12 October 2017 – UKCloud, the easy to adopt, easy to use and easy to leave assured cloud services company, has today announced the launch of its Cloud GPU computing service based on NVIDIA virtual GPU solutions with NVIDIA Tesla P100 and M60 GPUs (graphics processing units). The service will support computational and visualisation intensive workloads for UKCloud’s UK public sector and healthcare customers. UKCloud is not only the first Cloud Service Provider based in the UK or Europe to offer Cloud GPU computing services with NVIDIA GPUs, but is also the only provider specialising in public sector and healthcare and the specific needs of these customers.
“Building on the foundation of UKCloud’s secure, assured, UK-Sovereign platform, we are now able to offer a range of cloud-based compute, storage and GPU services to meet our customers’ complex workload requirements,” said Simon Hansford, CEO of UKCloud. “The public sector is driving more complex computational and visualisation intensive workloads than ever before, not only for CAD development packages, but also for tasks like the simulation of infrastructure changes in transport, for genetic sequencing in health or for battlefield simulation in defence. In response to this demand, we have a greater focus on emerging technologies such as deep learning, machine learning and artificial intelligence.”
Many of today’s modern applications, especially in fields such as medical imaging or graphical analytics, need an NVIDIA GPU to power them, whether they are running on a laptop or desktop, on a departmental server or on the cloud. Just as organisations are finding that their critical business applications can be run more securely and efficiently in the cloud, so too they are realising that it makes sense to host graphical and visualisation intensive workloads there as well.
Adding cloud GPU computing services utilising NVIDIA technology to support more complex computational and visualisation intensive workloads was a customer requirement captured via UKCloud Ideas, a service that was introduced as part of UKCloud’s maniacal focus on customer service excellence. UKCloud Ideas proactively polls its clients for ideas and wishes for service improvements, enabling customers to vote on ideas and drive product improvements across the service. This has facilitated more than 40 feature improvements in the last year across UKCloud’s service catalogue from changes to the customer portal to product specific improvements.
One comment came from a UKCloud partner with many clients needing GPU capability: “One of our applications includes 3D functionality which requires a graphics card. We have several customers who might be interested in a hosted solution but would require access to this functionality. To this end it would be helpful if UKCloud were able to offer us a solution which included a GPU.”
Listening to its clients in this way and acting on their suggestions to improve its service by implementing NVIDIA GPU technology was one of a number of initiatives that enabled UKCloud to win a 2017 UK Customer Experience Award for putting customers at the heart of everything, through the use of technology.
“The availability of NVIDIA GPUs in the cloud means businesses can capitalise on virtualisation without compromising the functionality and responsiveness of their critical applications,” added Bart Schneider, Senior Director of CSP EMEA at NVIDIA. “Even customers running graphically complex or compute-intensive applications can benefit from rapid turn-up, service elasticity and cloud-economics.”
UKCloud’s GPU-accelerated cloud service, branded as Cloud GPU, is available in two versions: Compute and Visualisation. Both are based on NVIDIA GPUs and initially available only on UKCloud’s Enterprise Compute Cloud platform. They will be made available on UKCloud’s other platforms at a later date. The two versions are as follows:
- UKCloud’s Cloud GPU Compute: This is a GPU accelerated computing service, based on the NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU and supports applications developed using NVIDIA CUDA, that enables parallel co-processing on both the CPU and GPU. Typical uses cases include looking for cures, trends and research findings in medicine along with genomic sequencing, data mining and analytics in social engineering, and trend identification and predictive analytics in business or financial modelling and other applications of AI and deep learning. Available from today with all VM sizes, Cloud GPU Compute will represent an additional cost of £1.90 per GPU per hour on top of the cost of the VM.
- UKCloud’s Cloud GPU Visualisation: This is a virtual GPU (vGPU) service, utilising the NVIDIA Tesla M60, that extends the power of NVIDIA GPU technology to virtual desktops and apps. In addition to powering remote workspaces, typical use cases include military training simulations and satellite image analysis in defence, medical imaging and complex image rendering. Available from the end of October with all VM sizes, Cloud GPU Visualisation will represent an additional cost of £0.38 per vGPU per hour on top of the cost of the VM.