- Dell Technologies and Nividia announced the debut of a new data center solution that combines Dell PowerEdge servers, the new VMware vSphere 8 virtualization platform, Nvidia GPUs, and, for the first time, Nvidia BlueField 2 DPUs.
- The all-new VMware vSphere 8 will now support Nvidia BlueField2 DPUs, which will substantially impact networking, storage, and AI workloads.
At the VMware Explore conference, Dell Technologies and Nividia announced the debut of a new data center solution that combines Dell PowerEdge servers, the new VMware vSphere 8 virtualization platform, Nvidia GPUs, and, for the first time, Nvidia BlueField 2 DPUs.
A DPU is a piece of silicon-based hardware designed to handle certain data processing activities. Those tasks can include security and network routing for data traffic in an approach that aims to minimize the strain on CPUs and GPUs for core computing activities connected to a particular workload. VMware and Nvidia have collaborated on Project Monterey for the past two years to allow the vSphere virtualization platform to integrate BlueField DPUs. This project has now been completed.
Kevin Deierling, senior vice president of networking at Nvidia, said, “Modern applications, such as AI, are continuing to generate massive amounts of data, and processing that data is consuming CPU cycles.”
Deierling further said that another issue impacting CPU utilization is the way modern applications are being built. Modern virtualized and container-based applications are now composed of distributed micro-services that demand additional CPU cycles.
Deierling said, “CPU capacity is being consumed both with the security aspects of moving data around and the massive amounts of east-west traffic to allow these distributed applications to communicate and share all of the data. So that’s the problem we’re able to solve with this new BlueField DPU data processing unit integrated with vSphere.”
The move towards increased utilization of DPUs and Infrastructure Processing Units (IPUs) is a growing industry trend.
The Linux Foundation launched a new initiative around DPUs in June last year named the Open Programmable Infrastructure Project (OPI), and members include Nvidia, Intel, Dell, and Marvell. OPI aims to help the development of open industry standards for DPUs and IPUs. Marvell has been developing its own Octeon DPU technology, whereas Intel has been developing its infrastructure processing unit (IPU) strategy.
Deierling highlighted that the Nvidia BlueField is a new class of computer processors that runs the data center’s infrastructure software. The Bluefield combines integrated ARM CPU cores with networking accelerators.
Deierling said, “This combination simplifies infrastructure and management, boosts performance, and strengthens security. And now this is all fully integrated with VMware vSphere running on the BlueField DPU.”
Nvidia BlueField accelerate security and AI for VMware
The all-new VMware vSphere 8 will now support Nvidia BlueField2 DPUs, which will substantially impact networking, storage, and AI workloads.
VMware’s NSX software-defined networking technology is a part of its overall virtualization platform. NSX recently played a significant role in Vmware’s security approach, allowing networking isolation and firewall features.
The advantage of having an NSX-based firewall with the Nvidia BlueField DPU is that it can help organizations support zero-trust initiatives. Zero trust is based on continuous authentication and ubiquitous encryption to safeguard data. Deierling stated, “Having NSX networking security operating on the BlueField DPU gives an additional degree of separation between the application processing realm and the infrastructure processing domain.”
Additionally, Nvidia anticipates integrating its DPU technology with VMware’s vSphere would boost AI workloads. Deierling stated that the DPU optimization is wholly incorporated with Nvidia AI enterprise virtual machines and containers running on VMware vSphere.
Existing applications and developers will receive the benefits of the new BlueField-2 DPUs instantly.
Later this year, the new Dell Technologies servers featuring Nvidia BlueField-2 DPU and VMware vSphere 8 will be available to the general public. LaunchPad is a service provided by Nvidia that allows people to test new technology before it is physically accessible digitally.