Last week I was on holiday, but I did take time out of my holiday to attend the amazing Develop3D Live CAD/CAE/PLM conference in the UK, which I’ll probably review later in depth. One of the best conferences I’ve seen in CAD and 3D. Today I got back into the office and caught up with the blogs and was pleased to see Jeff reviewing Dell’s graphical offerings, here. I thought I’d add a few comments on quite how busy Dell have been recently and the things I’ve been most excited to see.

Dell with AMD at Develop3D Live

Dell and AMD were jointly very active at 3DLive and AMD have some super GPUs coming through. 6 monitor support! I really hope to see AMD certifying these soon for XenDesktop and XenServer. AMD currently certify a number of cards for Citrix GPU pass-through and XenApp GPU sharing and I’m pretty certain many of our XenApp customers will be itching to try out the latest cards like the beast that is the FirePro W9100. The R7610 was also showcased and the CAD community certainly seemed to be embracing server technology with the hardware track far better attended than you’d have seen at a CAD conference a few years back!

Dell first to market with actively cooled NVIDIA GRID cards for the R7610

Recently I wrote an article about the availability of new varieties of NVIDIA GRID K1 and K2 that are actively cooled, that you can read here. Detailing how Dell are the first to have certified and used them heralding vGPU on workstations on their flagship R7610 platform, the CAD analysts have done some great reviews on the server’s great performance for graphical workloads, like this one. XenServer QA and certification have also been writing about the features of these servers and the rigorous certification processes, it’s an interesting read and you can learn about how these solutions are stress tested by us, NVIDIA and server vendors .

Dell and Citrix partnerships with major CAD vendors – including Siemens and Autodesk

Dell and Citrix have been working alongside NVIDIA to ensure fully qualified solutions with major CAD vendors and coinciding with NVIDIA GTC 2014, major CAD and PLM vendor: Siemens announced support for virtualizing their flagship NX and TeamCenter applications including the use of vGPU. The press release from Siemens included a case study as a major Aerospace customer deployed last year and delivered on that same graphics power horse the R720 used for the reference architecture, read about it here.

For those that are interested in Citrix XenDesktop and NVIDIA vGPU accelerated 3-D/rich graphical application delivery for Autodesk and AEC application I’d recommended this very recent case study describing how Roger Williams University has already implemented vGPU to virtualise it’s architectural school’s software access for students and researchers.

Dell Open Workstation Virtualization Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Round Rock, Texas

Dell has also opened a Workstation Virtualization Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Round Rock, Texas to offer a physical location and remote access capabilities for customers and software developers to evaluate the benefits of running their CAD and other 2D and 3D applications on an end-to-end virtual workstation solution.

Dell is working with our joint partners such as Siemens PLM Software, Autodesk, PTC and Dassault Systémes to certify standard configurations of its new virtual workstation solution for NX, Inventor, SolidWorks and Creo. You can read more, here, including some great input from the CAD vendors themselves on the benefits of technologies such as vGPU:

  • “PTC and Dell are long-standing partners.  A key focus of the partnership is to ensure that Dell system configurations undergo extensive testing and are certified on PTC Creo,” said Brian Thompson, Vice President of Product Management, CAD Segment at PTC. “PTC Creo 2.0 desktop virtualization certification on the Dell Precision R7610 and Citrix XenServer 6.2 is in-process, with additional configurations in the planning stage.  Our joint customers will benefit from improved performance when working with large assemblies stored on a remote server, while ensuring IP protection of the design data and streamlining administration and deployment of PTC Creo.”

Certified Enterprise-Ready Solutions

vGPU is now a very established technology and I hope by giving you some insight into the work we’ve been doing managing the Citrix Dell partnership and level of certification undertaken with Dell over several years gives you the information to plan and deploy tested vGPU deployments. And do check out the vGPU videos to see it in action, like this one! Over the next few months I hope to be blogging about some of the other OEMs and their deployments, reference architectures and certification processes and as ever happy to take requests if anyone wants to comment on a subject they’d like me or one of my team to write about!