By Michael O’Neill (NVIDIA), Rachel Berry (Citrix), and Deana Coble (IBM)
This is the second blog in our series that seeks to help you understand, “what’s in it for you”, through the new enhancements available with the IBM NeXtScale System and NVIDIA GPU acceleration. This week we are covering GPU accelerated virtualization. Since we are talking virtualization, we are also talking Citrix.
Here is how it works in a nutshell: NeXtScale Systems brings the hardware density and stability, Citrix brings the flexible virtual desktops and applications, and NVIDIA GPU cards bring the power – together they bring you cost savings, performance, and a flexible user experience!
Citrix collaborated with NVIDIA to jointly develop the industry’s first and only true hardware GPU sharing solution released in 2013, known as the NVIDIA GRID vGPU. IBM, through strong partnership bonds with both NVIDIA and Citrix, was integral to the design and engineering of the solution and the earliest beta and test programs. Today, with many successful production systems jointly deployed, cost effective NVIDIA GPU acceleration is enabling more users of virtual desktops and virtual applications to access VDI solutions.
So what does this mean for you or your organization? Well, here is a short list of benefits:
Move away from bulky workstations to work anywhere on any device
Improve the user experience for virtualized applications and desktops
Share hardware costs and reduce expenses
Control bandwidth costs
GPU accelerate virtualized environments with confidence when you utilize the long established partnerships and experience of IBM, Citrix, and NVIDIA
An example of a GPU accelerated environment in the NeXtScale System chassis
HDX 3D Pro is a set of graphics acceleration technologies designed to optimize the delivery of graphics-intensive apps and desktops using deep compression techniques to dramatically reduce bandwidth overhead, and integrated GPU functionality for achieving fast graphics rendering with stunning visual performance.
With Citrix XenApp, the user experience is the same as if they had a dedicated workstation for any of the following functions: Additional HDX capabilities available on any device include:
Voice, video, and multimedia
Network and local printing and scanning
Largest variety of USB devices including 3D space mouse, cameras, and GPS radios
Shared GPU usage has been enabled for a long while for XenApp and has proved to be a highly cost effective technology for providing applications with NVIDIA GPU acceleration. It is supported by Citrix on the NVIDIA GRID and Quadro GPU cards.
OPTION A: Citrix vGPU uses standard NVIDIA drivers to provide true full-featured GPU virtualization
OPTION B: VMware’s vSGA uses custom VMware drivers to share GPU among VMs, with feature limitations
Like all of Citrix’s GPU technologies XenApp utilizes native NVIDIA GPU drivers to ensure applications are supported as soon as GPU enhancements are provided. It has proven popular with users of graphically intensive applications (such as SolidWorks and Autodesk) as well as office and PLM applications.
IBM, NVIDIA, and Citrix have had great success with GPU accelerated solutions on IBM iDataPlex. NeXtScale Systems can now take those solutions to the next level in terms of performance, density, and manageability. What used to take 12U of rack space for iDataPlex has now been achieved in 6U of rack space for the same workload with the NeXtScale System. By moving from more of a shared architecture approach, savings on heat and cooling, power, and overall operational costs can be quickly realized.
NVIDIA GPUs have long been the industry standard for accelerated computing. NVIDIA GPU brands are well known and provide the necessary computing power to build bridges, enable “self-parking” cars, and map the human genome.
NVIDIA GRID now brings the full benefit of NVIDIA hardware-accelerated graphics and compute to virtualized environments. NVIDIA GRID vGPU is the most advanced GPU sharing technology and is currently available for Citrix XenServer and Citrix XenDesktop virtualized deployments.
Check out these webinars on XenDesktop and NVIDIA GRID:
XenDesktop and NVIDIA GRID webinars
Don’t forget, we're not finished yet! We started with last week’s blog post on IBM NeXtScale System and NVIDIA GPU Acceleration. Over the next four weeks we continue our series of “what’s in it for you,” when using the NeXtScale System and NVIDIA options for enabling a GPU accelerated data center. Look for these upcoming topics:
GPU Accelerated Applications for Graphics (for Engineering/Design, Geospatial, Oil & Gas)
GPU Accelerated Compute for Analytics (for Financial, Rendering, and so on)
GPU Accelerated Big Data
Thanks for reading and lets all get back to the virtual grindstone! We will see you next week…you know a virtual grindstone isn’t nearly as bad once it’s NVIDIA GPU accelerated – it’s a Citrix virtual desktop instead (much easier on the back and knees).
For specific product and part information for purchasing the NeXtScale System components and the NVIDIA GPUs mentioned in this blog, see the NeXtScale nx360 M4 Product Guide.
You might also what to view more information about Citrix’s broad portfolio of HDX technologies.
Michael O’Neill is an established leader for NVIDIA and provides specialized technical guidance to customers on NVIDIA GRID and Tesla GPUs in virtualized environments. He works closely with IBM to develop innovative solutions for graphical and compute heavy workloads.
Rachel Berry joined Citrix from Siemens PLM where she worked as a CAD-architecture engineer, specialising in CAD and PLM joint-product development with Autodesk, Siemens NX, Ansys Workbench, SolidWorks and others. Rachel holds a PhD in Electromagnetic Field Simulation and Image Processing from Cambridge University. Rachel is now Product Manager for HDX 3D Pro Graphics at Citrix. Follow Rachel on @rhbBSE or her CAD Virtualisation blog: http://blogs.citrix.com/author/rachelbe/
Deana Coble is an IBM Redbooks Technical Writer. She has worked over 20 years in the field of technology and collaborates with IBM subject matter experts to create IBM Redbooks publications on a variety of systems. Follow Deana on Twitter at @DeanaCoble.