Introducing GPU Innovations with Windows Server 2025
Published Jun 06 2024 01:17 PM 3,019 Views

Afia Boakye and Rebecca Wambua


AI empowers businesses to innovate, streamline operations, and deliver exceptional value.  With the upcoming Windows Server 2025 Datacenter and Azure Stack HCI 24H2 releases, Microsoft is empowering customers to lead their businesses through the AI revolution.


Here is what Hari Pulapaka, GM of Windows Server at Microsoft, says about how Windows Server empowers customers with AI: Windows Server 2025 is well positioned to help our customers be part of the AI revolution with its advanced GPU capabilities, allowing our customers to do training, learning, or inferencing using powerful NVIDIA GPUs.


GPUs are essential for AI due to their parallel processing capabilities and highly scalable architecture.  Using the upcoming OS releases, Microsoft’s customers can provide an entire GPU to a VM, which can run either Linux or Server, in a failover cluster using discrete device assignment (DDA). This means that mission-critical AI workloads can easily run in a clustered VM and, upon an unexpected fault or a planned move, the VM will restart on another node in the cluster, using a GPU on that node.


GPU Partitioning (GPU-P) is a powerful new capability we are adding with Windows Server 2025. GPU-P empowers customers to partition a supported GPU and assign those partitions to different VMs in a failover cluster.  This means that multiple VMs can share a single physical GPU, giving each VM an isolated fraction of the physical GPU's capabilities. 


Further, due to a planned or unplanned move, the VMs will restart on different nodes in the cluster, using GPU partitions on those different nodes.  Besides enabling clustered VMs to use GPU-P, the upcoming OS releases are bringing live migration to VMs using GPU-P.  Live migration for GPU-P enables customers to balance mission-critical workloads across their fleet and to conduct hardware maintenance and software upgrades without stopping their VMs.


Windows Administration Center (WAC) empowers customers to configure, use, and manage VMs using virtualized GPUs.  WAC enables administrators to manage GPU virtualization for both standalone and failover clusters from a single, centralized location, thereby reducing management complexity.


The screenshots below highlight GPU-P management in WAC, demonstrating how users can seamlessly view, configure, and assign GPU partitions to VMs.


In this first image, customers can view a comprehensive list of their partitioned GPUs.



Figure 1: The GPU partitions inventory page


Customers can partition eligible GPUs with their desired number of partitions.


Figure 2: The partition count configuration page


Finally, customers can assign GPU partitions to different VMs.


Figure 3:  The GPU partition assignment tool


These high-value GPU innovations are a result of Microsoft's and NVIDIA's continual close collaboration.


Here is what Bob Pette, Vice President of Enterprise Platforms at NVIDIA has to say.  “GPU virtualization requires advanced security, maximum cost efficiency, and accurate horsepower.  With GPU-P now available on NVIDIA GPUs in Windows Server Datacenter, customers can meet these requirements and run their key AI workloads to achieve next-level efficiencies.”


Windows Server 2025 is now available for customers to try out.  Click here to download preview media and use these powerful new capabilities.


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Last update:
‎Jun 10 2024 12:14 PM
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