Enhancing Graphics Processing with Teradici PCoIP Host Cards and VMware View

Jan 24, 2012
Tina de Benedictis

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Tina de Benedictis is Senior Manager in the End-User-Computing Technical Marketing group at VMware. Her team writes and edits white papers, blog posts, and knowledge base articles on VMware End-User-Computing products.

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By Tina de Benedictis, Technical Marketing Manager, Enterprise Desktop

Teradici and VMware have just released an updated version of the white paper Using PCoIP Host Cards with VMware View. Teradici PCoIP host cards are designed specifically for the most demanding graphics application users in your VMware View deployment. These are graphics users currently running applications directly on a dedicated workstation in industries such as automotive and aerospace, oil and gas exploration, bank trading floors, defense and intelligence, healthcare, and media and entertainment video creation. A relevant use case is a video editor working on a 1080p video, with one or more monitors, at 60 frames per second. With Teradici PCoIP host cards, you can empower this type of user to run these same high-end graphics applications in a View deployment, on a remote desktop.

The PCoIP host card that enables remote access through VMware View resides in the workstation dedicated to the high-end graphics user. This workstation has its own graphics processing unit (GPU) to handle the demands of the high-end graphics application. You install the PCoIP host card and the View Agent on this workstation. The PCoIP host card connects to the graphics output of the GPU, encodes and encrypts the graphics output into the PCoIP protocol, and then provides remote access in the View environment.

The beauty of the PCoIP host card is that the workstation can be placed in the datacenter, and the graphics user can access the workstation remotely through a VMware View Client, free from the noise and heat of the high-end workstation. The user can access the high-end workstation through a View Client on a zero client (for highest performance) or from a thick or thin View Client, including a mobile device. As in any VMware View deployment, the application data remains secure in the datacenter.

VMware View and PCoIP Technology Architecture_v2

The diagram above illustrates the location of the graphics workstation. This workstation–with the PCoIP host card, a GPU, and the View Agent—is connected to the View Client through the View Connection Broker.

NetworkLayout_TdeB

This diagram details the mixed environment of the physical graphics workstation with View desktops in the datacenter, and View Clients for remote access. Thick, thin, or zero View Clients can access the View desktops. (See Should You Consider a Zero Client Strategy?.) A zero client performs best for remote display of the high-end graphics workstation, although a thin or thick client suffices when immediate access is more important. The zero client is hardware-based and therefore designed to match the high performance of the PCoIP host card.

Note that the Teradici PCoIP host card solution is distinct from the Teradici APEX 2800 server offload card. The PCoIP host card is appropriate when using a dedicated physical graphics workstation in a View environment; the APEX card is appropriate in a VMware View virtual desktop environment without dedicated high-end workstations. You install the APEX 2800 card on the ESXi server to automatically and dynamically offload processing for the sixty-four most active desktop displays in the View environment. This protects and ensures a consistent user experience not only for these sixty-four users, but also for the less active users. By recovering server CPU capacity, you can then increase the number of desktops supported by the VMware desktop host and provide a more predictable user experience for everyone.

If you already have a VMware View deployment, you can add highly demanding graphics users to the deployment by installing Teradici PCoIP host cards in their workstations, placing the workstations in the datacenter, and allowing these high-end graphics users to remotely use their workstations through View Clients.

For more information about setting up the PCoIP host card in a View environment, see Using PCoIP Host Cards with VMware View.

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