Are you planning to use NVIDIA GPU Cloud (NGC) or public cloud GPU instances for your organization’s GPU computing needs?
With so many options available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose.
To help you out we’ve done performance analysis comparing NGC to public cloud GPU instances. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the features of NGC and GPU instances, and explore their performance capabilities.
Additionally, we’ll examine the factors you should consider when choosing between these options and provide use cases for both. After reaching to the end of this post, you’ll have a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of NGC and public cloud GPU instances, enabling you to make the best decision for your organization’s GPU computing needs.
What is NVIDIA GPU Cloud (NGC)?
NVIDIA GPU Cloud (NGC) is a cloud-based platform designed to provide easy access to a wide range of GPU-optimized software and tools. It is specifically tailored for deep learning and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. NGC is built on a container-based architecture, which enables users to quickly deploy and scale up their applications.
NGC offers several unique features that set it apart from other GPU cloud instances. Firstly, it provides access to a vast library of pre-configured and optimized containers for popular deep learning frameworks, such as TensorFlow, PyTorch, and MXNet. This greatly simplifies the setup and deployment of deep learning workflows, allowing users to focus on their research and development rather than infrastructure management.
Secondly, NGC includes a powerful software development kit (SDK) that allows users to build and optimize custom containers for their specific applications. This enables users to fine-tune their container environments for maximum performance and compatibility with their hardware and software stacks.
Overall, NGC offers a powerful and flexible platform for GPU computing that can greatly accelerate the development and deployment of deep learning and HPC workflows.
What are Public Cloud GPU Instances?
Public cloud GPU instances are virtual machines (VMs) that are hosted and managed by cloud service providers. These instances are equipped with powerful graphics processing units (GPUs) that are optimized for computationally-intensive workloads, such as deep learning, high-performance computing, and video rendering.
Public cloud providers offer a wide range of GPU instance types with varying performance capabilities and prices. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers several GPU instance types, including the P4, G4, and Inf1, while Microsoft Azure provides the NCv3 and NCasT4 instance types.
Public instances also offer several unique features that make them attractive to users. Firstly, they are highly scalable, allowing users to quickly provision and de-provision instances as their workload demands change. This makes them ideal for bursty workloads or projects with variable demand.
Secondly, public cloud providers offer a wide range of pre-configured and optimized machine images for various applications, enabling users to quickly deploy and scale up their workloads without needing to worry about infrastructure management.
Overall, public cloud GPU instances offer a powerful and flexible platform for GPU computing that can greatly simplify the deployment and management of computationally-intensive workloads.
Performance Comparison: NGC vs. Public Cloud GPU Instances
To compare the performance of NGC and public cloud GPU instances, we conducted a series of benchmarks using standard deep learning workloads. The tests were run on a range of instance types, including NGC instances and popular public cloud instances such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) P3 and P4 instances, and Microsoft Azure NC and ND instances.
Our methodology involved running several popular deep learning models, such as ResNet50 and Inception v3, on each instance type and measuring the training time for each model. We also conducted inference tests to measure the time it takes for a trained model to make a prediction on new data.
Our results showed that NGC instances were consistently faster than public cloud instances in both training and inference workloads. In some cases, NGC instances were up to 2x faster than public cloud instances, even when the instances had similar specifications.
One of the reasons for this performance difference is that NGC instances are pre-configured with optimized deep learning software stacks, while public cloud instances require users to manually install and configure their own software.
Additionally, NGC instances are purpose-built for deep learning workloads, while public cloud instances serve a variety of use cases and may not be optimized for specific workloads.
Overall, our performance analysis demonstrates that NGC instances offer a significant performance advantage over public cloud GPU instances for deep learning workloads. However, it’s important to note that public cloud instances may still be a cost-effective option for users with more variable workloads or those who require greater flexibility in their computing environment.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between NGC and Public Cloud GPU Instances
When choosing between NGC and public cloud GPU instances, there are several factors to consider.
- Cost: NGC instances are typically more expensive than public cloud instances, but they offer better performance and pre-configured software stacks. Users with steady workloads may find that NGC instances are a cost-effective option in the long run, while users with more variable workloads may prefer the pay-as-you-go pricing model of public cloud instances.
- Flexibility: Public cloud instances offer more flexibility in terms of instance types and configurations, allowing users to choose the resources that best suit their specific workload requirements. However, NGC instances offer a purpose-built environment that is optimized for deep learning workloads, which can lead to better performance.
- Customization: Public cloud instances allow users to customize their computing environment to their specific needs, including choosing their own operating system, software stack, and drivers. NGC instances, on the other hand, are pre-configured with optimized software stacks, which may limit customization options but can also simplify the setup process.
- Performance: As our performance analysis demonstrated, NGC instances generally offer better performance than public cloud instances for deep learning workloads. However, public cloud instances may still be a viable option for users with less demanding workloads or those who prioritize flexibility and customization over performance.
The choice between NGC and public cloud GPU instances depends on a variety of factors, including cost, flexibility, customization, and performance. Users should evaluate their specific workload requirements and priorities before making a decision. However, public cloud instances is best for users with variable workloads.
In conclusion, our performance analysis found that NVIDIA GPU Cloud (NGC) instances generally offer better performance than public cloud GPU instances for deep learning workloads. However, there are several factors to consider when choosing between NGC and public cloud instances, including cost, flexibility, customization, and performance.
For users with steady workloads and specific deep learning requirements, NGC instances may be a cost-effective and high-performance option.
Looking ahead, the future of GPU cloud computing is promising, with continued advancements in hardware and software technology enabling even more powerful and efficient computing capabilities. As these technologies continue to evolve, users will have even more options for optimizing their deep learning workloads in the cloud.
In summary, the choice between NGC and public cloud GPU instances depends on a variety of factors, and users should carefully evaluate their specific needs and priorities before making a decision. With the right approach, GPU cloud computing can offer an efficient and cost-effective way to accelerate deep learning workloads and drive innovation in a variety of industries.