This week Amazon Web Services revealed a new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance designed for applications that require 3D graphics capabilities. This new G2 instance is backed by Nvidia's GRID technology with 1,536 parallel processing cores, providing GPU acceleration to AWS customers running games and graphics-intensive applications in the cloud like video creation services, 3D visualizations and more. Customers can now build high-performance DirectX, OpenGL, CUDA and OpenCL applications and services without making expensive up-front capital investments.
"Designed for cloud computing, Nvidia GRID GPUs make possible a new generation of GPU-accelerated SaaS applications -- such as virtual workstations, accelerated virtual desktops and gaming-as-a-service. Based on the Nvidia Kepler architecture, GRID GPUs include a powerful H.264 encoding engine that lets high-resolution graphics be compressed in real time and streamed to any internet-connected display," explains Nvidia's press release (opens in new tab).
AWS customers can launch G2 instances from the console, Amazon EC2 command line interface, AWS SDKs and third-party libraries. For now, G2 instances are only available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (N. California), US West (Oregon) and EU (Ireland) regions, but Amazon plans to provide additional instances in other AWS regions in the coming months. AWS customers can purchase G2 instances as On-Demand, Reserved and Spot instances.
"Cloud computing has reached an inflection point driven by the growing variety of devices that can take advantage of application streaming," said Jeff Brown, vice president and general manager of the Professional Visualization business at Nvidia. "By using the graphics horsepower of Nvidia GRID on AWS, companies can stream applications to more customers on more screens with a lower barrier to entry."
Nvidia reports that OTOY has enabled a Windows- and Linux-based Amazon Machine Image (AMI) with OTOY's ORBX middleware to make it easy for software companies to deploy applications onto G2 instances. SaaS companies can install their applications into OTOY's AMI and begin streaming to web browsers within minutes. As a demonstration, OTOY has teamed up with Autodesk to offer the latter company's most popular design applications through an OTOY AMI.
"Autodesk is constantly innovating to provide our customers greater flexibility to access powerful 3D design tools from anywhere, anytime and from any device without compromising performance," said Jeff Kowalski, Chief Technology Officer, Autodesk, a world leader in 3D design software. "G2 instances for Amazon EC2 will enable us to deliver high-quality, client-agnostic 3D experiences to customers around the world without worrying about hardware performance and scalability. We also believe this will establish a new standard of design experiences that combine high-performance graphics with the vast compute and storage resources of AWS."
For more information on Amazon EC2 and GPU instances, head here.