Midwestern Architecture Firm BLDD Redesigns Its IT Using NVIDIA GRID

by Victoria Rege

With more than 85 employees spread across five offices in the the U.S.’s upper Midwest, architectural firm BLDD knows about the importance—and challenges—of effective collaboration.

With specialists based in various offices and the demands of clients coming from all over, the right virtual IT set-up can make or break each opportunity. BLDD’s recent adoption of NVIDIA GRID technology has produced dramatic results.

BLDD’s first attempt at a virtual desktop infrastructure ran headlong into the fact that traditional deployments run graphics processing duties to the CPU, which is ill-suited to the task. Running graphics-intensive applications on the CPU quickly overwhelmed the system, and users experienced lag and even crashes as a result.

GRID BLDD prek-12
With NVIDIA GRID, BLDD team members across multiple offices can work on graphics-intensive projects in real time.

An early adopter of Autodesk Revit as its building information modeling tool, BLDD also uses a bevy of other 3D tools, such as Autodesk Navisworks, Bentley RAM, Trimble SketchUp and AutoCAD.

Transitioning to a virtual set-up powered by NVIDIA GRID K2 cards in Cisco UCS servers, running VMware Horizon View on vSphere,  allowed BLDD to run these graphic-intensive apps with ease, improving collaboration and project quality, while maintaining data security.

Project teams spread across multiple offices can now work on complex 3D models of 250MB or more in real time from any office or remote location on any desktop, laptop or mobile device. This boosts employee productivity, and the firm has seen its travel and IT costs drop.

Competitive differentiation is critical for smaller firms. And NVIDIA GRID technology has allowed BLDD to provide a range of high-quality services, but without an unsustainable outlay on hardware and tech support.

Word of this success has gotten out, and BLDD is now viewed as a local thought leader in the area of desktop virtualization, with other firms reaching out to ask how they did it.

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