Todd Mostak
Oct 4, 2016

The Trigger Point: Amazon announces large GPU instances

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On Friday, Amazon announced the availability of large GPU instances on AWS (blog here) marking a new chapter in the GPU revolution. Our instance is here and we welcome you to take it for a spin, we have even uploaded a nice 13M row dataset to get you started.

While IBM Softlayer has delivered inspired leadership to the GPU space for some time now, the importance of these next generation instances on AWS cannot be underestimated.

To suggest that AWS is a juggernaut is like saying the speed of light is fast.

  • They have 5x the customers their next 14 competitors have combined
  • They run 10x the compute capacity as the next 14 competitors combined
  • They have over 1M customers and generate in excess of $8B per year

They are massive - and now they are all in on the next generation of compute.

The trigger point for GPU ubiquity is here.

As pioneer in the space we were delighted to be part of the action - participating in the private beta and contributing some incredible benchmarks to the press release.

“As the leader in GPU-powered databases and visual analytics applications, we are deeply invested in the emergence of large, cloud-based GPU instances and P2 is the most powerful we have seen,” said Todd Mostak, CEO and Founder of MapD. “Our performance on Amazon EC2 P2 instances is exceptional. On a dollar-to-dollar basis across a set of standard SQL benchmarks, MapD is 78 times faster on Amazon EC2 P2 instances than CPU-based solutions. Furthermore, these speedups were seen over multi-billion row datasets, speaking directly to our ability to deliver performance at scale with these instances. With this launch, our customers can now query and visualize billions of rows of data within milliseconds while enjoying the flexibility, scalability and reliability they have come to expect from AWS.”

In particular, we are excited to be in the AWS marketplace. It will accelerate, our growth as more and more prospects can take us for a spin with their own datasets. For now we are starting with our standard licensed version but we expect to offer a free version shortly.

The ability to take powerful GPU instances for a spin with live data will do incredible things for the enterprises keen on working with GPUs. The availability of these incredibly powerful instances will accelerate analytics, deep learning and a growing number of other enterprise applications.


This is the time for GPUs and this event is the trigger point.

We see it everywhere, hear it from the smartest observers and see it in the application growth.

Data growth has swamped the capacity of CPU-bound systems to keep up - it is truly the Age of the GPU.

We can't wait to see what type of growth AWS experiences on this platform - and are pleased to be a partner in driving that growth.

Todd Mostak

Todd is the CTO and Co-founder of HEAVY.AI. Todd built the original prototype of HEAVY.AI after tiring of the inability of conventional tools to allow for interactive exploration of big datasets while conducting his Harvard graduate research on the role of Twitter in the Arab Spring. He then joined MIT as a research fellow focusing on GPU databases before turning the HEAVY.AI project into a startup.