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IBM and Nvidia: We'll build your data center like a SUPERCOMPUTER

Big Blue to standardize on Tesla GPUs

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SC13 IBM and Nvidia have announced a partnership to "bring supercomputer performance to the corporate data center," in the words of Nvidia's accelerated computing honcho Ian Buck, with systems based on Nvidia Tesla GPUs and IBM Power8 CPUs, and to accelerate IBM enterprise software using Nvidia GPUs.

"This is the biggest technology endorsement that we've received,” said Sumit Gupta, the general manager of Nvidia's HPC-focused Tesla biz, to The Register. "It is definitely going to give us a lot of wind behind our backs to add to all the other momentum we have."

IBM is already a leader in the HPC space with their BlueGene/Q systems, and Gupta said he believes that leadership will be enhanced when the next generation of IBM systems, due next year, arrives, accelerated by Nvidia's Tesla GPUs.

In addition to the hardware partnership, IBM will GPU-accelerate a broad range of their 'big data' enterprise database applications – specifically business intelligence, predictive analytics, and risk analytics.

"And they're standardizing on our GPUs for acceleration," Gupta said.

For Nvidia, the advantages are clear. The Santa Clara, California-based GPU designer can take advantage of Big Blue's global sales and services teams. "All of that becomes our evangelists now," said Gupta.

And on a less-tangible but equally important basis, Gupta says that the mere fact of the IBM endorsement will give Nvidia's a huge boost. "The most influential and important supercomputer company in the world, the third largest software company in the world – and obviously everyone knows IBM – is committing to Nvidia's GPU accelerators," he said.

"It's a deep partnership. It's a strategic, executive-level partnership."

IBM, by the way, has a market capitalization of around $200bn; Nvidia, with a market cap of about $10bn, is one-twentieth its size.

Little Green, meet Big Blue. Be careful not to get swallowed whole, li'l guy – unless that was the plan all along. ®

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