Nvidia makes Fleet Command generally available with AI Launchpad coming soon

Subscription AI management platform exits early access, while a DGX and EGX server renting service called AI LaunchPad will appear soon.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Image: Nvidia

Nvidia announced on Tuesday it has made generally available its Fleet Command service. The subscription service will allow businesses to rollout and manage AI applications at the edge.

"Within minutes of installation, the platform lets administrators add or delete applications, update system software over the air, and monitor the health of devices spread across vast distances," the company said.

Nvidia VP and GM of enterprise and edge computing Justin Boitano said Fleet Command can turn any Nvidia certified server into a "secure edge AI system".

When combined with its recently launched Base Command product, Nvidia said it now offers an end-to-end process from AI model creation to production.

Base Command allows to AI training and operations on DGX SuperPods, and thanks to hooking up with NetApp for Base Command Platform, also offers access to SuperPods for a cool $90,000 a month.

"The intent here is that customers can have access to this powerful supercomputer, the superpod just on a rental basis, they can experience it, they can do their work, and from there they can graduate to either acquiring their own superpod or to go and do AI at scale, for example in the public cloud," Nvidia head of enterprise computing Manuvir Das said earlier this month.

While Base Command allows for scheduling AI jobs, and putting in resource limits and quotas for AI researchers, Boitano said Fleet Command is focused on simulation in production environments and edge deployment.

"You don't need to have specialised IT people, you just boot the system, and then as the system is booting you'll authenticate it to the cloud service -- just like you would if you're setting up a smart thermostat in your home or a smart speaker or any of those other like cloud-connected devices -- and then the the system is automatically secured," he said.

"It makes it very easy to manage a distributed fleet of systems through a single pane of glass and ensure that the compute it is right next to where the data is being generated, so that you can immediately discover new insights and drive business automation by moving the computing out to the edge." 

In a similar vein, Nvidia has teamed up with Equinix to launch AI Launchpad, which will provide subscription access to SuperPods as well as EGX servers within Equinix data centres.

"The program makes it easy for enterprises to get access to AI infrastructure in a cloud-like consumption model, so rather than buying servers through capex, companies can get started in a simple pay as you go fashion," Boitano said.

"This provides customers an easier way to evaluate AI pilot projects via opex, and then scale the production in Equinix or buy the same service to deploy their own data centre, if they so choose."

Boitano said Nvidia was starting with data centre partners that had their own bare metal as a service capabilities, and while he wouldn't be drawn on typical costs to use the service, he did tell ZDNet it would take "thousands of dollars to get going".

AI Launchpad is due to be available in the northern hemisphere summer.

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