Red Hat, NVIDIA Fuel Emerging Workloads

October 24, 2018

Red Hat is collaborating with NVIDIA to bring a new wave of open innovation around emerging workloads like artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning and data science to enterprise datacenters around the world. Driving this effort is the certification of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, on NVIDIA® DGX-1™ systems. This certification provides a foundation for the rest of the Red Hat portfolio, including Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, to be deployed and jointly supported on NVIDIA’s AI supercomputers.

AI is often looked at as an enabling technology for enterprises seeking to gain a competitive edge and market differentiation through digital transformation. Research firm Ovum highlights the growing interest in AI, stating that, “The proportion of enterprises with active interest in AI initiatives (i.e., planning, trialing, or deploying) shifted from 62% last year to 77% this year [2018].”

Chris Wright, CTO, Red Hat said, “The growing interest in performance-sensitive workloads, like AI and machine learning, requires a different approach to enterprise computing, a need that NVIDIA is already helping to address at the architectural level with NVIDIA DGX-1. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, Red Hat is adding enterprise-ready software innovation to NVIDIA’s powerful hardware, helping enterprises to drive emerging workloads while retaining the stability, reliability and familiarity that they have come to expect of their production systems.”

Charlie Boyle, senior director, DGX Systems, NVIDIA added, “NVIDIA DGX systems combined with NVIDIA-optimized AI software provide a powerful combination of performance, productivity and value to data science workflows from desk-side to datacenter. With the certification of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on DGX-1, we’re enabling enterprise IT to meet the growing demand of customers who expect enterprise support at all layers of the software stack, without inhibiting effortless AI exploration.”

As NVIDIA DGX-1 systems enter the datacenter to provide powerful AI platforms, IT teams will often want to manage and maintain these systems within their existing operations, which frequently are Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based. The ability to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux on NVIDIA DGX-1 hardware provides not only a familiar control plane and SELinux-secured user environment for IT teams to weave into their existing workflows, but can also serve as a catalyst to drive further innovation with AI and deep learning.

Enterprises across many industries, including those in the public sector, oil and gas, financial services and more, will now be able to more effectively integrate NVIDIA architecture into existing infrastructure environments with Red Hat Enterprise Linux acting as the common “bridge.” In support of greater flexibility across enterprise environments, current Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers will be able to use existing subscriptions on NVIDIA DGX-1 systems, backed by both Red Hat and NVIDIA. Additionally, organizations using Red Hat Enterprise Linux on NVIDIA DGX-1 systems will also have a foundation for the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes offering in Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, extending cloud-native support to emerging workloads.

ISVs can move existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux-certified applications to NVIDIA’s new class of systems with little-to-no changes, gaining easier access to advanced AI and deep learning capabilities to support more intelligent workloads.

In the realm of high-performance computing, Red Hat and NVIDIA deliver technologies and expertise to fuel two of the world’s fastest supercomputers, Summit and Sierra. As part of a broader group of industry leaders, Red Hat helped bring both of these systems online providing a model not only for next-generation high-performance computing (HPC) in performance-sensitive environments but also for the enterprise datacenter of the future.

Bronis Supinski, chief technology officer, Livermore Computing; head of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Advanced Technology systems noted, “Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s enablement of NVIDIA GPUs on our Sierra supercomputer provides commonality across our systems, greatly facilitating our users’ ability to exploit the world's third fastest computer. Since we use Red Hat Enterprise Linux as part of our software stack on our commodity technology systems, that GPU enablement reduces the effort required to move applications to Sierra, a capability that we anticipate will help benefit other GPU-based systems, such as DGX-1.”

Charles Onstott, CTO, SAIC concluded, “Leveraging our Innovation Factory, and our key collaboration with Red Hat and NVIDIA, SAIC has demonstrated agility and collaboration with rapid testing and integration of elements of the stack deployed on GPU to optimize the performance of our analytic engine. Our time to design, deploy and demonstrate was reduced to weeks and will continue to iterate in a true DevOps fashion.”

Beyond Red Hat Enterprise Linux certified and supported on NVIDIA DGX systems, the companies intend to collaborate on broader open source initiatives, including:

NVIDIA GPU Cloud (NGC) containers on Red Hat OpenShift - Red Hat and NVIDIA plan to deliver NGC containers that provide users with GPU-optimized software tools for AI and HPC based on Red Hat technologies, enabling mutual customers to take full advantage of NVIDIA GPUs.

Heterogeneous memory management (HMM) - Red Hat and NVIDIA plan to continue upstream development of the heterogeneous memory management (HMM) feature. This kernel feature allows devices to access and mirror the content of a system’s memory into their own, enabling significant performance improvements for applications using GPUs.

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