Even after being around technology for a very long time, there comes a point at which something catches your eye and you simply think, “Wow, this can’t be possible.” Today, while preparing to demonstrate some of the latest Citrix technology to showcase at an Innovation Day for one of our huge international customers, I had such a moment.
I want to share that moment with you all. First, let’s set some up-front context.
I’ve been involved with 3D technologies, in one way or another, for almost two decades. I’ve seen the evolution of computer-aided engineering (CAE), computer-aided design (CAD), and product lifecycle management (PLM) and, until now, those environments have almost always required considerable “local” compute and graphics power, in the form of a high-powered desktop, to deliver the performance required to manipulate the complex 3D models.
One of the key things for any company designing 3D elements for manufacture, install, or general sale is time to market. Wikipedia describes this concept:
In commerce, time to market (TTM) is the length of time it takes from a product being conceived until being available for sale. TTM is important in industries where products are outmoded quickly. A common assumption is that TTM matters most for first-of-a-kind products, but actually the leader often has the luxury of time, while the clock is clearly running for the followers.
In the race for significant TTM gain, many organizations are re-thinking how they work, globally, to give themselves a competitive advantage. This often includes a “follow the sun” approach to collaborative, distributed design. In a “follow the sun” model, tasks are handed off at given points of time between a number of geographically distributed work sites that are many time zones apart. This kind of workflow is implemented in order to reduce overall project duration and increase relative effectiveness. Thus, the work is “following the sun” and never actually stops.
In the complex, resource-hungry world of 3D design, “follow the sun” has often been difficult to deploy due to the inability to centralize the core 3D applications and database – this was further complicated by latent network connectivity and overall performance issues when remotely accessing 3D content. There used to be a phrase is the industry that said “if it don’t spin, we won’t win” – this was related to the absolute requirement for the complex model to be rotated, zoomed and otherwise manipulated without any noticeable lag or decrease in fluidity of movement.
That’s why what I saw today has literally made me do a double-take.
At Citrix, we like to push the boundaries. We like to challenge status quo and we love delivering innovation solutions that amaze and delight our customers.
Today, we did just that. By using a combination of Citrix HDX Ready Pi, Citrix XenServer, NVIDIA M60 GPU, Citrix XenDesktop running Windows 10 VDI, and… wait for it… an Apple iPhone 6s with 4G connectivity, we were able to run a remoted 3D workload with simply amazing performance.
In this example, we set up at the customer’s facility in the UK, using the HDX Ready Pi (with full 3D support), and connected to a remote 3D workload running in a data center in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The solution uses an out-of-the-box Citrix HDX Ready Pi device (with Receiver for Linux as standard), connects securely to the Citrix NetScaler Gateway in a remote data center using 4G cellular, and runs the 3D application on top of a Windows 10 VDI session. In this instance, Citrix XenServer is used in conjunction with NVIDIA M60 to deliver a single dedicated vGPU to the Windows 10 session.
All data is centralized — performance and security are built in, too!
You can check out the video here – be sure to focus on the network characteristics, which are shown as part of the VDA monitoring – check out the ICA round trip latency:
By combining all these individual Citrix components into a truly compelling solution, we are bringing a whole new set of possibilities to all customers who are in the business of 3D. We’ve brought the reality of “follow the sun” one step closer and this is BIG for many organizations across the globe.
It’s another great example of how Citrix technology is helping our customers to re-think work and make the extraordinary possible.
And there’s plenty more to come!