Feeds

Letting GPUs run free

No single system silo = big step forward

Application security programs and practises

Blog One of the most interesting things I saw at SC11 was a joint Mellanox and University of Valencia demonstration of rCUDA over Infiniband. With rCUDA, applications can access a GPU (or multiple GPUs) on any other node in the cluster. It makes GPUs a sharable resource and is a big step towards making them as virtualisable (I don’t think that’s a word, but going to go with it anyway) as any other compute resource.

There aren’t a lot of details out there yet, there’s this press release from Mellanox and Valencia and this explanation of the rCUDA project.

This is a big deal. To me, the future of computing will be much more heterogeneous and hybrid than homogeneous and, well, some other word that means ‘common’ and begins with ‘H’. We’re moving into a mindset where systems are designed to handle particular workloads, rather than workloads that are modified to run sort of well on whatever systems are cheapest per pound or flop.

Properly designed workload-optimised systems, when running their target workload, are almost always more efficient (sometimes by orders of magnitude) than general purpose commodity systems. The efficiency delta makes them less expensive per unit of throughput and often more thrifty in terms of energy usage or floor space too. Hybrid systems combining GPUs and CPUs are examples of this type of workload optimisation.

While these hybrid boxes are making great headway in HPC, they’ve yet to make a lot of progress into the typical commercial data center. Not every company has an overwhelming aching need for the performance and efficiency that GPUs can provide, but many of them have at least a few workloads that can readily benefit from some speedy GPU goodness.

But as more organisations start to do heavy analytics or get deeper into CAD, EDA, etc, they’ll find other places where GPUs make sense. But without rCUDA (or something like it), they’ll have to purchase a GPU (or add one as an upgrade) to every system that is running these GPU-friendly workloads. With rCUDA, the GPU-system silo is opened up so that applications on many systems without GPUs can use the slack GPU capacity on other boxes.

Shared GPUs means higher utilisation rates, an even better price/performance ratio, and a stronger business case in favor of jumping into the hybrid system pool. It’s a good development and definitely one to watch. ®

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.