Top Virtualization Talent Comes to NVIDIA for GRID Days

by Victoria Rege

Dozens  of top virtualization community members, partners and customers descended on our Silicon Valley headquarters this week for our first ever NVIDIA GRID Days event.

The goal: to build a community of technology leaders and establish a professional advisor program of people who can provide direct feedback on our products, and help the enterprise community understand the benefits of GRID. It’s an approach that parallels the efforts of other major enterprise technology vendors, such as Citrix, Microsoft and VMware.

Attendees were eager to share their experiences with NVIDIA GRID, which brings accelerated professional graphics to virtualized desktops, and to learn what’s next for a product that’s now used across a variety of industries.

Many attendees are leaders in our customers’ ecosystems. Customers trust them and look to them for help when deploying graphics in the enterprise, explained Rachel Berry, NVIDIA data center ecosystem solution architect. Others are experienced in particular industries or with key software applications, she added.

“The idea is to look at how to bring those who understand our current and potential customers together and give them access to key members of our engineering and product teams,” Berry said.

Dane Young, virtual practice manager at Entisys, donned a gray robe and battered conical hat to present a Tesla GPU to longtime community member Tobias Kriedl.

Over two days, attendees heard from NVIDIA architects and engineers about how GRID works, and where it’s going. Sessions focused on a broad variety of topics, from how to use GPUs in the enterprise, to monitoring and management, to where GRID is going next.

Getting the Enterprise Virtualization Story Out

Attendees said they are seeing huge demand for technology like GRID. Of course, there’s a huge demand for accelerated graphics from engineers, scientists and developers who use 3D applications such as Schlumberger Software’s Petrel, Catia from Dassault Systemes and ESRI’s ArcGIS. But more and more knowledge workers who grind through dozens of tasks on apps such as PowerPoint and Chrome simultaneously need graphics acceleration as well.

Kurt Miller, information officer at Cannon Design, said the global design firm is moving its 950 employees to a fully virtualized GPU environment. He sees others moving there, too. “I’d be surprised if corporate environments weren’t at 50 percent GPU virtualization in three years,” Miller said.

The result: a series of freewheeling discussions that touched on how GRID is used in architecture, education, the automotive industry, manufacturing, media and entertainment, geographic and information systems and more, with attendees providing feedback on every aspect of NVIDIA’s GRID business.

“I think this is a great opportunity for us to get feedback to the development teams,” said  Emily Aspy, ESRI product engineer.

“I think it’s been extremely valuable,” Tobias Kriedl, academic computing team lead at Northern Arizona University, said of the event. So what’s next for GRID? “Now it’s all about performance and scaling.”

To learn more about GRID, attend the Graphics Virtualization Track at our GPU Technology Conference next month.