Graphic artists and industrial designers have some new tools to play with from Amazon Web Services, with the upgrade of its G3 instances to Nvidia’s Tesla M60 chips.
The new G3 instances basically offer a high-performance graphics workstation in the cloud, a combination of CPUs (central processing units) and GPUs (graphics processing units) that anyone with a graphics-intensive workload and a credit card can target. AWS launched the G2 instance four years ago, and it said today’s update significantly increases the performance compared to that generation.
This is a somewhat of a niche market in cloud computing, but it’s important for AWS customers who need a lot of graphics-oriented heavy lifting in their day to day jobs or their products. The company showcased a couple of software-as-a-service customers offering cloud-based video editing (BeBop Technologies) and cloud-based energy exploration tools (Landmark) as examples of customers who will be using the new instances.
There are three different types of instances, based on how much power is required for your application. The smallest instance features one Nvidia Tesla M60 and 16 of Intel’s Xeon processors (although not the Skylake generation showed off this week), and it scales up to four GPUs and 64 Xeon processors.
This is a more traditional market for Nvidia’s chips than the one we’ve mostly discussed in 2017. Wall Street is currently having a summer romance with Nvidia’s stock thanks to growing demand for its chips inside artificial intelligence research labs, as well as the cloud providers themselves.
AWS is also using Nvidia’s GRID technology to manage these virtual workstations, Nvidia said in a separate release. Both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (in beta) both offer similar services, although as with a lot of things in the cloud, AWS was first to offer these capabilities back in 2010.