TensorDock: Investing in a better future
The first GPU, a NVIDIA Tesla V100, and the server that I bought that sparked the creation of the company that became TensorDock
Three years ago, I stumbled across an eBay auction featuring an NVIDIA Tesla V100 graphics card after having exchanged messages with a potential client. It was just minutes until the auction closed, and I could press the “bid” button with no competitors. My arms were shaking, and I had to take a few walks around my house before I made my decision.
At the time, $2,000 for a weird graphics card only a single customer had requested seemed like an absurd amount of money—and it was. From a logical standpoint, I probably shouldn’t have purchased the graphics card. Yet, with the auction closing in just minutes, I had to make a decision. Trusting my gut, I placed the only bid.
As a startup, we have to make bets. We need to invest in our product, in new initiatives, and most importantly, our people.
Today, I’m excited to report back on some of the latest bets we’ve been making. Some may seem weird; some may seem like they’ll never generate a return. Nevertheless, just like that first graphics card I purchased, we’re hopeful that we’ll reap the fruits of our efforts for years to come.
A Stronger Marketplace
We’re steadfast in growing our GPU computing marketplace. Each week, we break another record in terms of transaction volume.
Screenshot of an account with access to specific reserved instances
Due to the stock situation, customers may want to unfettered access to specific servers. For our enterprise customers, we can now reserve them new hostnodes as they come online.
March is our full month where all hosts with on-demand servers are paid based on actual consumption. They can see all of their hostnodes along with the physical facilities they’re located within our hosting dashboard.
Instead of us paying hosts at the end of the month, hosts will now have account balances increase incrementally throughout the month, with the freedom to withdraw anytime.
To ensure stability of hosts and guarantee clients a pleasant experience, we will roll out these penalties:
- 99.99% uptime: pro-rated revenue loss plus 5% penalty (e.g. 1 reboot)
- 99.9%: pro-rated revenue loss plus 20% penalty (e.g. short power outage)
- 99%: pro-rated revenue loss plus 40% penalty (e.g. extended power outage)
- Lower or preventable data loss: account ban
Why Marketplace’s Advancements Matter
The TensorDock Marketplace is maturing. We’ve passed the days when we needed to subsidize every purchase; our marketplace became profitable in January and continued strong during February. As I write this blog post, out of the 25 unrented GPUs on our marketplace, 23 of them were added in the past week. We’ve reached a point where volume is high enough that we can step back and let the marketplace start growing itself.
Physical Expansion to Michigan
TensorDock technician installing servers at 123.net’s data center in Michigan
Two weeks ago, we began our latest expansion yet: Michigan at 123.net’s Southfield data center campus. With this expansion, we’re able to provide:
- Low pings throughout the northeast: 5ms to Chicago; 10ms to Toronto; 20ms to New York, Boston, Ashburn; 30ms to Dallas
- Better redundancy: true multi-homed network; generator backups
- Upstream scalability: 100Gbps+ networking and multiple megawatts of available space for us to grow into
And, this hardware is all listed exclusively on our marketplace. Throughout the coming months, we intend to make similar investments throughout the globe to supplement GPU supply on our marketplace in regions where we’re facing an especially severe imbalance of supply and demand.
Server #1 placed into a rack
Cold aisle containment for maximum cooling efficiency
Why Physical Expansions Matter
By hosting our own hardware, we can anchor host pricing on our marketplace, ensuring that you, the customer, get a fair deal. In addition, by operating our own servers on our own marketplace, we can develop better tools and software that’ll support hosts.
A Better Ad
Watch it here: https://youtu.be/MsroYEHNLHY.
Why Ads Matter
Just as we’re investing in both our software and hardware, we’re also changing the way we advertise. This ad is just the start. In the coming months, we’ll spend more on advertising to drive volume into our ecosystem.
We’re making significant advances across every facet of our business. And, for the first time, if you’d like to join, you can! If you’re based in the US and may be suited for any of roles listed below, then we’d love to interview you!
- Kubernetes engineer
- Rendering engineer
- Full stack engineer
- Senior salesperson