Nvidia Grid 2.0 now available Down Under

Nvidia's latest virtualisation graphics technology offering, Grid 2.0, is now generally available in Australia, a month after its worldwide debut in mid-September

Nvidia's Grid 2.0 is now generally available in Australia. With its launch announced in the United States in August, Jared Cowart, Nvidia's senior grid solutions architect, believes the virtualisation technology has a big place in the Australian landscape.

"Xenon, who is a high performance computing partner, do a lot of things related to universities around their supercomputers, and a lot of things around oil and gas in the mining industry," Cowart said.

"They bring in supercomputers to perform deep earth analysis, they're mapping everything out and this ground penetrating creates terabytes of data, and they actually use GPU's to search through the data and create a visual 3D map of where they should go next."

Cowart said these types of application have been widely used previously on Grid in Australia, with universities also utilising the technology to benefit students.

"A lot of these students need access to applications that can be expensive and take very expensive work stations to run, so instead of having to provide thousands of very expensive work stations for the students -- or for the students to meet the enrolment criteria of 'you must have these expensive work stations' -- now they can bring in Chromebooks and the university can host these very high-end work stations and the students can log in to use it that way," he said.

"Prior to the Grid, there was no other way to access this kind of thing."

Cowart said what Nvidia is generally seeing in the Australian space is enterprises building their own clouds and their own virtual desktop infrastructures.

"We're starting to see stateside a lot more willingness to have a service provider that can handle it for them," he said.

Nvidia's latest Grid offering operates on Maxwell-based GPUs, has double the user density and double the application performance of its predecessor, and extends operating system support to Linux.

"It's like an enterprise version of Google Earth that you would have the ability to edit, and modify; it's a high speed, Netflix-type experience," Cowart said.

According to Cowart, his company has taken their product and rather than making the end user have a dedicated grid board, Nvidia has added the software on top, which he said now gives them the ability to have a dual purpose board.

"Essentially we're merging two lines. We're allowing a card to be a compute board, and a card to be a visualisation board, and now it can with a piece of software on top of it, support double the amount of users, double the performance, and double the platforms -- and we've got the ability now to support Linux, and soon Windows 10," he said.

"In a virtualised fashion, we're getting ready to release Windows 10 support. It's really built to be delivered remotely; I think we're going to see some fun stuff."

"The world's not getting less graphical, and the end user will completely kill a project if the experience isn't right," Cowart said.