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The GPUltima for Graphics-Intensive VDI Environments

In this week’s Sponsored Post, Katie Garrison of One Stop Systems explains The GPUltima for Graphics-Intensive VDI Environments.

picture1 In a large university there might be thousands of users in a virtual environment with a large percentage of those users needing access to graphics-intensive applications. The Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) infrastructure would then need multiple GPUs to handle the demand. While there are many different infrastructure options available, One Stop systems can offer one of the densest solutions with the GPUltima. One node of the GPUltima can provide 16 GPUs in 4U to share amongst a large number of users in a VDI environment.

VDI is used across many industries including architecture, engineering, manufacturing, oil and gas exploration and education. Many of these industries face an issue with the demand for GPU power to run graphics-intensive 3D applications such as AutoCAD, Solidworks, Matlab and many others. A VDI deployment that allows users to share GPU resources can reduce capital and operational expenditure, making it an attractive infrastructure option.

For Universities and Colleges that have a traditional infrastructure, adding new programs and applications is a huge endeavor. The IT staff needs to determine if all of the hardware meets the installation requirements and how to deploy these new programs on different models of desktops and notebooks. With a VDI environment that utilizes simple boot-up devices that connect to virtual desktops on the school’s server, the IT staff doesn’t have to worry about the age and capability of each individual PC when installing new software. In addition, for departments that have a large number of users who require GPU resources, VDI can help by allowing users to share GPU resources instead of spending extra resources on having one GPU per user.

NVIDIA has several success stories with universities and colleges that have implemented GRID VDI solutions. Villanova University’s College of Engineering originally used a standard VDI solution that relied on CPUs for graphics rendering. After learning about NVIDIA’s GRID solutions, they successfully implemented a VDI solution that used three 2U dell servers with two NVIDIA GRID K1 cards each. With only 6U of rack space, Villanova University was able to offer GPU compute power to almost 100 concurrent users.

NVIDIA’s GRID Technology was designed for VDI. GRID technology allows any application that works on a physical machine to work on a virtual machine. In 2015, NVIDIA announced the release of GRID 2.0, the next generation of VDI GPU technology including The NVIDIA® Tesla® M60. The M60 can support 32 concurrent users which is twice as many users as GRID 1.0 (K1 and K2 cards). It has two high-end NVIDIA Maxwell™ GPUs and 16 GB GDDR5 memory (8 GB per GPU). It is designed to accelerate graphics in virtual remote workstation and virtual desktop environments.

picture2One of the benefits of VDI is the reduced infrastructure footprint. Rather than taking up a lot of rack space with multiple servers that only have one or two GPUs each, one GPUltima node can provide a twin server and 16 M60 GPUs in only 4U. That means in only 4U, a university could provide GPU power to 512 concurrent users, which is more than 5 times the amount of users and 2U less than Villanova University’s College of Engineering’s VDI setup.

This guest article was submitted by Katie Garrison, Marketing Communications at One Stop Systems

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