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Cisco Live: Cisco and Nvidia join forces in the data centre

The Cisco Live expo in Las Vegas this week saw the unveiling of a simplified data centre solution called Nexus HyperFabric AI.

A new data centre solution will combine Cisco and Nvidia innovation to simplify the deployment of generative AI applications, providing IT visibility and analytics across the entire AI infrastructure stack.

Announced during the Cisco Live expo in Las Vegas this week, Nexus HyperFabric AI cluster is intended to make it easier for enterprise customers to build infrastructure to run generative AI models and inference applications without deep IT knowledge and skills. Cisco says its exclusive cloud management capabilities will help customers deploy, manage and monitor data centres, colocation facilities and edge sites.

As an enterprise-ready, end-to-end infrastructure solution to scale generative AI workloads, the solution combines Cisco AI-native networking with Nvidia accelerated computing and AI software.

According to Cisco’s recent Global Networking Trends Report, in the next two years 60% of IT leaders and professionals expect to deploy AI-enabled predictive network automation across all domains to better manage NetOps. Additionally, 75% plan to deploy tools that offer end-to-end visibility via a single console into different network domains including campus and branch, WAN, data centre, internet, public clouds and industrial networks.

“While the promise of AI is clear, the path forward for many just starting out is not,” said Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco Networking. “Customers often face economic and operational challenges to get an AI stack up and running. Cisco is committed to making the deployment and operation of AI infrastructure simpler. Together with Nvidia, we are delivering a simple-to-deploy, cloud-operated AI-stack solution for on-premises deployments that builds on our Cisco Networking Cloud platform vision for automation and simplicity.”

Kevin Deierling, senior vice president of networking at Nvidia, said that generative AI required purpose-built infrastructure and software that enables enterprises to securely turn their data into fuel for business transformation.

“Nvidia and Cisco are providing an enterprise-ready AI platform and control plane to simplify deployment of the accelerated computing, networking and software needed for generative AI workloads,” he said.

How Cisco Nexus HyperFabric AI cluster works

Cisco provided the following information on the new product:

The on-premises solution features a single place to design, deploy, monitor and assure the AI pods and data center workloads. It guides users from design, to validated deployment, to monitoring and assurance for enterprise-ready AI infrastructure. With its cloud management capabilities, customers can easily deploy and manage large scale fabrics across data centers, colocation facilities and edge sites.

The Cisco Nexus HyperFabric AI cluster solution offers automated, cloud-managed operations across a unified compute and networking fabric combining Cisco’s Ethernet switching expertise founded on Cisco Silicon One, integrated with Nvidia’s accelerated computing and Nvidia AI Enterprise software, and VAST’s data storage platform. This will include:

• Cisco cloud management capabilities to simplify IT operations across all phases of the workflow.
• Cisco Nexus 6000 series switches for spine and leaf that deliver 400G and 800G Ethernet fabric performance.
• Cisco Optics family of QSFP-DD modules to offer customer choice and deliver super high densities.
• Nvidia AI Enterprise software to streamline the development and deployment of production-grade generative AI workloads
• Nvidia NIM inference microservices that accelerate the deployment of foundation models while ensuring data security, and are available with Nvidia AI Enterprise
• Nvidia Tensor Core GPUs starting with the Nvidia H200 NVL, designed from the ground up to supercharge generative AI workloads with game-changing performance and memory capabilities.
• Nvidia BlueField-3 data processing unit DPU processor and BlueField-3 SuperNIC for accelerating AI compute networking, data access and security workloads.
• Enterprise reference design for AI built on Nvidia MGX, a modular and flexible server architecture.
• The VAST Data Platform, which offers unified storage, database and a data-driven function engine built for AI.

Select customers will have early trial access to the solution in the last quarter of 2024, with general availability expected shortly thereafter.

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