AI and the necessity for purpose-built cloud infrastructure | Azure Weblog and Updates



The progress of AI has been astounding with options pushing the envelope by augmenting human understanding, preferences, intent, and even spoken language. AI is enhancing our information and understanding by serving to us present sooner, extra insightful options that gasoline transformation past our creativeness. Nevertheless, with this fast development and transformation, AI’s demand for compute energy has grown by leaps and bounds, outpacing Moore’s Legislation’s means to maintain up. With AI powering a wide selection of essential purposes that embrace pure language processing, robot-powered course of automation, and machine studying and deep studying, AI silicon producers are discovering new, progressive methods to get extra out of every piece of silicon similar to integration of superior, mixed-precision capabilities, to allow AI innovators to do extra with much less. At Microsoft, our mission is to empower each particular person and each group on the planet to realize extra, and with Azure’s purpose-built AI infrastructure we intend to ship on that promise.

Azure high-performance computing offers scalable options

The necessity for purpose-built infrastructure for AI is obvious—one that may not solely scale as much as make the most of a number of accelerators inside a single server but in addition scale out to mix many servers (with multi-accelerators) distributed throughout a high-performance community. Excessive-performance computing (HPC) applied sciences have considerably superior multi-disciplinary science and engineering simulations—together with improvements in {hardware}, software program, and the modernization and acceleration of purposes by exposing parallelism and developments in communications to advance AI infrastructure. Scale-up AI computing infrastructure combines reminiscence from particular person graphics processing models (GPUs) into a big, shared pool to deal with bigger and extra advanced fashions. When mixed with the unimaginable vector-processing capabilities of the GPUs, high-speed reminiscence swimming pools have confirmed to be extraordinarily efficient at processing massive multidimensional arrays of knowledge to boost insights and speed up improvements.

With the added functionality of a high-bandwidth, low-latency interconnect material, scale-out AI-first infrastructure can considerably speed up time to answer through superior parallel communication strategies, interleaving computation and communication throughout an unlimited variety of compute nodes. Azure scale-up-and scale-out AI-first infrastructure combines the attributes of each vertical and horizontal system scaling to handle probably the most demanding AI workloads. Azure’s AI-first infrastructure delivers leadership-class value, compute, and energy-efficient efficiency at this time.

Cloud infrastructure purpose-built for AI

Microsoft Azure, in partnership with NVIDIA, delivers purpose-built AI supercomputers within the cloud to satisfy probably the most demanding real-world workloads at scale whereas assembly value/efficiency and time-to-solution necessities. And with accessible superior machine studying instruments, you’ll be able to speed up incorporating AI into your workloads to drive smarter simulations and speed up clever decision-making.

Microsoft Azure is the one world public cloud service supplier that provides purpose-built AI supercomputers with massively scalable scale-up-and-scale-out IT infrastructure comprised of NVIDIA InfiniBand interconnected NVIDIA Ampere A100 Tensor Core GPUs. Optionally available and accessible Azure Machine Studying instruments facilitate the uptake of Azure’s AI-first infrastructure—from early improvement phases by way of enterprise-grade manufacturing deployments.

Scale-up-and-scale-out infrastructures powered by NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA Quantum InfiniBand networking rank amongst probably the most highly effective supercomputers on the planet. Microsoft Azure positioned within the prime 15 of the Top500 supercomputers worldwide and presently, 5 methods within the prime 50 use Azure infrastructure with NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs. Twelve of the highest twenty ranked supercomputers within the Green500 record use NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs.

Image representing Microsoft Azure placement in Top500 and the Green500 lists.

Supply: High 500 The Checklist: Top500 November 2022, Green500 November 2022.

With a complete answer strategy that mixes the newest GPU architectures, designed for probably the most compute-intensive AI coaching and inference workloads, and optimized software program to leverage the facility of the GPUs, Azure is paving the best way to past exascale AI supercomputing. And this supercomputer-class AI infrastructure is made broadly accessible to researchers and builders in organizations of any dimension world wide in help of Microsoft’s acknowledged mission. Organizations that want to enhance their current on-premises HPC or AI infrastructure can make the most of Azure’s dynamically scalable cloud infrastructure.

The truth is, Microsoft Azure works intently with clients throughout business segments. Their growing want for AI know-how, analysis, and purposes is fulfilled, augmented, and/or accelerated with Azure’s AI-first infrastructure. A few of these collaborations and purposes are defined under:

Retail and AI

AI-first cloud infrastructure and toolchain from Microsoft Azure that includes NVIDIA are having a big affect in retail. With a GPU-accelerated computing platform, clients can churn by way of fashions rapidly and decide the best-performing mannequin. Advantages embrace:

  • Ship 50x efficiency enhancements for classical knowledge analytics and machine studying (ML) processes at scale with AI-first cloud infrastructure.
  • Leveraging RAPIDS with NVIDIA GPUs, retailers can speed up the coaching of their machine studying algorithms as much as 20x. This implies they’ll use bigger knowledge units and course of them sooner with extra accuracy, permitting them to react in real-time to purchasing traits and notice stock value financial savings at scale.
  • Scale back the overall value of possession (TCO) for big knowledge science operations.
  • Improve ROI for forecasting, leading to value financial savings from diminished out-of-stock and poorly positioned stock.

With autonomous checkout, retailers can present clients with frictionless and sooner purchasing experiences whereas growing income and margins. Advantages embrace:

  • Ship higher and sooner buyer checkout expertise and cut back queue wait time.
  • Improve income and margins.
  • Scale back shrinkage—the lack of stock as a consequence of theft similar to shoplifting or ticket switching at self-checkout lanes, which prices retailers $62 billion yearly, in keeping with the Nationwide Retail Federation.

In each instances, these data-driven options require subtle deep studying fashions—fashions which can be rather more subtle than these supplied by machine studying alone. In flip, this degree of sophistication requires AI-first infrastructure and an optimized AI toolchain.

Buyer story (video): Everseen and NVIDIA create a seamless purchasing expertise that advantages the underside line.


In manufacturing, in comparison with routine-based or time-based preventative upkeep, proactive predictive upkeep can get forward of the issue earlier than it occurs and save companies from pricey downtime. Advantages of Azure and NVIDIA cloud infrastructure purpose-built for AI embrace:

  • GPU-accelerated compute allows AI at an industrial scale, benefiting from unprecedented quantities of sensor and operational knowledge to optimize operations, enhance time-to-insight, and cut back prices.
  • Course of extra knowledge sooner with larger accuracy, permitting sooner response time to potential gear failures earlier than they even occur.
  • Obtain a 50 % discount in false positives and a 300 % discount in false negatives.

Conventional laptop imaginative and prescient strategies which can be usually utilized in automated optical inspection (AOI) machines in manufacturing environments require intensive human and capital funding. Advantages of GPU-accelerated infrastructure embrace:

  • Constant efficiency with assured high quality of service, whether or not on-premises or within the cloud.
  • GPU-accelerated compute allows AI at an industrial scale, benefiting from unprecedented quantities of sensor and operational knowledge to optimize operations, enhance high quality, time to perception, and cut back prices.
  • Leveraging RAPIDS with NVIDIA GPUs, producers can speed up the coaching of their machine-learning algorithms as much as 20x.

Every of those examples require an AI-first infrastructure and toolchain to considerably cut back false positives and negatives in predictive upkeep and to account for refined nuances in guaranteeing general product high quality.

Buyer story (video): Microsoft Azure and NVIDIA provides BMW the computing energy for automated high quality management.

As we’ve got seen, AI is in all places, and its utility is rising quickly. The reason being easy. AI allows organizations of any dimension to achieve higher insights and apply these insights to accelerating improvements and enterprise outcomes. Optimized AI-first infrastructure is important within the improvement and deployment of AI purposes.

Azure is the one cloud service supplier that has a purpose-built, AI-optimized infrastructure comprised of Mellanox InfiniBand interconnected NVIDIA Ampere A100 Tensor Core GPUs for AI purposes of any scale for organizations of any dimension. At Azure, we’ve got a purpose-built AI-first infrastructure that empowers each particular person and each group on the planet to realize extra. Come and do extra with Azure!

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