At the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC)  a couple weeks ago, VMware made a strategic announcement that they will support NVIDIA GRID™ vGPU technology for desktop virtualization, which will become generally available in 2015.   This announcement is a great endorsement for the high performance GRID vGPU technology already available with XenServer, one of the three hypervisors supported by XenDesktop.  vGPU will offer vSphere customers options beyond VMware’s current sVGA technology, which has suffered from performance overheads, API version limitations and the need for costly certification of an additional set of drivers.  Citrix XenDesktop will continue to offer the market a hypervisor-agnostic VDI platform, including support for vSphere/ESXi.  However, if you are looking for a proven vGPU solution to implement immediately and vSphere is not a requirement, you should strongly consider Dell’s latest virtual graphics offering.

Dell vGPU solutions available today

Citrix XenDesktop with HDX 3D Pro technology already has the high performance GRID vGPU capability on the included Citrix XenServer hypervisor (XenDesktop is available on Hyper-V and vSphere, too) through our joint engineering efforts with NVIDIA, released GA in 2013.  In addition, Citrix, Dell and NVIDIA have been working for well over a year to provide a complete end-to-end vGPU solution, culminating in the release of the Dell Wyse Accelerated Graphics Technology Reference Architecture for Citrix some months ago for the R720.  This joint effort by all three companies has paved the way to provide the most powerful virtualized graphics solution in the industry.  This solution is available now.  Dell, Citrix and NVIDIA fully understand the importance of this technology to various industries and have spent many man-years of development, testing and validation across three continents to deliver it.

The Dell Wyse Accelerated Graphics Reference Architecture in action at NVIDIA GTC

The Dell graphics solution utilizes XenServer 6.2 SP1 as the hypervisor platform, XenDesktop 7.1 for desktop and application virtualization, and either of the NVIDIA K1 and K2 GRID cards.  The full solution is available today through Dell, for those customers that need a truly high-performing graphics solution now.

 In fact, we currently have case studies for two customers who have deployed this vGPU solution:  Turkish Aerospace and Roger Williams University.  Turkish Aerospace utilized the Dell reference architecture with Siemens NX and TeamCenter applications, both of which Siemens has architected to take advantage of vGPU, enabling engineers to dynamically move between different projects with varying graphics requirements with ease and efficiency.  Roger Williams University combined the Dell solution with Autodesk (which also capitalizes on the vGPU functionality) to provide high-speed virtual graphics access to their architectural school’s students and researchers.

Citrix is pleased that VMware has announced support for this important graphics technology, as it will provide customers a second hypervisor choice for high performance GPU sharing. And for customers ready to realize the benefits of GRID vGPU right away, we have that, too.