The Evolution of VMware’s 3D Graphics Capabilities

May 22, 2014


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by Geoffrey Murase, Solutions Marketing, End-User Computing

VMware’s goal with 3D graphics-enabled virtual desktops is to deliver the performance required for different customer use cases in the most cost-effective manner.  The 3D graphics capabilities with VMware Horizon continue to evolve and have opened up a new wave of use cases for desktop virtualization.

  • With Horizon 5.0, we introduced Soft 3D technology which enables leveraging a host server’s CPU to perform graphics intensive computations.  Soft 3D technology is ideal for lightweight graphics use cases such as using Windows Aero or Google Earth.
  • With Horizon 5.2, we partnered with NVIDIA and introduced vSGA or shared graphics technology that leverages NVIDIA GPU hardware in the host server to deliver hardware accelerated graphics performance for higher end use cases.  vSGA technology is ideal for many computer-aided design applications where some performance can be sacrificed to achieve greater virtual desktop density per host.
  • With Horizon 5.3, we further extended our graphics capabilities with vDGA technology that enables dedicated pass through of graphics processing requests from virtual desktops to specific hardware GPUs in host servers.  This highest performance configuration enables designers to achieve workstation class performance while IT still benefits from the security and ease of management of desktop virtualization. In addition, we added vSGA support for AMD/FirePro™ graphics cards to give customers further choice in their 3D graphics deployment.  Check out the deployment guide.

To assist customers in deploying vSGA and vDGA hardware-accelerated graphics solutions, Rory Clements on the EUC team has published short videos that walk you through the configuration process.

  • Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration Demo (vSGA)

  • Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration Demo (vDGA)

We hope that these videos help you better understand the two different technologies and assist you in your own 3D graphics-enabled virtual desktop deployment.  Look for more to come in the near future regarding our announced hosted 3D enabled desktops and vGPU initiative with NVIDIA as we continue to build out a complete portfolio of 3D graphics-enabled virtual desktop solutions for customers.

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