Nvidia takes graphic-rich apps to VMware customers

Visual computing technology provider Nvidia will be bringing its GRID virtual GPU to selected Chromebooks and VMware vSphere to ensure that customers have access to high-performance graphics on their virtualised desktops.

Engineers and designers across industries will be the real winners of VMware's newly announced partnership with Nvidia and Google , the graphics giant has said.

The trio is working together to bring higher-performance graphics to remote users on the virtual desktop through two solutions.

The first will see the launch of a future version of an Acer Chromebook that will be integrated with Nvidia's GRID virtual GPU and Tegra K1 processes, and VMware's Blast Performance technology for smoother video and audio playback on virtualised apps. The TK1 will initially be restricted to Chromebooks, but the use of it will be expanded beyond the Acer platform, with no specific details of when it is expected.

The second will see the Nvidia GRID vGPU made available through an early access program on VMware vSphere, a widely deployed virtualisation platform, which means VMware customers will be able to give their users the ability to use graphic-based applications in a virtualised way.

According to Justin Boitano, Nvidia GRID business general manager, the partnership with VMware and Google will help address the main issue that users who deal with graphics on underpowered devices have been battling with since virtualised environments were available.

Previously, visual computing jobs were held on the CPU, but that meant sacrificing the quality and performance of graphic applications. But with the introduction of Nividia GRID vGPU, it means visual computing jobs could be moved off the CPU and onto the GPU to enable graphic jobs to run in a virtualised environment.

"They couldn't run the apps in a virtualised environment, and since they couldn't run the apps, they couldn't run a virutalised interface. They'd literally have to take the design files they were on, make a copy, and then replicate it, making data synchronisation and security huge issues," Boitano said.

The solutions also now meet the requirements of the mobile workforce, where existing works no longer face issues of incompatibility, and it no longer ties designers and engineers to their desks.

Victoria Rege, Nvidia grid product marketing manager, said the idea of the partnership is to provide users with the flexibility to work anywhere and be able to use any graphic-intensive application.

"When you're running certain applications, it won't work because there's no GPU in it. Our vision for Nvidia Grid team is to help virtualise this, so large enterprises in the engineering, manufacturing, and education industry, as well as film studios — who are constantly pulling on and off contractors — can be mobile with their work."

Aimee Chanthadavong travelled to VMworld 2014 as a guest of VMware.