Design engineering is becoming a global process – firms want to engage lower cost overseas design talent and collaborate efficiently with their customers and international partners – without risking the breach of intellectual property.  Designers and reviewers want seamless access to designs from their homes, from their mobile tablets and other devices. And, with speed and agility becoming a key competitive advantage, manufacturers are looking for new ways to improve their time-to-market by streamlining design cycles – and virtual desktops provide them with the perfect solution.  For many companies, diaster recovery is another key reason for going virtual.

But for a designer solution to be successful,  high-performance and rich image quality in a virtualized environment are crucial.  Citrix XenDesktop  with HDX 3D Pro addresses the need with optimizations for rendering graphics intensive applications. Citrix XenServer provides GPU Passthrough for HDX 3D Pro Graphics.  And Citrix has partnered closely with NVIDIA to interface directly with the graphics cards via proprietary VGX APIs to provide a very responsive user experience. IBM has developed a solution around this with the IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud using Citrix XenDesktop.  IBM provides an infrastructure comprised of IBM System x3650 servers and NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPU’s) as well as implementation and managed services to help run it securely and efficiently. IBM has a long history working with many customers with 3D professional graphics, the knowledge that they have across a diverse and international set of customers is invaluable.  Both IBM and Citrix have built close partnerships with leading ISVs such a Dassault Systems, who offer the CATIA application widely used in aircraft and automobile design.  IBM also has six datacenters around the globe available for disaster recovery purposes.

Toyota Boshoku, manufacturer of automotive interior systems for Japanese and international car makers, embarked on the desktop virtualization path after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.   They adopted the IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud with Citrix XenDesktop to streamline their design process and create a disaster recovery solution.  Now, their engineers can login to a virtual desktop and get access to both their CAD and productivity applications in a single environment from anywhere – design rooms, project rooms, or factories.  Data security is protected because the highly sensitive intellectual property is stored centrally on servers, and large files do not have to be moved across the network.

Toyota Boshoku’s  use case is an example of the broader trend we are seeing around the designer virtual workstation becoming mainstream – as manufacturing firms, engineering firms, design firms are all looking to tap into a mobile and increasingly global workforce.

To learn more, read the IBM press release, watch a video about how our customers use 3D applications, and read this datasheet.