Is it Time for Virtual GPUs?

VMware’s Bitfusion and Dell

We start with team introductions, as usual, but drop a bombshell on listeners:  we’re going to be missing Jessi for the next couple of months as she goes off to Marine Officers Candidate School – or as she calls it “screamy summer camp.” It’s sort of like an all-inclusive Sandals Resort. You get your room, meals, drinks, plus many interesting activities and outings – plus thousands and thousands of push-ups. And to top it off, you’re nearly a Marine Corps officer when you’re done! We’re very proud of our Jessi and know she’s going to do great. In unrelated news, Henry reports in from Las Cruces, straight from his echoey bunker. He’d doing great in the new house.

AI Anywhere, Anyone?

Our main story this week concerns Dell’s integration of VMware and Bitfusion to provide “AI anywhere” type of infrastructure where any set of systems can get access to typically underutilized GPUs sitting anywhere on the network. This could mark the end of “GPU silos” in both enterprise and HPC data centers and lead to much better utilization of expensive GPU assets. The guys bat around the pros and cons of virtualization. Henry raises the point that not all applications will work right out of the box with this type of virtualization (or any virtualization, for that matter). The real key according to Henry is how much computation you need vs. how much data you need to move. So to justify the movement of data, the computational density of the job needs to be high. We kick these concepts back and forth and it’s a good and meaty discussion. Dan and Henry even violently agree a couple of times as we go through it. Amazing.

Reasons Why No One Should Ever be Online. Ever.

 Russian agents have been attacking a critical part of the Exim Email Transfer Agent – which is very bad. This could allow a ‘man in the middle’ style exploit of emails passing through these systems. Or highly targeted attacks on individual organizations. This is why I’m starting to convert back to fax.

Catch of the Week

Jessi:  Jessi’s catch of the week is, gasp, another podcast – and not ours! She heartily recommends that our listeners also listen to the Modern Figures podcast. Their motto:  A podcast elevating the voices of black women in computing. Radio Free HPC approved and certified, so you have our permission to listen.

Henry:  Several European academic supercomputers have been hijacked in order to run crypto mining. It is unknown how much crypto they mined or the value of it. The attackers were particularly sophisticated when it came to covering their tracks, making the systems look like there wasn’t anything running when they were, in fact, furiously running crypto routines. Crafty stuff.

Shahin:  Gives a shout out for Hot Chips, a virtual event this year that will be held later this August.  All of you who always wanted to attend and couldn’t, should take advantage of this. Either way, we’ll probably do a “post-show show” to bring you the highlights of the event that’s putting Silicon back into Silicon Valley.

Dan:  The US of A is back in space! Yay! 

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