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GPU Cards Necessary for Desktop Virtualization?

Posted on 2014-03-11
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We are a school district exploring a VDI project and have run into some questions related to requirements for graphics processing in a virtualized environment.  Our graphics-intensive applications will not be running on the virtual desktops, however, we may have some occasional use of 3D applications such as Google Earth and Google Sketchup.  The predominant use of the desktops will be document collaboration in the cloud, MS Office, and network file access, along with browser-based tools for streaming media and accessing other dynamic content, some of which will most likely be up to 720 or 1080p.  

Based on this information:
1. Is it necessary for us to include NVIDIA's K1 cards in the servers?
2. If so, what are your thoughts on outfitting all of the servers w/ these GPU cards based on the usage above?  Or would it be sufficient to just add them to, say, 2 servers if we think the use of 3D will be limited?
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Question by:enckc
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Steve earned 500 total points
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most recent virtualization systems include some kind of software GPU, which is limited when it comes to high end graphics.

It does much work better however if you can use a good graphics card that is VM compatible though.

1: it's not strictly necessary, but it would definitely work better.
2 include the card in all servers likely to host graphics intensive applications if you can control which users/applications use a specific server. If you can't limit users to specific servers you may have to consider them in all servers.

This guy's blogs shows some of the different vGPU options. have a look.

http://blogs.gartner.com/gunnar-berger/understanding-virtual-desktop-vdi-gpu-technologies/
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