HDX 3D Pro is a set of graphics acceleration technologies that optimize the delivery of rich graphic apps in Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop. The choice of hypervisor is yours!

HDX 3D Pro conquers the final frontier of mobile workspaces: remote access to high performance, high fidelity interactive graphics and 3D rendering. We know designers can create when they are sitting at their pricey workstations. With HDX 3D Pro, designers can collaborate and create whenever they want, from wherever they are. They don’t even need a graphics processor on their machines; an inexpensive home computer, a humble tablet, or a standard PC or Mac at work will do just fine.

The greatest contribution of HDX 3D Pro is that with each technology leap, more and more people get access to the security, cost-efficiency, and performance benefits of VDI. What had been a privilege of expensive high-performance workstations is now achieved using commodity end-points. No matter what the underlying infrastructure, HDX 3D Pro accelerates graphics delivery on any platform, whether bare metal, XenServer, CloudPlatform, or VMware vSphere. (Tip: It is the only enterprise VDI solution to offer this important flexibility)

It had its humble beginnings in 2006, when the Boeing Corporation approached us to help them with the Dreamliner project.

The Dreamliner was a huge undertaking, a giant leap in aircraft efficiency that would require tapping into engineering talent from across the United States and around the world. The goal was to design an airplane that was 20% more fuel-efficient than the 767 by using lighter weight composite materials for the airframe. It was a project that would pull in contractors and design engineers from many countries, and intellectual property protection was a big concern.

As such, the server-based computing model was extremely attractive.

Citrix has always led the industry with our ICA remoting protocol, but prior to 2006, we had never put GPUs into the data center. Large 3D models in CAD applications such as Dassault CATIA required leveraging the processing power of NVIDIA GPUs in the data center, as well as further enhancements to ICA. Thus, Project K2 was born.

K2, dubbed “the Savage Mountain,” is Earth’s second-highest peak and arguably the hardest to climb, with routes that are steeper and more difficult than those leading to the top of Mt. Everest. So, it was a fitting name for Citrix’s first foray into 3D app virtualization. And the project proved to be a great success. In fact–to borrow from Derek Thorslund’s memory–just about every part of the aircraft was designed using Citrix 3D remoting technology. Well … everything except the lithium batteries. 😉

In the early days, GPU had to be physically installed in the Windows “guest” before it could be delivered remotely using HDX 3D Pro. Those single-GPU machines were known as bare metal systems. That soon changed, when Citrix XenServer supported GPU pass-through allowing a single server to support up to 4 GPUs.

Fast forward to 2013, when the first-ever virtualized graphics platform was unveiled. Citrix XenServer became the first and only hypervisor to support virtualized graphics processors based on NVIDIA GRID vGPU series. With GRID vGPU technology, the graphics commands of each virtual machine are passed directly to the GPU, without translation by the hypervisor. Each virtual machine has the complete attention of the GPU hardware in it’s time-slice, to deliver the ultimate in shared virtualized graphics performance. Application features and compatibility are exactly the same as they would be at the user’s desk.

To make sure the amazing performance was delivered as-is across unreliable bandwidths, large distances, and to a variety of end-points, HDX 3D Pro came to the rescue. The path forged by Citrix and NVIDIA since 2006 was joined in 2015 by a new friend, VMware’s vSphere 6. What’s the best way to deliver on this new platform? You guessed it! HDX 3D Pro was right there on day zero, with its trusty old reliability and proven performance, to turbocharge deployments on the VMware hypervisor.

The HDX 3D Pro solution is designed to have the same performance, compatibility, ease-of-deployment, and features with NVIDIA GRID vGPU irrespective of the underlying hypervisor.

How easy? At the recent Citrix Synergy event in Orlando, four teams competed to build an HDX 3D Pro environment from scratch in 60 minutes. All four teams finished within minutes of each other, with Team Nvidia coming on top with 60 graphics-enabled virtual machines set up and ready to use within 53 minutes.

You can choose your own environment and build a lab to review the features in less than a day, using these step-by-step Reviewer’s Guides: