Citrix and NVIDIA have been collaborating since 2008 on graphics hardware acceleration for virtualized 3D applications. The latest news from this collaboration is the release of the NVIDIA VGX K2 card, which can be used with XenDesktop 5.6 FP1 HDX 3D Pro for increased server scalability when delivering high-end design applications to the most demanding users. It also provides a new option for XenApp 6.5 HDX 3D, where each GPU serves a multi-user Windows Server 2008 R2 virtual machine. The new NVIDIA VGX K2 offers outstanding rendering performance with two workstation-class Kepler GPUs on each board, each with 1536 CUDA cores and 4GB of video RAM.

As with previous generation NVIDIA Quadro Fermi cards, XenDesktop HDX 3D Pro is able to directly access the frame buffer on the VGX K2 through the NVIDIA VGX API. This direct access minimizes lag, providing a highly responsive user experience.

NVIDIA describes the K2 as “the industry’s first cloud-based GPU with workstation performance”. Used in conjunction with the Citrix Receiver, it enables engineers and design professionals to work from anywhere, on any device, with access to the computing and graphics performance of a GPU-powered workstation.

The K2 has been designed to also accommodate a technology called GPU hardware virtualization that will allow multiple virtual machines to share each GPU. Citrix and NVIDIA announced our collaboration on hardware-based GPU virtualization in May at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California. Here at Synergy Barcelona this week our XenServer team has been demonstrating an early preview of GPU hardware virtualization technology.

The announcement of the VGX K2 highlights NVIDIA’s important role in Citrix’s Designer Virtual Workstation initiative. In support of this initiative, a partner ecosystem of CAD/CAM and design ISVs, systems and device vendors, and systems integrators are participating in a new Citrix Ready verification program for HDX 3D and collaborating to deliver reference designs and best practice guidelines that will accelerate planning and implementation, eliminate the guesswork, and deliver predictable performance when deploying high-end 3D graphics applications for use by professional designers and engineers in virtual desktop/application environments.

The NVIDIA VGX K2 for virtual workstations is expected to be available from leading server OEMs starting in early 2013. More information is available at

Derek Thorslund
Director of Product Management, HDX