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Nvidia’s Manuvir Das: We ‘Mimicked’ VMware For Enterprise AI

The chipmaker’s new Nvidia AI Enterprise software was not only developed in tandem with VMware, but it was also modeled after the virtualization giant’s software to help spur enterprise adoption of AI, Nvidia’s Manuvir Das tells CRN in an interview. ‘We almost want this to be as though Nvidia AI Enterprise is a new software stack created by some team at VMware,’ he says.

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Making AI Accessible For Every Enterprise

Nvidia is getting very serious about pushing AI and other GPU-accelerated applications into enterprise customers, and it wants to get things right, which is why the chipmaker is emulating VMware, the dominant virtualization vendor for the data center market.

This mimicry is seen in the chipmaker’s new Nvidia AI Enterprise, a suite of software applications, tools and frameworks for running applications accelerated by Nvidia’s GPUs on top of VMware’s vSphere platform in existing data center infrastructure. The idea is to make it just as easy to spin up virtual machines and containers of GPU compute as it is for general-purpose CPU compute.

[Related: How Nvidia Is Helping Partners ‘Democratize AI’ For Enterprises ]

In an interview with CRN, Manuvir Das, Nvidia’s head of enterprise computing, said Nvidia AI Enterprise was not only developed in tandem with VMware, but it was also modeled after the virtualization giant’s software and strategy, from the way vSphere works to the licensing model, to incentives for partners.

“We almost want this to be as though Nvidia AI Enterprise is a new software stack created by some team at VMware,” said Das, a former Dell EMC executive who also played a crucial role in the development of Microsoft Azure. “So everything — the sales motion, VMware‘s team, all their channel partners, the incentives they provide to their channel in terms of margin and discounting and [market development funds] and all those things — we’ve just mimicked.”

This means Nvidia AI Enterprise could be just as easy for VMware partners to sell as Nvidia partners, which will open up new services opportunities for both groups, of which there is already some overlap. The goal was to meet the data center market on its own terms instead of creating some new structure for GPU-accelerated applications, according to Das.

“In fact, the way we did the pricing for Nvidia AI Enterprise, it matches the pricing of vSphere, and even the model is priced per [CPU] socket just like vSphere,” he said. “It‘s not priced by GPU.”

What follows is a transcript of Das’ remarks from his interview with CRN, where he talked about the importance of the Nvidia AI Enterprise to the chipmaker’s enterprise strategy and how the Nvidia-Certified Systems program and Nvidia EGX platform will serve as vessels for those efforts. The transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

 
 
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