Accelerate Your Hosting: The Basics of GPUs

5th June, 2019 by

The web hosting industry is full of the bigger, faster, now mentality. Many of our clients want data pushed to the max, and we don’t blame them one bit! Luckily, technologies are constantly improving to help us reach our ever-increasing expectations.

For example, clients often ask about the possible benefit of adding a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to their hosting solution in an effort to accelerate their hosting capabilities. Adding a GPU to a server can multiply performance due to their ability to compute and process large amounts of data, while also leaving the CPU free to process tasks simultaneously. However, a GPU isn’t always the best option for all hosting platforms.

Today we take a more detailed look at exactly what GPUs are, how they work to increase data processing speeds, and who should consider adding a GPU to their web hosting solution.

What is a GPU?

Graphics Processing Units are a specific type of processor that was originally designed to be used on a graphics card. GPUs help computer graphics quickly appear on a screen. However, GPUs that are used for reasons besides computer screen graphics are called General Purpose GPUs (GPGPU).

GPUs differ from modern CPUs due to their higher numbers of cores on each chip. GPUs can perform many basic computing tasks at the same time, whereas a CPU may get bogged down in the bulk. Simultaneous computing tasks work well for a variety of industries beyond the ability to calculate hundreds of thousands of polygons at the exact shade necessary as in computer screen graphics.

How do GPUs work?

GPUs are made from multiple cores and designed to simultaneously handle hundreds of tasks, also called threads. By working many threads at the same time, GPUs accelerate speeds up to tenfold. CPUs are consistently waiting for cache memory to complete tasks, whereas GPUs can simply switch to another thread that is free for processing. This process reduces latency and delivers results much faster. By adding a GPU to your web hosting solution, you can amplify processing power, cut latency, and improve speeds.

Who should consider adding a GPU to their solution?

GPUs aren’t exactly a one-size fits all solution. However, there are situations where a GPU is perfectly suited. Currently, there are over 550 various purposes designated for GPUs. From climate monitoring to cryptocurrency mining, there is a definite need for increased computational power. Among the list of GPU uses are the following use cases that are perfectly positioned to make great changes in the world:

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Rapidly processed information boosts AI and machine learning efforts to reveal results at ten times the speed of traditional computing.

Academics

Optimizing and processing data more quickly helps both the science and business communities as they pave the way toward the future.

Media & Entertainment

GPUs allow media and production companies to take screen graphics to a whole new realm of imagination.

Defense & Intelligence

Analyzing massive amounts of data helps keeps our intelligence agencies informed for better decision making.

Note that there are over 500 more GPU uses that we have yet to cover. However, the moral of the story is that if you have large amounts of data to process, then a GPU might be exactly what you need. To learn more about adding a GPU to your hosting solution or to learn more about designing a data solution that includes accelerated GPU processing power, be sure to reach out to our excellent sales and solutions teams today at 100TB.com.

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