Data Center / Cloud

Powering NVIDIA-Certified Enterprise Systems with Arm CPUs

Organizations are rapidly becoming more advanced in the use of AI, and many are looking to leverage the latest technologies to maximize workload performance and efficiency. One of the most prevalent trends today is the use of CPUs based on Arm architecture to build data center servers. 

To ensure that these new systems are enterprise-ready and optimally configured, NVIDIA has approved the first NVIDIA-Certified Systems with Arm CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs. This post presents the benefits of NVIDIA-Certified Arm systems, and what customers should expect to see in the near future.

Using Arm architecture for HPC

Arm-based systems are common for edge applications. They are already widely used by large-scale cloud service providers, and are starting to become more popular for data center applications. According to Gartner®, 12% of new servers for high-performance computing (HPC) will be Arm-based by 2025.1 

Systems based on Arm architecture have the ability to run many cores with high energy efficiency, along with high memory bandwidth and low latency. In fact, recent results for the MLPerf benchmarks show Arm systems delivering almost the same performance for inference as x86-based systems, with one test showing the Arm-based server outperforming a similar x86 system.

The certification by NVIDIA of Arm-based systems is the culmination of a process that started in 2019, when NVIDIA ported the CUDA-X libraries to Arm. This paved the way for NVIDIA partners to start building energy-efficient, AI-enabled systems. NVIDIA also partnered with GIGABYTE in 2021 to develop and offer the Arm HPC Developer Kit

Now, NVIDIA Certification will help businesses choose the best enterprise-grade systems.

NVIDIA-Certified Arm systems

NVIDIA-Certified Systems offer NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA high-speed, secure network adapters from leading NVIDIA partners in configurations validated for optimum performance, manageability, and scale. Announced at the beginning of 2021, the program gives customers and partners confidence to choose enterprise-grade hardware solutions to power their accelerated computing workloads—from the desktop to the data center and edge.

More than 200 certified systems are now available—covering data center, desktop, and edge—from over 30 partners. NVIDIA-Certified Systems have excellent performance on a range of modern accelerated computing workloads, including AI and data science, 3D computing and visualization, and HPC. 

The certification also validates key enterprise capabilities, including management, security, and scalability. This ensures that certified systems can take advantage of powerful software including: 

GIGABYTE: The first Arm-ready certified system

The first NVIDIA-Certified Arm system is the GIGABYTE G242-P33, which features the Neoverse-based Ampere Altra processor and up to four NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs. GIGABYTE has been part of the NVIDIA-Certified Systems program since its inception, and now offers more than 15 NVIDIA-Certified Systems. 

“Qualifying Arm-based servers for NVIDIA accelerators continues to be one of GIGABYTE’s top priorities, and with NVIDIA-Certified Systems we will take the performance validation a step further to not only support the new NVIDIA H100 but also to include NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPU and InfiniBand products,” said Etay Lee, CEO of GIGABYTE. 

“Customers want an Arm-ready solution that comes with a wealth of NVIDIA resources and support to achieve faster insights,” Lee added. “That is what our Ampere Altra servers have delivered, starting with our server for the NVIDIA Arm HPC Developer Kit.”

As the Arm architecture becomes more adopted in data centers, it will be important to choose systems that are optimally configured. This is particularly the case for Arm systems equipped with GPUs and high-speed networking, since this architecture is new to many enterprises. 

Customers might not have expertise to design such a system properly, but NVIDIA-Certified Systems provide them with an easy way to make the best choices. To find Arm-based certified systems, see the Qualified Systems Catalog. The catalog will grow as more systems are certified.

1Gartner, “Forecast Analysis: Arm-Based Servers, Worldwide,” G00755363, November 2021.

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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