Nvidia GPU-Powered Workstation Service Released in Microsoft Azure Marketplace
In a move that will ease the provisioning of GPU power on-demand to standard desktop and mobile clients, Nvidia’s high-end Quadro virtual workstation is now available as a service in Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace.
Nvidia’s Quadro Virtual Workstation (vWS) is available as either Windows Server 2016 or Ubuntu 18.04 virtual machine images (VMIs). It will also be an option for Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Virtual Desktop service, which is expected to go into preview this quarter.
The new marketplace option, which Nvidia claims is the first, gives systems integrators and CSPs an alternative and simpler approach to delivering 3D rendering, artificial intelligence (AI) and interactive simulation to customers who can’t afford or justify the cost of deploying expensive, GPU-powered client devices.
Targeted at engineers and designers in industries such as energy, manufacturing, media and architecture, it’s suited for customers who employ contract workers or employees with occasional need for vGPU capacity. Nvidia said the service can run GPU-intensive applications such as Adobe Premier, AutoCAD and Revit from Autodesk, CATIA from Dassault Systèmes and Solidworks’ CAD and modeling software.
Virtual GPU (vGPU) services from Nvidia and rivals including AMD and Intel already are available in all of the major public clouds, but Nvidia underscored that its new Azure-based offering is the first time a Quadro Workstation is available on-demand in a marketplace. Nvidia estimates customers can spin up a Quadro vWS in Azure for less than $3 per hour, per user.
“It’s a great value proposition for someone who just wants to quickly take a set of employees and give them access to an app in a data set and get them right to work on a project,” Anne Hecht, Nvidia’s senior director of product marketing, told Channel Futures. Asked if Nvidia plans to bring it to other marketplaces, notably Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud, Hecht only said: “Stay tuned.”
By offering Quadro vWS in the Azure Marketplace, customers can spin up their own instances as needed. Hecht said the marketplace model shouldn’t be viewed as a threat to partners.
“We’re just giving our partners that are working with enterprise customers another option to help deploy and integrate, depending on what their what their business needs are,” she said.
“I think it’s good, and if it’s good for the IT consumer, it’s good for us as a business too because those type of workloads are almost the perfect fit for a cloud scenario,” said Roberts, who noted that he’s seeing increased interest in virtual workstation services.
Partners can mix and match the new Quadro vWS for Azure in hybrid scenarios for customers with existing traditional workstations and with data-center-connected VDI deployments. Dell, HPE, Cisco, Nutanix and NetApp are among those that offer servers and hyperconverged infrastructure with Nvidia GPU options.
The release comes as a footnote to other news from Nvidia, which issued a warning that revenue for the fourth quarter is projected to be $500 million lower than forecast. The Jan. 28 announcement drove Nvidia’s shares down 14 percent thatday, and another 3 percent on Jan. 29, leading to numerous downgrades by Wall Street analysts. While Nvidia’s shares have risen incrementally in the following days, the company is trading at only slightly more than 50 percent of its 52-week high. Nvidia will report on Feb. 14.
Nevertheless, the release of Nvidia’s Quadro vWS comes amid increased focus on …