Hewlett Packard Enterprise Wednesday launched a massive artificial intelligence (AI) sales offensive with Proliant and Apollo hardware platforms that undercut AI appliance prices by as much as 30-50 percent.
At the same time, HPE pledged an AI channel charge that will include solution provider behemoths, like CDW, and systems integrators.
The new HPE Platform for Rapid Deep Learning Application Development is comprised of HPE Proliant DL380 and the HPE Apollo 6500 systems, integrated tightly with Bright Computing's software for managing high performance computing clusters and NVIDIA's Tesla V100 GPUs.
"This brings high performance computing power with deep learning to partners and customers at a fraction of the cost it was available previously," said Pankaj Goyal, vice president of the Artificial Intelligence Business for HPE. "These (image classification algorithm) reference designs from our labs are performance tested, best-in-class that are at least 30 to 50 percent cheaper than the nearest appliance. We are lowering the barrier to get started with AI and simplifying the adoption for our customers and channel partners."
Exact pricing was not available on the hardware platforms. "Our core philosophy is customers should have a low entry point on infrastructure costs," said Goyal.
Besides the Image Classification Design, HPE is also making available a Deep Learning Cookbook from its AI team designed to help partners select the best hardware-software stack for other deep learning tasks including multilayer perception (MLP) and video algorithms, said Goyal.
The new offerings strike at the heart of complaints from customers frustrated with the multitude of frameworks, tools and AI offerings that were far too complicated and confusing to put a stake in the ground in the fast moving AI applications market, said Goyal.
"We are giving our customers and channel partners an easier way to get started," he said. "What we are providing is an integrated software development environment with pre-embedded deep learning libraries and tools and auto updates."
The simplified approach is aimed at increasing the AI sales pipeline for partners, said Goyal. "We are training partners and developing joint marketing sales motions for AI targeted to specific workloads," he said. "We will be working jointly with partners to create a sales pipeline."