Today Nutanix (@nutanix) delivered major hardware updates to it’s radically simple Google like infrastructure platform for the masses. The updates included integration with new GPU and Teradici APEX encoding offload cards for the most graphic intensive desktops, while at the same time providing increased VM density and lower TCO across a new range of hardware options. This announcement came just in time for the VMware Horizon View 5.3 GA release, which was also today. The new Nutanix 7110 platform breaks the final barrier to delivering all applications to all virtual desktop users and powers video and graphics-rich applications with workstation-level performance. This is all achieved while maintaing simplicity customers have come to know and love, and without losing any availability and manageability normally associated with dedicated hardware required for workstation class CAD/CAM and 3D desktops and other high end graphics use cases. The Nutanix 7110 platform and VMware Horizon View 5.3 are a powerful combination for All Virtual Desktops, but wait there’s more.
From the Nutanix Press Release – “The NX-7110 integrates NVIDIA GRID and Teradici PCoIP technologies enabling users to work with the same graphics applications that they use every day, but via a desktop that is delivered virtually. Combining NVIDIA’s GRID and the Teradici PCoIP Hardware Accelerator solutions with the scalability and performance of Nutanix’s virtual computing technology enables enterprises to tackle virtual desktop deployments of unprecedented size and scope.” Full Nutanix Press Release.
When combined with VMware View 5.3 and leveraging the new virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA) feature (and vSphere 5.5) high performance graphics intensive workloads are no longer tied to a physical server and can migrate freely while still achieving their requirements for GPU intensive tasks. For workloads that need passthrough (and don’t require vMotion) virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA) is now fully supported. This greatly improves the manageability, maintainability and availability of your organizations critical desktop infrastructure. Importantly existing Nutanix environments can dynamically deploy NX-7110 appliances into a unified cluster that is centrally managed, while maintaining graphics intensive users in a separate desktop pool. With View 5.3’s full support for the View Composer API for Array Integration (VCAI), which was previously a tech preview, deploying and recomposing desktops gets even faster.
In addition to the features of VMware Horizon View 5.3 mentioned above the release adds support for Windows 2008 R2 to be used as a desktop, which is described in KB 2057605, and Windows 8.1. Windows 2008 R2 is a great option if you are a service provider and want to offer desktop as a service to end users in a multi-tenanted environment, primarily because it gets arounds restrictions in the Microsoft SPLA licensing. Full VMware Horizon View 5.3 Release Notes.
Not only did Nutanix release a great distributed Google like infrastructure platform for graphics intensive workloads they also launched updates to the NX-3000 and NX-6000 series of systems that boosts VM density and enhances performance. The new platforms now include Intel Ivy-bridge processors, more cores, higher clock speed options, more RAM and more importantly higher VM density in the same amount of space and power footprint. Further information about the launch including links to solutions briefs and white papers can be found here.
Virtualized GPU’s are not just the realm of high performance graphics intensive virtual desktops, they are also greatly beneficial and supported for use with Linux Guest VM’s as of vSphere 5.5. This should not be confused with Linux Virtual Desktops, which are not supported, but HPC server workloads. This opens up some incredibly good use cases for high performance computing (HPC) clusters, that can benefit from GPU’s to assist with embarrassingly parallel operations. So not only is the NX-7110 platform a great virtual desktop platform, because of the unique mix of high performance compute, graphics power and local storage access combined with a distributed architecture, availability and simplicity it could also be a great platform for large scale HPC environments for research facilities, institutions and universities. Just like the one I wrote about in my article Virtual Beats Physical for HPC Monte-Carlo Grid Performance. I bet you hadn’t considered that. As always your feedback and comments are welcome.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com, by Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2013 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.