Is adding a GPU to VDI worth it?

yo_bee
yo_bee used Ask the Experts™
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I am considering adding a GPU to my Citrix VDI environment.  
The current hardware is brand new:
  • HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 (2)
  • 256 GB RAM
  • 10 GB NIC
  • Non-Persistent Disk model

The workload is standard MS OFFICE, Internet, some simple education videos from time to time.
I was thinking adding the Nvidia GRID.  I know there is licensing for this system so I will take this in consideration.

Has anyone deployed a GPU to their VDI environment and was it worth it?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Has anyone deployed a GPU to their VDI environment and was it worth it?

Yes, we deploy Hardware GPU - Nvidia Grid - but it depends on the user base, and what applications they are using, and the End User Experience.

e.g. if they just use Word or Chrome - would you add a GPU for this ?
yo_beeDirector of Information Technology

Author

Commented:
The work load is not graphically intense.
Mostly Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF's and Web.

I want the user experience to be as if they were sitting at a physical computer in the office.
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
Add a GPU, provision the correct amount of RAM, and vCPU to the VDI machines.

some of our farms, have 4 vCPU, 16GB RAM, 250GB (Flash Storage), and GPU (Nvidia)
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yo_beeDirector of Information Technology

Author

Commented:
The licensing for Nvidia GRID vPC states its concurrent.  Do you know if that spans multiple Hypervisors?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
Per VDI Machine across Hypervisors.

e.g. VDI machines reaches out to the License Manager, in what Nvidia calls a CCU (Concurrent User), it's the Nvidia GPU software which calls home to the license manager.
Tricky question, I m trying to figure out an answer for a server refresh I am planning to do soon. I am running HyperV, but the same principles apply.

All seems to hinge on what types of applications will be in use over the next 7 years or so, and that is a difficult question. There are increasing numbers of websites now that can take advantage of graphics acceleration, perhaps it will be so common in a few years that no having it will impinge on business processes, but really hard to predict.

The way I see things, it is not really useful with today's typical workplace tasks, but may be in the future.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Windows 10 OS, now uses a GPU better than without a GPU!
yo_beeDirector of Information Technology

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the input.  I have a meeting with my VAR and NVIDIA coming up to discuss a possible POC
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Nvidia love "selling" you POCs!
yo_beeDirector of Information Technology

Author

Commented:
Hope you are right.
Also I saw on Nvidia's site one if their video clips that illustrated VM migration was greatly sped up.

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