Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, has launched a pilot program in China with Intel for a cloud-based FPGA (field programmable gate array) acceleration service with the goal of enabling customers to have virtual access to powerful compute resources in the cloud to help them more effectively manage business, scientific and enterprise data application workloads more effectively.
By using FPGAs, Intel® Xeon® processor-based servers and software development tools for application acceleration as a ready-to-go preconfigured infrastructure, Alibaba Cloud offers systems designers cloud-based workload acceleration as an alternative to investing in on-premises FPGA infrastructure. This service delivers on-demand scalability of workload acceleration with FPGAs while reducing upfront investment risks and accelerating delivery of new infrastructure services.
“At Alibaba Cloud, we offer customers access to a number of services in the cloud, and adding an FPGA-based acceleration offering means they can access that powerful computing without the cost or requirement of building out their own infrastructure,” said Jin Li, senior director, Alibaba Cloud. “This service greatly adds to our value as a leading provider of highly scalable cloud computing and data management services that provide businesses with flexible, reliable connectivity.”
One of the key benefits of FPGAs is that they are programmable and can be customized to accelerate and scale for varying workloads, such as machine learning, data encryption and media transcoding.
“Intel FPGAs are enabling exciting new business models such as Alibaba’s approach of using FPGAs to accelerate diverse workloads via cloud services,” said Dan McNamara, corporate vice president and general manager, Intel Programmable Solutions Group. “In addition, Intel offers customers scalable solutions for accelerated computing with its data center leadership in Intel Xeon processors, FPGAs, optimized tools and software, and a global partner ecosystem across the spectrum of deployment models.”
More about Intel FPGAs for compute and storage can be found at “Data Centers are Short on Compute Capacity.”