VMware and NVIDIA previewed their shared virtual desktop graphics technology at VMworld, which kicked off Sunday, Aug. 26 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. First described at the GPU Technology Conference in May, the technology involves a single NVIDIA VGX card serving up rich media and graphics to multiple virtual machines. With vSpshere 5.1, NVIDIA added vSGA (Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration) that allows the presentation of a physical graphics processing unit (GPU) from the underlying host to virtual desktops guests. By virtualizing the physical GPU, its resources can be allocated and shared across several virtual desktop instances.
This provides several different benefits. Using the physical GPU and vRAM frees the underlying CPU and memory from the host to be used for other tasks. Using a GPU for hardware-accelerated graphics also allows customers to provide a more rich and interactive graphical experience across an even broader set of use cases. Most importantly, all the operational benefits such as vMotion, HA, DRS, etc. are also supported, allowing customers to easily expand or enhance their existing virtual desktop infrastructures.
The team at the Dell Solution Center recorded this video that demonstrate the power of the NVIDIA VGX virtualized GPU for VDI environment. In this video the display protocol in use is PCoIP. NVIDIA VGX uniquely addresses the user experience issues of traditional VDI by adding a fully virtualized GPU board into each of your VDI hosts.
VMware vSphere 5.1 also delivers a breadth of new and improved capabilities to ease daily administrative tasks. Out of the gate administrators will notice the new, browser-based VMware vSphere Web Client. The Web Client is highly scalable enabling administrators to manage more objects and 3x more sessions than before. The Web Client will also allow administrators to pause and resume even the most complex task or workflow without losing their place if interrupted — by storing workflow and state on the server. VMware vCenter Single Sign-On further streamlines VMware vSphere 5.1 operations by enabling administrators to log-in once and access all instances or layers depending on their profile and rights. No more logging in multiple times to carry out basic activities.
VMware vSphere 5.1 introduces VMware vSphere Replication. This new feature offers powerful and affordable virtual machine level replication allowing customers to use of lower tier storage at their failover site. VMware vSphere Storage Appliance 5.1 delivers functionality to more easily and cost-effectively deploy a shared storage software environment, enabling high availability in SMB and Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) environments.
See also VMware full press release for more information.