Azure VMs with real GPUs will deliver a massive power boost

Whether it’s Photoshop filters, JavaScript in the browser or machine learning, increasingly GPUs are as important to computing performance as CPUs, but you haven’t been able to take full advantage of that with virtualisation or in the cloud. Windows Server 2016 will let you get full access to the GPU inside a virtual machine, using a hardware pass-through setting called Direct Device Assignment, and because Azure runs on Windows Server, you’ll get it there as well. “We leverage this technology primarily for GPUs and also for things like NVMe storage,” explained Microsoft’s Chris Huybregts at the Nvidia GTC conference. You can only use the GPU with one virtual machine, but that virtual machine gets access to all the features of the GPU, using the standard graphics driver (rather than the…

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