Nvidia debuts Grid 2.0 for enterprise virtual desktops, apps

The chip maker unveiled the next generation of its virtualized graphics technology pitched toward enterprise customers amid the start of VMware's annual expo, VMworld, on Monday.

SAN FRANCISCO---Aiming to bring down any barriers (or nix excuses) for deploying virtual infrastructures, Nvidia is bolstering its Grid platform for virtual desktops and applications.

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The chip maker unveiled the next generation of its virtualized graphics technology pitched toward enterprise customers amid the start of VMware's annual expo, VMworld, on Monday.

Boasting to deliver the "most graphics-intensive applications to any device virtually," Grid 2.0 brings the GPU to the data center to support enhanced graphics within enterprise workflows.

Example applications include Esri's ArcGIS mapping platform, Autodesk's flagship AutoCad software for architects and engineers, and Siemens NX software for product design, engineering and manufacturing.

Grid 2.0 promises double both the performance and user density than its predecessor, now allowing up 128 users per server.

The latest version also widens the net considerably to support more applications and operating systems.

At a base level, Grid 2.0 now supports Linux as well as Windows-based apps. Furthermore, Grid 2.0 is grown beyond rack servers to also support virtual desktops on blade servers.

Nvidia has already enlisted some well-known providers, highlighting Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo as some of the vendors already implementing Grid 2.0 on 125 server models.

Grid 2.0 is actually already in the field, at least in beta mode, after being sampled by more than a dozen corporate customers touted by Nvidia to be in the Fortune 500. It is scheduled to go live worldwide on September 15.

Until then, eager beavers can get a look through Nvidia's Grid TestDrive demo environment with VMware's vSphere 6 server virtualization platform.