Virtual Desktop Evolution: The Benefits of Moving Graphics-Acceleration Hardware from Workstations to Servers

May 11th, 2020 | By Jay Weier

The motivation to move to digital workspaces has made many organizations re-imagine their workforce and how their business operates. From the enhanced business agility and flexibility to the reduced overhead costs digital workspaces promise, businesses across the board are feeling the push to make the digital workspace a reality for their organizations.

However, designers and engineers relying on graphics-intensive applications, data scientists running compute-intensive workloads, and knowledge workers using increasingly graphics-intensive office productivity tools often feel tethered to their physical workstations.

Virtual desktops un-tether users to work from home, on the road, or anywhere by moving acceleration hardware from on-location workstations to virtual environments powered by Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).

VMware Horizon 7 with NVIDIA GRID

A leader in virtualized infrastructure and software-defined data center solutions, VMware’s Horizon 7 with NVIDIA GRID securely delivers an immersive GPU powered experience across a variety of user devices and locations. Professional graphics users, engineers, and knowledge workers can productively collaborate in real-time—on a global scale—with other professionals, no matter the size of the dataset.

With true GPU hardware acceleration, NVIDIA GRID enables sharing across multiple virtual desktops, without compromising the graphics or compute experience. Because work that was typically done by the CPU is offloaded to the GPU, demanding engineering and creative applications can be supported in a virtualized and cloud environment for a more flexible user experience and reduced stress on the data center.

VMware Horizon 7 is also optimized for the software–defined data center and provides complete workspace environment management. This enables your IT administrators to control all graphics and compute resources, efficiently manage those resources, and accelerate their delivery to end users.

Carrying the Weight of the Workload

Moving the graphics-acceleration hardware from the workstation to a centralized system provides users and businesses with a wealth of advantages. With appropriate network bandwidth and suitable remote client devices, designers and engineers can manipulate complex models and researchers can run simulations, using very large data sets, from anywhere, freeing them from the limitations of fixed workstations and processors. Hardware acceleration also reduces CPU usage for less demanding basic desktop and published application use, and for video encoding or decoding.

Businesses grow faster and innovate quicker when they take advantage of the agility and flexibility modern digital workspaces provide. Enabling users to work on any device means businesses can save on CapEx and OpEx with fewer expensive location-based workstations and the overhead required to maintain and manage them. Moving acceleration hardware from on-location workstations to virtual environments also gives graphics users, engineers, and knowledge workers the performance of a physical workstation with the cost-effectiveness of GPU sharing across multiple users. Giving your team the opportunity to work remotely also strengthens their ability to innovate freely and drive growth for your business.

VMware Horizon 7 with NVIDIA GRID Benefits

Provides consistent performance – Substantially improves latency, bandwidth, and frames per second, while decreasing CPU utilization and increasing users per host, enhancing workspace productivity for geographically dispersed teams regardless of network conditions.

Optimizes resource utilization – A single GPU can be shared among multiple VMs and/or multiple GPUs can be assigned to a single VM, to power the most demanding workloads.

Accelerates professional workflows – By enhancing operational efficiency—from faster graphics rendering to data intensive simulations­—organizations can increase user productivity and reduce time-to-market.

Enhances visibility – Gives administrators a clear view into workflow details, and make changes if necessary, using the unified management console wizards and dashboards.

Boosts scalability – No time-consuming installation process, instead users can easily connect to remote desktops and applications from various devices at various locations. Users can be up and running in minutes

Reduces CapEx and OpEx – Standard workstations have high acquisition and maintenance costs that can cut into your bottom line. VMware Horizon 7 with NVIDIA GRID reduces capital and operational costs, minimizes downtime, and requires less costly management and support.

Streamlines IT support – Administrators can patch and upgrade applications and operating systems without touching a user’s physical PC.

Strengthens security footprint – You can reduce the risk of lost or compromised data by restricting access to the virtual desktops and apps residing on your servers. You can also prevent sensitive data from being downloaded onto a remote employee’s home computer.

Elysian Makes IT Easy

Change is hard, especially when it comes to moving graphics-acceleration hardware from workstations to servers. At Elysian, we get it.

Our team of engineers has hands-on experience architecting and deploying virtual desktops for manufacturing, engineering, architecture, education, and healthcare environments. From helping you evaluate the cost/benefit of transitioning your team to virtual desktops through supporting your technology investment, we’re here to help.

The key to successful adoption of new technology and a new way of working is two-fold: it must provide an exceptional user experience and it must enable you to realize greater revenue opportunities, both now and for the long haul. We help drive that success.

Jay Weier is an Implementation Manager at Elysian Technology. Jay has been working in the IT space for over fourteen years. His career has exposed him to small, medium, and enterprise businesses while working in the private, healthcare, and academia industries. When he’s not on the road solving client’s problems, he enjoys spending time with his daughter, riding motorcycles, and skiing.

Questions about VMware Horizon 7 with NVIDIA GRID? Schedule a free consult with one of our engineers.