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Microsoft Azure now supporting NVIDIA GPU Cloud

Article by Diogo Correa
August 31, 2018

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Data scientists, developers and researchers seem to be the new target for Microsoft and NVIDIA as they look to increase productivity for GPU-accelerated software running their AI and high-performance computing tasks. Microsoft is looking to show that it’s Azure platform is capable of a lot more and is a key focus for the business.

In a press release statement by NVIDIA they stated that “Ready-to-run containers from NGC with Azure give developers access to on-demand GPU computing that scales to their need, and eliminates the complexity of software integration and testing.”, which means that this has a direct benefit for those running deep-learning and other high-performance computing (HPC) workloads.

This is achieved through the touting availability of pre-configured containers with GPU-accelerated software assisting data scientists, developers and researchers who require a number of integration and testing steps before running their HPC tasks.

Microsoft Azure is giving access to 35 GPU-accelerated containers for deep learning software, HPC applications, HPC visualisation tools and more, which can run on the following Microsoft Azure instance types with NVIDIA GPUs:

  • NCv3 (1, 2 or 4 NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs)
  • NCv2 (1, 2 or 4 NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs)
  • ND (1, 2 or 4 NVIDIA Tesla P40 GPUs)

How do I use NGC containers with Azure?

 

 

Using the NGC containers with Azure is simple, you just have to go to the Microsoft Azure Marketplace and find the NVIDIA GPU Cloud Image for Deep Learning and HPC (this is a pre-configured Azure virtual machine image with everything needed to run NGC containers). Launch a compatible NVIDIA GPU instance on Azure. Then, pull the containers you want from the NGC registry into your running instance. (You’ll need to sign up for a free NGC account first.) Detailed information is in the Using NGC with Microsoft Azure documentation.

 

 

In addition to using NVIDIA published images on Azure Marketplace to run these NGC containers, Azure Batch AI can also be used to download and run these containers from NGC on Azure NCv2, NCv3 and ND virtual machines. Follow these simple GitHub instructions to start with Batch AI with NGC containers.

With NGC support for Azure, NGC are making it even easier for everyone to start with AI or HPC in the Azure Cloud. If you need assistance contact us.

 

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