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Cloud Technology Hardware

Test-Driving NVIDIA's GRID GPU Cloud Computing Platform 29

MojoKid writes: "NVIDIA recently announced that it would offer a free 24-hour test drive of NVIDIA GRID to anyone who wanted to see what the technology could do. It turns out to be pretty impressive. NVIDIA's GRID is a virtual GPU technology that allows for hardware acceleration in a virtual environment. It's designed to run in concert with products from Citrix, VMWare, and Microsoft, and to address some of the weaknesses of these applications. The problem with many conventional Virtual Desktop Interfaces (VDIs) is that they're often either too slow for advanced graphics work or unable to handle 3D workloads at all. Now, with GRID, NVIDIA is claiming that it can offer a vGPU passthrough solution that allows remote users to access a virtualized desktop environment built around a high-end CPU and GPU. The test systems the company is using for these 24-hour test drives all use a GRID K520. That's essentially two GK104 GPUs on a single PCB with 8GB of RAM. The TD program is still in beta, the deployment range is considerable, and the test drives themselves are configured for a 1366x768 display at 30 FPS and a maximum available bandwidth cap of 10Mbit."
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Test-Driving NVIDIA's GRID GPU Cloud Computing Platform

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  • by grilled-cheese ( 889107 ) on Tuesday May 27, 2014 @04:34PM (#47102359)
    We very recently went through adding Grid cards to our VMware View infrastructure. The Grid K1 & K2 cards are a tradeoff on either more kepler processors or more cuda cores in addition to the quantity of RAM. VMware View can utilize a Grid card in either vSGA or vDGA modes (shared or direct passthrough of a kepler processor). From what I can discern, Dell only officially supports the Grid cards in their R720 server. That particular chassis can only accept 2 Grid cards max. So you can get your choice of 2, 4, 6, or 8 kepler processors. If you're using vDGA mode, you're creating a direct VDI desktop allocation of that core with DirectPath I/O. While this means that one desktop is going to have great performance, it means it isn't available for anyone else and you lose vMotion capability. If you run in vSGA mode, the performance per machine isn't as good as vDGA but more desktops can utilize the hardware. There arn't any good whitepapers I've found yet describing how far you can stretch a Grid K1, but the rule of thumb I got from another company who has ran them through their benchmark lab got around 25 desktops per K1 max. Therefore, assuming you've got a pair of them that means you can run ~50 desktops with a reduced performance when compared to vDGA. The technology still appears to be young to me, but we decided to take a chance and see how far we could take it.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"