NVIDIA and VMware Leading the Way to Make Advanced 3D Desktops Available for All

by Sumit Dhawan

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate our partners at NVIDIA on a great GTC Conference last week in San Jose, California. A tremendous amount of news was announced at the show that highlighted NVIDIA’s vision for computing in the coming years and industry leadership.

Among the many innovative announcements made at the conference, VMware and NVIDIA unveiled the industry’s first desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offering that brings accelerated graphics powered cloud-based desktops to users everywhere.

DaaS allows customers to enjoy the benefits of desktop and application virtualization without the up front costs or the need to deploy the full physical desktop infrastructure required for remote desktops. Instead, they can simply provision and manage desktops from a service provider through the cloud and consume them as a monthly subscription service. As customers begin to realize the benefits of DaaS, they are also looking to solve additional use cases that include high performance 3D design and DaaS can help there as well.

VMware Chief Technology Officer Ben Fathi appeared on stage with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference to unveil the first desktop-as-a-service offering.
VMware Chief Technology Officer Ben Fathi appeared on stage with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference to unveil the first desktop-as-a-service offering.

Imagine this – a global automotive firm is in the process of designing its next generation vehicle. In order to accelerate development of a particular component, the firm needs to rapidly enlist available engineering talent from different parts of the world to help with the R&D process. Instead of building out a physical desktop infrastructure for this new group of users, the firm simply goes to a service provider that is powered by VMware Horizon DaaS and provisions high performance 3D virtual desktops for them. Not only does this help the firm maintain protection of its intellectual property, but also allows the firm to be significantly more agile and only pay for and use what they need for the project.

Delivering 3D Desktops To A DaaS Provider Near You

VMware is able to rapidly address the high-end 3D graphics use case due to the combination of VMware’s unrelenting focus on desktop innovation and advanced 3D graphics solutions from NVIDIA.

Today, VMware offers two ways to leverage the power of NVIDIA GRID GPUs with virtual machines.

First, vDGA (virtual dedicated graphics acceleration) dedicates a NVIDIA GPU to an individual user giving them the full power and performance needed for the most demanding 3D graphics and engineering design applications.

Second, vSGA (virtual shared graphics acceleration) allows multiple users to share physical graphics cards and this is appropriate for users who typically access CAD/CAM images for reference or to review designs from engineers.

Leveraging vDGA direct graphics and vSGA shared graphics from VMware vSphere with VMware Horizon View combined with NVIDIA GRID GPUs, DaaS service providers can deliver advanced 3D graphics to customers with complex graphics application needs. Most notably, we are excited that Navisite will be the first DaaS provider to offer this solution in the coming weeks.


What’s Next?

The innovation between NVIDIA and VMware doesn’t end there. We are collaborating to bring NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology to VMware virtual machines. GRID vGPU enables GPU acceleration sharing for up to 32 users with NVIDIA GRID K1 and 16 users with NVIDIA GRID K2 while delivering a high fidelity 3D graphics experience. This further drives down the cost of advanced 3D virtual desktops, while users get a superb user experience. Early access to GRID vGPU technology with VMware virtual machine will be available to select customers later in 2014.

I’m excited about our joint development efforts as the first of our two projects have already come to fruition. Customers can expect continued innovation from the two companies as we work together to advance desktop computing and push the technology envelope. So be sure to stay tuned to VMware and NVIDIA to make sure you don’t miss any of the exciting news ahead.