Weka bags another GPU-as-a-Service farm customer

UK-based NexGen Cloud has signed up Weka to provide parallel access filesystem software for its GPU-as-a-Service customers, becoming Weka’s third GPU cloud farm customer.

GPU-as-a-Service (GPUaaS) operations are spinning up in response to the generative AI training and inferencing boom. They buy thousands of Nvidia GPUs and rent them out on a pay-per-use basis. Enterprises buying smaller numbers of GPUs or GPU servers are finding that the supply is constrained because Nvidia can’t get enough of them built to meet the demand. NexGen Cloud, started up in 2020, has one of the largest GPU fleets in Europe – including H100 GPUs – and it’s powered by renewable energy sources. Nexgen says its services are up to 75 percent more cost-effective than legacy cloud providers. Weka’s Data Platform is a fast scale-out and parallel filesystem with integrated data services.

Weka president Jonathan Martin explained in a statement: “GPU cloud providers like NexGen Cloud will play a critical role in accelerating the next wave of AI innovation. The Weka Data Platform helps GPUs to run at peak performance and efficiency, reducing energy consumption and giving customers a much more sustainable way to run enterprise AI workloads – even at extreme scale.”

Weka NexGen Cloud video screengrab.

NexGen has an existing HyperStack offering and is developing an AI Supercloud. Both use Weka’s filesystem to provide file storage for customer data. NexGen plans to invest $1 billion to build its AI Supercloud in Europe, with $576 million already committed in hardware orders with suppliers. Deployment in European datacenters began late last year.

Chris Starkey, cofounder and CEO at NexGen Cloud, recalled: “When we started building our AI Supercloud solution, we looked at several data platforms and parallel filesystem solutions. The environment’s extreme scale and performance demands quickly removed other vendors from consideration.”

Weka being software-defined and hardware-agnostic was a characteristic that resonated with Starkey. “The Weka Data Platform immediately stood out, not only for its exceptional performance and low latency but also for its ability to maximize the efficiency of our GPU cloud with a hardware-agnostic, innovative software solution. It enabled us to leverage existing hardware investments and power all of our cloud services as efficiently and sustainably as possible, which is core to our mission.”

Weka competitor VAST Data has benefited from GPU cloud farm adoption, counting CoreWeave, Lambda Labs and Genesis Cloud as customers. Its pitch is that standard NFS is easier to use than parallel filesystems, like Weka’s Data Platform. Weka’s pitch is that its software provides very high performance, is hardware-agnostic, and has lots of data services.

Lambda Labs also has a storage deal with DDN.

Weka has existing filesystem supply deals with two North American GPUaaS providers: Applied Digital (under Sai Computing) and Iris Energy – a Canadian bitcoin miner and GPUaaS operator with datacenters in Canada, the US and Australia. Incidentally, Iris Energy also uses renewable energy sources.

Find out more about NexGen Cloud’s GPU cloud offerings powered by Weka here.