With the release of vSphere 5.1, we are excited to announce the further expansion and advancements in graphics capabilities available from our market-leading virtualization platform. VMware vSphere is the leading platform of choice for cloud computing, desktop virtualization and virtualizing enterprise applications.
In VMware vSphere and View 5.0, we introduced the industry's first and only fully virtualized 3D graphics adapter, expanding the possible use case for virtual desktop workloads. This unique capability enabled users to run and remote basic 3D applications and graphics that require DirectX or OpenGL without requiring any additional server hardware or specialized graphics adapters. In addition to basic 3D applications, virtual desktop customers could also deliver the Windows Aero experience. Unlike any other solution, this was all possible to any Mac (including the iPad), Android, Linux or Windows client device.
With vSpshere 5.1, we have added vSGA (Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration) that allows the presentation of a physical graphics processing unit (GPU) from the underlying host to virtual desktops guests. By virtualizing the physical GPU, its resources can be allocated and shared across several virtual desktop instances.
A single NVIDIA VGX card serves up
rich media and graphics to multiple VMs.
See the technology preview at VMworld 2012.
This provides several different benefits. Using the physical GPU and vRAM frees the underlying CPU and memory from the host to be used for other tasks. Using a GPU for hardware-accelerated graphics also allows customers to provide a more rich and interactive graphical experience across an even broader set of use cases. Most importantly, all the operational benefits such as vMotion, HA, DRS, etc. are also supported, allowing customers to easily expand or enhance their existing virtual desktop infrastructures.
This is all made possible though the joint collaboration and support of our partner NVIDIA. We have been working closely with NVIDIA to enable this capability across their Quadro and VGX lines of graphics adapters. This also would not be possible without the support of NVIDIA's native driver for VMware ESX working in tandem to combine the power of the market-leading virtualization platform with the power of the leader in computer graphics.
We believe in the future this new capability will enable customers to take their virtual desktop deployments to a different level as they look to further expand the potential and experience of their end users.
Warren Ponder is director of Product Management for End-User Computing at VMware.