Virtual desktop infrastructure is a great way to deliver desktops and apps to workers, but in the past, it's only been viable if those workers use applications that don't rely on complex graphics or video rendering.
VDI is not ideal for delivering the type of performance power users need to accomplish work with apps that display complex graphics. That's where virtual graphics processing unit (vGPU) cards come in. A vGPU renders the graphics on a back-end server rather than on the actual endpoint device. As a result, the server expends the resources to deliver graphics instead of the laptop, PC or mobile device the user is running. The device will run more smoothly because it can focus on CPU.
Use this comprehensive guide to determine if GPU virtualization is right for your organization. Discover the value of vGPUs, how this technology works and the product options from companies such as VMware and Citrix.
1A good fit-
Why and when to use vGPUs
GPU virtualization can help make sure virtual desktop performance is top notch. But you must know when and where vGPU cards are necessary before investing in the technology. If you are mostly dealing with task workers, then you can probably skip out on vGPU, because they can get along just fine with plain old VDI. But if you have employees, such as video editors, who work with graphics-intensive applications then GPU acceleration is for you. Once you have determined that, you also need to know what type of GPU technology to adopt -- dedicated hardware, shared hardware or GPU virtualization.
The Kepler family of graphics cards from Nvidia takes the rendering process off the user's device and puts it on the VM's server. The server combines with a local graphics resource to grant speedy access to complex graphics rendering from anywhere. Continue Reading
GPU virtualization is a great way to improve application and VDI performance, but it's not worth the cost in some situations. Sometimes protocol offload is a more efficient way to solve VDI performance problems. Continue Reading
2Products and Features-
Evaluate GPU virtualization technologies
As with most technologies, picking the right product is key to successfully implementing GPU virtualization. Nvidia and AMD are the top two vGPU card manufacturers, with Nvidia's GRID graphics card standing above the competition. Citrix and VMware are the dominant players that support Nvidia's technology. Citrix's XenDesktop GRID vGPU feature offers pass-through support on XenServer 6.2 with Service Pack 1. VMware's three products for GPU acceleration are Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA), Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA) and Soft 3D. Each one addresses a different level of graphics performance needs.
Citrix and VMware both offer GPU virtualization features based on Nvidia cards. Citrix's offering, XenDesktop GRID vGPU, supports both GPU pass-through and sharing. VMware's vSGA shares the GPU across VMs, while vDGA dedicates GPU to a specific virtual desktop. Continue Reading
To install Citrix's GRID vGPU feature, admins must add the Nvidia vGPU GRID Manager driver, which delivers a paravirtualized driver to the GPU. Admins can also decide if a workload will use a full GPU or just portions of the GPU as shareable vGPUs. Continue Reading