Overview of MLPerf™ Inference v2.0 Results on Dell Servers
Fri, 08 Apr 2022 14:56:20 -0000|
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Dell Technologies has been an active participant in the MLCommons™ Inference benchmark submission since day one. We have completed five rounds of inference submission.
This blog provides an overview of the latest results of MLPerf Inference v2.0 closed data center, closed data center power, closed edge, and closed edge power categories on Dell servers from our HPC & AI Innovation Lab. It shows optimal inference and power (performance per watt) performance for Dell GPU-based servers (DSS 8440, PowerEdge R750xa, PowerEdge XE2420, PowerEdge XE8545, and PowerEdge XR12). The previous blog about MLPerf Inference v1.1 performance results can be found here.
What is new?
For MLPerf Inference v2.0, Dell Technologies was one of 17 submitters. There were 3,800 performance results for this round compared to 1,800 performance results for v1.1. Additionally, 885 systems in v2.0 compared to 424 systems in v1.1 shows that there were more than twice the systems submitted for this round. For the 3D U-Net benchmark, the dataset now used is the Kitts 2019 Kidney Tumor Segmentation set. Early stopping was introduced in this round to replace a deterministic minimum query count with a function that dynamically determines when further runs are not required to identify additional performance gain.
Results at a glance
Dell Technologies submitted 167 results to the various categories. The Dell team made 86 submissions to the closed data center category, 28 submissions to the closed data center power category, and 53 submissions to the closed edge category. For the closed data center category, the Dell team submitted the second most results. In fact, Dell Technologies submitted results from 17 different system configurations with the NVIDIA TensorRT and NVIDIA Triton inference engines. Among these 17 configurations, the PowerEdge XE2420 server with T4 and A30 GPUs and the PowerEdge XR12 server with the A2 GPU were two new systems that have not been submitted before. Additionally, Dell Technologies submitted to the reintroduced Multiterm scenario. Only Dell Technologies submitted results for different host operating systems.
Noteworthy results include:
- The PowerEdge XE8545 and R750xa servers yield Number One results for performance per accelerator with NVIDIA A100 GPUs. The use cases for this top classification include Image Classification, Object Detection, Speech-to-text, Medical Imaging, Natural Language Processing, and Recommendation.
- The DSS 8440 server yields Number Two results for system performance for multiple benchmarks including Speech-to-text, Object Detection, Natural Language Processing, and Medical Image Segmentati on uses cases among all submissions.
- The PowerEdge R750xa server yields Number One results for the highest system performance for multiple benchmarks including Image Classification, Object Detection, Speech-to-text, Natural Language Processing, and Recommendation use cases among all the PCIe-based GPU servers.
- The PowerEdge XE8545 server yields Number One results for the lowest multistrand latency with NVIDIA Multi-Instance GPU (MIG) in the edge category for the Image Classification and Object Detection use cases.
- The PowerEdge XE2420 server yields Number One results for the highest T4 GPU inference results for the Image Classification, Speech-to-text, and Recommendation use cases.
- The PowerEdge XR12 server yields Number One results for the highest performance per watt with NVIDIA A2 GPU results in power for the Image Classification, Object Detection, Speech-to-text, Natural Language Processing, and Recommendation use cases.
MLPerf Inference v2.0 benchmark results
The following graphs highlight the performance metrics for the Server and Offline scenarios across the various benchmarks from MLCommons. Dell Technologies presents results as an impartial method for our customers to identify options to suit their deep learning application demands. Additionally, this performance data serves as a reference point to enable sizing of deep learning clusters. Dell Technologies strives to submit as many results as possible to offer answers to ensure that customer questions are resolved.
For the Server scenario, the performance metric is queries per second (QPS). For the Offline scenario, the performance metric is Offline samples per second. In general, the metrics represent throughput, and a higher throughput indicates a better result. In the following graphs, the Y axis is an exponentially scaled axis representing throughput and the X axis represents the systems under test (SUTs) and their corresponding models. The SUTs are described in the appendix.
Figure 1 through Figure 6 show the per card performance of the various SUTs on the ResNet 50, BERT, SSD, 3dUnet, RNNT, and DLRM modes respectively in the Server and Offline scenarios:
Figure 1: MLPerf Inference v2.0 ResNet 50 per card results
Figure 2: MLPerf Inference v2.0 BERT default and high accuracy per card results
Figure 3: MLPerf Inference v2.0 SSD-ResNet 34 per card results
Figure 4: MLPerf Inference v2.0 3D U-Net per card results
Figure 5: MLPerf Inference v2.0 RNNT per card results
Figure 6: MLPerf Inference v2.0 DLRM default and high accuracy per card results
The results in this blog have been officially submitted to and accepted by the MLCommons organization. These results have passed compliance tests, been peer reviewed, and adhered to the constraints enforced by MLCommons. Customers and partners can reproduce our results by following steps to run MLPerf Inference v2.0 in its GitHub repository.
Submissions from Dell Technologies included approximately 140 performance results and 28 performance and power results. Across the various workload tasks including Image Classification, Object Detection, Medical Image Segmentation, Speech-to-text, Language Processing, and Recommendation, server performance from Dell Technologies was promising.
Dell servers performed with optimal performance and power results. They were configured with different GPUs such as:
- NVIDIA A30 Tensor Core GPU
- NVIDIA A100 (PCIe and SXM)
- NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPU
- NVIDIA A2 Tensor Core GPU, which is newly released
This blog quantifies the performance of Dell servers in the MLPerf Inference v2.0 round of submission. Readers can use these results to make informed planning and purchasing decisions for their AI workload needs.
The NVIDIA Triton Inference Server is an open-source inferencing software tool that aids in the deployment and execution of AI models at scale in production. Triton not only works with all major frameworks but also with customizable backends, further enabling developers to focus on their AI development. It is a versatile tool because it supports any inference type and can be deployed on any platform including CPU, GPU, data center, cloud, or edge. Additionally, Triton supports the rapid and reliable deployment of AI models at scale by integrating well with Kubernetes, Kubeflow, Prometheus, and Grafana. Triton supports the HTTP/REST and GRPC protocols that allow remote clients to request inferencing for any model that the server manages.
The NVIDIA TensorRT SDK delivers high-performance deep learning inference that includes an inference optimizer and runtime. It is powered by CUDA and offers a unified solution to deploy on various platforms including edge or data center. TensorRT supports the major frameworks including PyTorch, TensorFlow, ONNX, and MATLAB. It can import models trained in these frameworks by using integrated parsers. For inference, TensorRT performs orders of magnitude faster than its CPU-only counterparts.
NVIDIA MIG can partition GPUs into several instances that extend compute resources among users. MIG enables predictable performance and maximum GPU use by running jobs simultaneously on the different instances with dedicated resources for compute, memory, and memory bandwidth.
The following table describes the SUT from this round of data center inference submission:
Table 1: MLPerf Inference v2.0 system configurations for DSS 8440 and PowerEdge R750xa servers
DSS 8440 10xA100 TensorRT
R750xa 4xA100 TensorRT
MLPerf system ID
Intel Xeon Gold 6248R CPU @ 3.00 GHz
Intel Xeon Gold 6338 CPU @ 2.00 GHz
GPU form factor
Table 2: MLPerf Inference v2.0 system configurations for PowerEdge XE2420 servers
PowerEdge XE2420 1xA30 TensorRT
PowerEdge XE2420 2xA30 TensorRT
PowerEdge XE2420 1xA30 TensorRT MaxQ
PowerEdge XE2420 1xAT4 TensorRT
MLPerf system ID
Intel Xeon Gold 6252 CPU @ 2.10 GHz
Intel Xeon Gold 6252N CPU @ 2.30 GHz
Intel Xeon Silver 4216 CPU @ 2.10 GHz
Intel Xeon Gold 6238 CPU @ 2.10 GHz
GPU form factor
Table 3: MLPerf Inference v2.0 system configurations for PowerEdge XE8545 servers
PowerEdge XE8545 4xA100 TensorRT
PowerEdge XE8545 4xA100 TensorRT, Triton
PowerEdge XE8545 1xA100 MIG 1x1g.10g TensorRT
MLPerf system ID
AMD EPYC 7763
NVIDIA A100-SXM-80 GB
NVIDIA A100-SXM-80 GB (1x1g.10gb MIG)
GPU form factor
Table 4: MLPerf Inference v2.0 system configurations for PowerEdge XR12 servers
PowerEdge XR12 1xA2 TensorRT
PowerEdge XR12 1xA2 TensorRT MaxQ
MLPerf system ID
Intel Xeon Gold 6312U CPU @ 2.40 GHz
GPU form factor
Related Blog Posts
New Frontiers—Dell EMC PowerEdge R750xa Server with NVIDIA A100 GPUs
Tue, 01 Jun 2021 20:08:09 -0000|
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Dell Technologies has released the new PowerEdge R750xa server, a GPU workload-based platform that is designed to support artificial intelligence, machine learning, and high-performance computing solutions. The dual socket/2U platform supports 3rd Gen Intel Xeon processors (code named Ice Lake). It supports up to 40 cores per processor, has eight memory channels per CPU, and up to 32 DDR4 DIMMs at 3200 MT/s DIMM speed. This server can accommodate up to four double-width PCIe GPUs that are located in the front left and the front right of the server.
Compared with the previous generation PowerEdge C4140 and PowerEdge R740 GPU platform options, the new PowerEdge R750xa server supports larger storage capacity, provides more flexible GPU offerings, and improves the thermal requirement
Figure 1 PowerEdge R750xa server
The NVIDIA A100 GPUs are built on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture to enable double precision workloads. This blog evaluates the new PowerEdge R750xa server and compares its performance with the previous generation PowerEdge C4140 server.
The following table shows the specifications for the NVIDIA GPU that is discussed in this blog and compares the performance improvement from the previous generation.
Table 1 NVIDIA GPU specifications
GPU memory bandwidth
Peak FP64 Tensor Core
Peak FP32 Tensor Core
Peak Mixed Precision
FP16 ops/ FP32
GPU base clock
GPU Boost clock
Maximum power consumption
Test bed and applications
This blog quantifies the performance improvement of the GPUs with the new PowerEdge GPU platform.
Using a single node PowerEdge R750xa server in the Dell HPC & AI Innovation Lab, we derived all results presented in this blog from this test bed. This section describes the test bed and the applications that were evaluated as part of the study. The following table provides test environment details:
Table 2 Server configuration
Test Bed 1
Test Bed 2
Dell PowerEdge R750xa
Dell PowerEdge C4140 configuration M
Intel Xeon 8380
Intel Xeon 6248
32 x 16 GB @ 3200MT/s
16 x 16 GB @ 2933MT/s
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3
4 x NVIDIA A100-PCIe-40 GB GPU
4 x NVIDIA V100-PCIe-32 GB GPU
The following table provides information about the applications and benchmarks used:
Table 3 Benchmark and application details
Floating point compute-intensive system benchmark
Problem size is more than 95% of GPU memory
Sparse matrix calculations
512 * 512 * 288
Molecular dynamics application
Molecular dynamics application
29 October 2020 release
Large-Scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel simulator (LAMMPS) is distributed by Sandia National Labs and the US Department of Energy. LAMMPS is open-source code that has different accelerated models for performance on CPUs and GPUs. For our test, we compiled the binary using the KOKKOS package, which runs efficiently on GPUs.
Figure 2 LAMMPS Performance on PowerEdge R750xa and PowerEdge C4140 servers
With the newer generation GPUs, this application improves 2.4 times compared to single GPU performance. The overall performance from a single server improved twice with the PowerEdge R750xa server and NVIDIA A100 GPUs.
GROMACS is a free and open-source parallel molecular dynamics package designed for simulations of biochemical molecules such as proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. It is used by a wide variety of researchers, particularly for biomolecular and chemistry simulations. GROMACS supports all the usual algorithms expected from modern molecular dynamics implementation. It is open-source software with the latest versions available under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).
Figure 3 GROMACS performance on PowerEdge C4140 and r750xa servers
With the newer generation GPUs, this application improved approximately 1.5 times across the dataset compared to single GPU performance. The overall performance from a single server improved 1.5 times with a PowerEdge R750xa server and NVIDIA A100 GPUs.
High-Performance Linpack (HPL) needs no introduction in the HPC arena. It is a widely used standard benchmark tests in the industry.
Figure 4 HPL Performance on the PowerEdge R750xa server with A100 GPU and PowerEdge C4140 server with V100 GPU
Figure 5 Power use of the HPL running on NVIDIA GPUs
From Figure 4 and Figure 5, the following results were observed:
- Performance—For GPU count, the NVIDIA A100 GPU demonstrates twice the performance of the NVIDIA V100 GPU. Higher memory size, double precision FLOPS, and a newer architecture contribute to the improvement for the NVIDIA A100 GPU.
- Scalability—The PowerEdge R750xa server with four NVIDIA A100-PCIe-40 GB GPUs delivers 3.6 times higher HPL performance compared to one NVIDIA A100-PCIE-40 GB GPU. The NVIDIA A100 GPUs scale well inside the PowerEdge R750xa server for the HPL benchmark.
- Higher Rpeak—The HPL code on NVIDIA A100 GPUs uses the new double-precision Tensor cores. The theoretical peak for each GPU is 19.5 TFlops, as opposed to 9.7 TFlops.
- Power—Figure 5 shows power consumption of a complete HPL run with the PowerEdge R750xa server using four A100-PCIe GPUs. This result was measured with iDRAC commands, and the peak power consumption was observed as 2022 Watts. Based on our previous observations, we know that the PowerEdge C4140 server consumes approximately 1800 W of power.
Figure 6 Scaling GPU performance data for HPCG Benchmark
As discussed in other blogs, high performance conjugate gradient (HPCG) is another standard benchmark to test data access patterns of sparse matrix calculations. From the graph, we see that the HPCG benchmark scales well with this benchmark resulting in 1.6 times performance improvement over the previous generation PowerEdge C4140 server with an NVIDIA V100 GPU.
The 72 percent improvement in memory bandwidth of the NVIDIA A100 GPU over the NVIDIA V100 GPU contributes to the performance improvement.
In this blog, we introduced the latest generation PowerEdge R750xa platform and discussed the performance improvement over the previous generation PowerEdge C4140 server. The PowerEdge R750xa server is a good option for customers looking for an Intel Xeon scalable CPU-based platform powered with NVIDIA GPUs.
With the newer generation PowerEdge R750xa server and NVIDIA A100 GPUs, the applications discussed in this blog show significant performance improvement.
In future blogs, we plan to evaluate NVLINK bridge support, which is another important feature of the PowerEdge R750xa server and NVIDIA A100 GPUs.
MLPerf™ v1.1 Inference on Virtualized and Multi-Instance GPUs
Mon, 16 May 2022 18:40:35 -0000|
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Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) provide exceptional acceleration to power modern Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning (DL) workloads. GPU resource allocation and isolation are some of the key components that data scientists working in a shared environment use to run their DL experiments effectively. The need for this allocation and isolation becomes apparent when a single user uses only a small percentage of the GPU, resulting in underutilized resources. Due to the complexity of the design and architecture, maximizing the use of GPU resources in shared environments has been a challenge. The introduction of Multi-Instance GPU (MIG) capabilities in the NVIDIA Ampere GPU architecture provides a way to partition NVIDIA A100 GPUs and allow complete isolation between GPU instances. The Dell Validated Design showcases the benefits of virtualization for AI workloads and MIG performance analysis. This design uses the most recent version of VMware vSphere along with the NVIDIA AI Enterprise suite on Dell PowerEdge servers and VxRail Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI). Also, the architecture incorporates Dell PowerScale storage that supplies the required analytical performance and parallelism at scale to feed the most data-hungry AI algorithms reliably.
In this blog, we examine some key concepts, setup, and MLPerf Inference v1.1 performance characterization for VMs hosted on Dell PowerEdge R750xa servers configured with MIG profiles on NVIDIA A100 80 GB GPUs. We compare the inference results for the ResNet50 and Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) models.
Key concepts include:
- Multi-Instance GPU (MIG)—MIG capability is an innovative technology released with the NVIDIA A100 GPU that enables partitioning of the A100 GPU up to seven instances or independent MIG devices. Each MIG device operates in parallel and is equipped with its own memory, cache, and streaming multiprocessors.
In the following figure, each block shows a possible MIG device configuration in a single A100 80 GB GPU:
Figure 1- MIG device configuration - A100 80 GB GPU
The figure illustrates the physical location of GPU instances after they have been instantiated on the GPU. Because GPU instances are generated and destroyed at various locations, fragmentation might occur. The physical location of one GPU instance influences whether more GPU instances can be formed next to it.
Supported profiles for the A100 80GB GPU include:
In Figure 1, a valid combination is constructed by beginning with an instance profile on the left and progressing to the right, ensuring that no two profiles overlap vertically. For detailed information about NVIDIA MIG profiles, see the NVIDIA Multi-Instance GPU User Guide.
- MLPERF—MLCommons™ is a consortium of leading researchers in AI from academia, research labs, and industry. Its mission is to "develop fair and useful benchmarks" that provide unbiased evaluations of training and inference performance for hardware, software, and services—all under controlled conditions. The foundation for MLCommons began with the MLPerf benchmark in 2018, which rapidly scaled as a set of industry metrics to measure machine learning performance and promote transparency of machine learning techniques. To stay current with industry trends, MLPerf is always evolving, conducting new tests, and adding new workloads that represent the state of the art in AI.
Setup for MLPerf Inference
A system under test consists of an ESXi host that can be operated from vSphere.
The following table provides the system details.
Table 1: System details
Dell PowerEdge R750xa (NVIDIA-Certified System)
2 x Intel Xeon Gold 6338 CPU @ 2.00 GHz
4 x NVIDIA A100 PCIe (PCI Express) 80 GB
Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dual Port 100 GbE
GPU driver version
System configuration for MLPerf Inference
The configuration for MLPerf Inference on a virtualized environment requires the following steps:
- Boot the host with ESXi (see Installing ESXi on the management hosts), install the NVIDIA bootbank driver, enable MIG, and restart the host.
- Create a virtual machine (VM) on the ESXi host with EFI boot mode (see Using GPUs with Virtual Machines on vSphere – Part 2: VMDirectPath I/O) and add the following advanced configuration settings:
pciPassthru.use64bitMMIO: TRUE pciPassthru.allowP2P: TRUE pciPassthru.64bitMMIOSizeGB: 64
- Change the VM settings and add a new PCIe device with a MIG profile (see Using GPUs with Virtual Machines on vSphere – Part 3: Installing the NVIDIA Virtual GPU Technology).
- Boot the Linux-based operating system and run the following steps in the VM.
- Install Docker, CMake (see Installing CMake), the build-essentials package, and CURL
- Download and install the NVIDIA MIG driver (grid driver).
- Install the nvidia-docker repository (see NVIDIA Container Toolkit Installation Guide) for running nvidia-containers.
- Configure the nvidia-grid service to use the vGPU setting on the VM (see Using GPUs with Virtual Machines on vSphere – Part 3: Installing the NVIDIA Virtual GPU Technology) and update the licenses.
- Run the following command to verify that the setup is successful:
Note: Each VM consists of 32 vCPUs and 64 GB memory.
MLPerf Inference configuration for MIG
When the system has been configured, configure MLPerf v1.1 on the MIG VMs. To run the MLPerf Inference benchmarks on a MIG-enabled system under test, do the following:
- Add MIG details in the inference configuration file:
Figure 2- Example configuration for running inferences using MIG enabled VMs
- Add valid MIG specifications to the system variable in the system_list.py file.
Figure 3- Example system entry with MIG profiles
These steps complete the system setup, which is followed by building the image, generating engines, and running the benchmark. For detailed instructions, see our previous blog about running MLPerf v1.1 on bare metal systems.
MLPerf v1.1 Benchmarking
We assessed inference latency and throughput for ResNet50 and BERT models using MLPerf Inference v1.1. The scenarios in the following table identify the number of VMs and corresponding MIG profiles used in performance tests. The total number of tests for each scenario is 57. The results are averaged based on three runs.
Note: We used MLPerf Inference v1.1 for benchmarking but the results shown in this blog are not part of the official MLPerf submissions.
Table 2: Scenarios configuration
MIG nvidia-4-40c + nvidia-2-20c + nvidia-1-10c
MIG nvidia-2-20c + nvidia-2-20c + nvidia-2-20c + nvidia-1-10c
MIG nvidia-1-10c* 7
ResNet50 (see Deep Residual Learning for Image Recognition) is a widely used deep convolutional neural network for various computer vision applications. This neural network can address the disappearing gradients problem by allowing gradients to traverse the network's layers using the concept of skip connections. The following figure shows an example configuration for ResNet50 inference:
Figure 4- Configuration for running inference using Resnet50 model
The following figure shows ResNet50 inference performance based on the scenarios in Table 2:
Figure 5- ResNet50 Performance throughput of MLPerf Inference v1.1 across various VMs with MIG profiles
Multiple data scientists can use all the available GPU resources while running their individual workloads on separate instances, improving overall system throughput. This result is clearly seen on Scenarios 6 through 8, which contain multiple instances, compared to Scenario 1 which consists of a single instance with the largest MIG profile for A100 80 GB. Scenario 6 achieves the highest overall system throughput (5.77 percent improvement) compared to Scenario 1. Also, Scenario 8 shows seven VMs equipped with individual GPU instances that can be built for up to seven data scientists who can fine-tune their ResNet50 base models.
BERT (see BERT: Pre-training of Deep Bidirectional Transformers for Language Understanding) is a state-of-the-art language representational model. BERT is essentially a stack of Transformer encoders. It is suitable for neural machine translation, question answering, sentiment analysis, and text summarization, all of which require a working knowledge of the target language.
BERT is trained in two stages:
- Pretrain—During which the model acquires language and context understanding
- Fine-tuning—During which the model acquires task-specific knowledge such as querying and response.
The following figure shows an example configuration for BERT inference:
Figure 6- Configuration for running inference using BERT model
The following figure shows BERT inference performance based on scenarios in Table 2:
Figure 7- BERT Performance throughput of MLPerf Inference v1.1 across various VMs with MIG profiles
Like Resnet50 Inference performance, we clearly see that Scenarios 6 through 8, which contain multiple instances, perform better compared to Scenario 1. Particularly, Scenario 7 achieves the highest overall system throughput (21 percent improvement) compared to Scenario 1 while achieving 99.9 percent accuracy target. Also, Scenario 8 shows seven VMs equipped with individual GPU instances that can be built for up to seven data scientists who want to fine-tune their BERT base models.
In this blog, we describe how to install and configure MLPerf Inference v1.1 on Dell PowerEdge 750xa servers using a VMware-virtualized infrastructure and NVIDIA A100 GPUs. Furthermore, we examine the performance of single- and multi-MIG profiles running on the A100 GPU. If your ML workload is primarily inferencing-focused and response time is not an issue, enabling MIG on the A100 GPU can ensure complete GPU use with maximum throughput. Developers can use VMs with an independent GPU compute allocated to them. Also, in cases where the largest MIG profiles are used, performance is comparable to bare metal systems. Inference results from ResNet50 and BERT models demonstrate that overall system performance using either the whole GPU or multiple VMs with MIG instances hosted on an R750xa system with VMware ESXi and NVIDIA A100 GPUs performed well and produced valid results for MLPerf Inference v1.1. In both the cases, the average throughput and latency are equal. This result confirms that MIG provides predictable latency and throughput independent of other processes operating on the MIG instances on the GPU.
There is a MIG limitation for GPU profiling on the VMs. Due to the shared nature of the hardware performance across all MIG devices, only one GPU profiling session can run on a VM; parallel GPU profiling sessions on a single VM are not possible.