Microsoft has introduced a major upgrade to the artificial intelligence capabilities of its Azure cloud platform – the new ND H100 v5 series of virtual machines powered by Nvidia’s latest H100 GPUs. With significantly faster acceleration tailored for AI workloads, the new offering future-proofs Azure’s leadership in cloud-based AI development.
Key features of the H100 v5 VMs include up to 8 of Nvidia flagship H100 Tensor Core GPUs, which drive dramatic leaps in AI model training and inference speed versus previous gen hardware. Combined with 4th-gen Intel Xeon CPUs, vast memory, and bleeding-edge Nvidia Quantum-2 interconnect networking, the H100 virtual machines aim to handle even the most demanding AI tasks.
According to Microsoft, the ND H100 v5 series VMs allow matrix math operations to run up to 6 times quicker by utilizing Nvidia’s new FP8 truncated floating point format. This allows researchers to iterate faster.
Large state-of-the-art AI language models also see inference speed gains up to 2x when leveraging hardware FP8 support in the H100 GPUs. As model complexity expands exponentially, the optimized hardware pays dividends.
To future-proof AI development capabilities even further on Azure, Microsoft is deploying H100 v5 VMs at massive scale, with plans to add hundreds of thousands of the new GPUs to its infrastructure in 2024.
The substantial investment highlights Microsoft’s commitment to providing elite access to bleeding-edge AI accelerators via the cloud. Azure continues firmly establishing itself as the foremost cloud platform for creating and deploying next-generation AI innovations.
By integrating Nvidia’s most advanced data center technology like the H100 GPUs and Quantum-2 networking into new virtual machine configurations, Microsoft makes the power of AI supercomputing accessible to every Azure customer according to their needs and budget.
Access to nimble yet powerful H100 resources on-demand removes barriers to exploring new frontiers in AI like multimodal models and digital twin simulation. Azure marries flexibility with world-class performance.