.
The Lowdown: The company this week introduced two new Dell EMC Ready Solutions – pre-integrated and pre-validated hardware and software solutions – that use PowerEdge servers and Isilon storage as a foundation, are based on VMware Cloud Foundation, and are priced based on a per-use basis. Dell is the majority owner of VMware.
The Details: The new solutions are designed to get systems into production quickly and accelerate their embrace of AI. The new offerings are:
> Dell EMC Ready Solutions – GPU-as-a-Service: Dell offers two designs that create virtual Nvidia GPU pools to more efficiently use the co-processors, which often are underutilized – sometimes as low as 15% capacity – in individual servers and workstations. One design includes VMware vSphere 7 with Bitfusion – also announced this week – to virtualize GPUs on premises. In addition, a design also uses VMware Cloud Foundation with vSphere 7 support for Kubernetes and containerized applications to run AI workloads anywhere.
> Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Virtualized HPC: These offerings can include VMware Cloud Foundation with vSphere 7 featuring Bitfusion to make it easier and more cost-efficient to use VMware technology for high-performance computing and AI applications in such areas as computational chemistry and bioinformatics. There also is an option for very large HPC implementation to include VMware’s vSphere Scale-Out Edition. The vHPC architectures can provide AI model development 18 times faster and hardware configuration up to 20% faster, according to Dell officials.
The Impact: Enterprises are ramping up their adoption of AI capabilities as a key part of their overall efforts to derive greater intelligence from their data and digitize their operations. Gartner analysts said that between 2018 and 2019, the number of organizations deploying AI grew from 4% to 14%, particularly as ways of getting access to the technology have multiplied. A Gartner survey also found that organizations expect to double the number of AI projects in place over 2020, with more than 40% of them planning to deploy AI solutions by the end of the year. However, the analysts also noted that most organizations are struggling to scale their AI pilot programs to production levels. The new Dell EMC solutions are designed to address those challenges.
Background: Over the past several years, Dell EMC has rolled out a range of Ready Solutions for myriad technologies, from data analytics and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to Oracle and SAP offerings.
The Buzz: “Artificial intelligence is a game changer, but our customers tell us they’re lagging behind in adoption because they’re dealing with skills and infrastructure gaps,” said Tom Burns, senior vice president of Dell’s Integrated Products and Solutions unit. “We’re bringing together the power of Dell Technologies to help customers simplify the process of running AI workloads at scale in their familiar VMware environments.”
“Dell Technologies, with its broad portfolio, has given us a flexible solution for enterprise workloads, VDI, remote workstations, scientific computing, HPC, and more. It’s a one-stop shop for exactly what we need, when we need it,” said Maurizio Davini, CTO of the University of Pisa.
“In order to provide our customers personalized marketing content, we needed a flexible, reliable, and scalable infrastructure to run AI workloads,” Epsilon CIO Robert Walden said. “Working with Dell Technologies helps us design solutions for our customers to deliver individualized experiences at scale and make their interactions personal and purposeful.”
“It’s hard to overstate the importance and the impact that artificial intelligence will have on enterprises’ ability to create new products and services, add new customers, and new ways of operating in the coming decades,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC. “By 2025, we expect to see enterprises using AI-enabled and AI-led apps to gain competitive advantage from shorter reaction times, greater success with product innovation, and improved customer satisfaction.”