By Krish Prasad, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cloud Platform Business Unit, VMware
Update: As of August 2019, the Bitfusion acquisition has closed. We would like to welcome Bitfusion and its staff to VMware.
Increasingly businesses are applying artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to differentiate and advance their processes and offerings. Today, I am pleased to announce our intent to acquire Bitfusion to help businesses more efficiently use AI technologies on-premises and in hybrid cloud environments.
Hardware acceleration for applications—which can take the form of GPUs (graphics processor units), FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays), and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits)—delivers efficiency and flexibility into the AI space including subsets such as machine learning. Unfortunately, hardware accelerators today are deployed with bare-metal practices which force poor utilization, poor efficiencies, and limit organizations from sharing, abstracting and automating the infrastructure. This provides a perfect opportunity to virtualize them—providing increased sharing of resources and lowering costs.
Bitfusion (https://bitfusion.io/) is a pioneer in virtualization of accelerated compute with a strong focus on GPU technology. It provides better sharing of GPU resources among isolated GPU compute workloads—even allowing sharing to happen across the network.
Once closed, the acquisition of Bitfusion will bolster VMware’s strategy of supporting AI- and ML-based workloads by virtualizing hardware accelerators. Multi-vendor hardware accelerators and the ecosystem around them are key components for delivering modern applications. These accelerators can be used regardless of location in the environment – on-premises and/or in the cloud.
Bitfusion offers a software platform that decouples specific physical resources from the servers they are attached to in the environment. For example, the platform can share GPUs in a virtualized infrastructure, as a pool of network-accessible resources, rather than isolated resources per server. Additionally, the platform can be extended to support other accelerators like FPGAs and ASICs. In many ways, Bitfusion offers for hardware acceleration what VMware offered to the compute landscape several years ago. Bitfusion also aligns well with VMware’s “Any Cloud, Any App, Any Device” vision with its ability to work across AI frameworks, clouds, networks, and formats such as virtual machines and containers.
Once the acquisition has closed, VMware plans to integrate Bitfusion into the vSphere platform. We look forward to welcoming the team from Bitfusion to VMware and working with them to help us deliver a cloud operational model to an emerging part of the data center as well as bridge the gap between the traditional CPU-only infrastructure and infrastructure featuring hardware acceleration technologies.
This release contains forward-looking statements including, among other things, statements regarding VMware’s intention to acquire Bitfusion; the expected benefits of the acquisition; integration plans upon close of the deal; and the expected complementary nature and strategic advantages of combined offerings and opportunities after close. These forward-looking statements are subject to the safe harbor provisions created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of certain risk factors, including but not limited to: (i) the ability of the parties to satisfy closing conditions to the acquisition on a timely basis or at all; (ii) market conditions, regulatory requirements and other corporate considerations that could affect the timing and closing conditions to the acquisition; (iii) the ability to successfully integrate acquired companies and assets into VMware; (iv) VMware’s customers’ ability to accept emerging technology and to transition to new products and computing strategies; (v) competitive factors, including but not limited to VMware’s ability to compete in new industries, the entry of new competitors into the industries in which VMware competes, and the success of new product and marketing initiatives by VMware and VMware’s competitors; (vi) VMware’s ability to enter into and maintain strategically effective partnerships; (vii) rapid technological changes in the virtualization software and cloud, end user and mobile computing industries; (viii) changes to product and service development timelines; (ix) VMware’s ability to protect its proprietary technology; (x) VMware’s ability to attract and retain highly qualified employees; (xi) adverse changes in general economic or market conditions; (xii) changes in VMware’s financial condition; and (xiii) VMware’s relationship with Dell Technologies and Dell’s ability to control matters requiring stockholder approval. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release, are based on current expectations and are subject to uncertainties and changes in condition, significance, value and effect as well as other risks detailed in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including VMware’s most recent reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K that we may file from time to time, which could cause actual results to vary from expectations. VMware assumes no obligation to, and does not currently intend to, update any such forward-looking statements after the date of this release.