Nvidia VGX Platform Virtualizes GPU, Boosts VDI Platforms
As smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices enter the workspace, Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) is working to provide a faster experience for virtual desktop users with the VGX service, which allows organizations to virtualize graphics processing units (GPUs) on mobile device and virtual desktops.
Working alongside Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions to help businesses transform Windows desktops and data into cloud-like resources, VGX adds a virtualized GPU board to the data center, resulting in faster multimedia playback, application support and an all-around smoother user experience. That’s the plan, anyway.
The platform is based on three key technologies: VGX boards, designed for hosting large numbers of users in an energy-efficient way; VGX GPU Hypervisor, a software layer that integrates into commercial hypervisors such as the Citrix XenServer, enabling virtualization of the GPU; and User Selectable Machines (USMs), a manageability option allowing enterprises to configure the graphics capabilities delivered to individual users in the network.
The breakthrough could speed the adoption of VDI in the enterprise thanks to improved ease of management and a more user-friendly interface, said Cisco’s data center business group senior vice president and general manager David Yen.
The VGX platform enables up to 100 users to be served from a single server powered by one VGX board. The board features four GPUs, each with 192 Nvidia CUDA (the company’s parallel computing architecture) cores and 4 GB of frame buffer.
In addition, ultra-low latency remote display capabilities extend VDI possibilities to those using 3D design and simulation tools — applications that had previously been too intensive for virtual desktops.
Companies such as Citrix, which offers a VDI platform for the enterprise, are integrating the technology to add full hardware graphics acceleration to their range of VDI products. And a better virtual desktop experience for users means more opportunity for the channel.