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GDC Recap: Liqid changes the game with composable GPU and NVMe for M&E pros

Posted on
March 29, 2022
Written By

It’s been a lot longer than a Fortnite (ha!), and Liqid answered the Call of Duty to attend the extremely busy 2022 Game Developers Conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco last week. Verdict on composable infrastructure and NVMe solutions for M&E developers? Looks like it’s game on with composable infrastructure and NVMe solutions from Liqid!  

Team Liqid, slammed at GDC.

“This has been one of our best shows coming out of the pandemic. People genuinely wanted to know what Liqid does, they want to bring our cutting edge tech back home,” said Triet Pham, Director of Sales & Strategic Accounts, Liqid. “We have great momentum heading into upcoming conferences like NAB and DellWorld.” 

Liqid Channel Sales Champ Dominique Garcia concurred. “There was so much great energy at GDC. Unlike a lot of shows in the tech industry, attendees on the floor stopped at every booth to understand what the individual vendors do, and they wanted to understand all aspects of the solution, whether they were seasoned M&E pros or students figuring out where they fit into all of this.” 

For game developers and others working in the M&E space, Liqid composable disaggregated infrastructure and NVMe solutions deliver game-changing efficiency, performance, and time-to-value for artists working against sometimes brutal deadlines with technology stacks that are often static and as such perform unevenly, unable to adjust resources as different aspects of the production pipeline require.   

Even the most state-of-the-art GPU servers face the same challenges that servers 20 years ago were up against. They are limited by their form factors and PCIe slots, and valuable resources like GPU are trapped in the box, whether utilized or not. Liqid Matrix software enables customers to deploy previously impossible amounts of GPU and NVMe storage performance in minutes, without having to crack the box and physically alter the configuration. 

In addition to the immediate performance benefits, Liqid software both extends the life of previously deployed hardware while enabling disaggregated, vendor-neutral growth. Liqid even has turn-key systems that can support up to 16 GPUs in a single server for the most demanding M&E workflows.

“GDC is a really interesting place for tech enthusiasts. It’s intimate, and you get to be exposed to really fresh ideas from studios and artists that are normally not able to get this kind of exposure at some of the larger events,” said Mark McKeen, Staff Engineer, Liqid. “GDC is designed to bring together the community of gamers and people who enjoy that type of art and like to experience the kinds of stories you get immersed in through modern gaming.”

Instead of trapping GPU, fast storage, and other resources in the server, with Liqid the hardware is disaggregated from the server and placed into pools on a PCIe fabric. The server’s own PCIe bus is also connected to this fabric, where Liqid Matrix software is used to compose the pooled resources directly to server that need them in seconds, accelerating time-to-results and drastically improving GPU utilization. 

“A team of developers working for a major game publisher will be working on top of the Liqid CDI platform, and they came by the booth to discuss details of the product in-depth. They were certainly impressed by the amount of performance and resource agility we could get out of the hardware footprint,” Garcia said. “That level of engagement is rarer than you think at fast-paced events such as these, so it was really cool to get to better understand what these customers need from the ground up and how they’ll be using Liqid to blow our minds with new concepts in gaming and entertainment.” 

Liqid's software-defined approach to resource management accelerates time-to-results for challenging workflows across the production pipeline, while maximizing GPU resource utilization from around 15% to upwards of 90%. That kind of utilization is impressive on its own, but amid ongoing supply chain disruptions, it could mean the difference between meeting and missing a deadline. 

“It’s really refreshing to see the ground-truth developers get excited about our technology. As a developer myself, I can relate to them in a way a lot of people can’t: With Liqid, you don’t have to physically move your hardware around to match what you need to do with your hands, off you go,” said McKeen. “You can test that GPU with this driver set, on this OS, and run it, bare metal, on this 170 GB build I just made. Then I can easily move my build from one server to another with Liqid Matrix software. To see developers react to those capabilities – we’re talking saving hundreds of hours – is great. They want to get a lot more done in a day.” 

If you would like to speak to a Liqid expert about how Liqid CDI and NVMe solutions can benefit your M&E organization, reach out to a Liqid representative to learn more

We’ll see you next at NAB!

Written by
Posted on
March 29, 2022

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