Employee Experience VMware Horizon

Virtualizing ArcGIS Pro with a Dell Rack-Mounted Appliance and NVIDIA GRID

By Cedric Courteix, End-User-Computing Technical Alliances Manager, VMware

How Much Fun Do You Have Playing with LEGO?

I certainly enjoy building complex LEGO structures with my kids…but when it comes to virtualizing desktops for 3D-graphics applications like ArcGIS Pro from Esri, I think we all agree that keeping it simple is the best approach.


Dell, Esri, NVIDIA, and VMware have come together to create a unique bundled solution that allows you to relax and enrich your user experience.


This combined solution, led by Esri, can accelerate your geographic information systems (GIS) application deployment. The features of this solution are

  • Improved reliability

    • Avoids hardware incompatibility
    • Delivers predictable performance to your GIS professionals
  • Simplified administration – The combined integration of this multi-vendor platform guarantees

    • Faster implementation
    • Optimized hardware resources
    • Reduced administrative learning curve
  • Better user experience

    • Smooth graphical-map display to enhance user satisfaction
    • Improved user collaboration
    • Defined number of supported users

Why ArcGIS for Desktop Virtualization Appliance?

ArcGIS Pro is the essential application for creating and working with spatial data on your desktop. Adding graphics virtualization with NVIDIA GRID to Horizon 6 allows users to be mobile and also access the rich graphics rendering from Esri applications.

The Dell Precision Appliance for Wyse platform offers a powerful framework to support such environments. Imagine how quickly you will be able to create a proof of concept or a deployment!

For a complete look at this new solution, see Accelerate Esri Arcgis Pro Desktop Virtualization.

What’s Inside the Appliance?

This appliance is configured around a Dell Precision Appliance for Wyse, making it easy to scale out. The appliance includes VMware vSphere 6.0 and Horizon 6.2 with an NVIDIA GRID graphics processing unit (GPU).

Purchasing VMware licenses is optional because you might already own them, and the appliance is capable of joining an existing license server.


Click on the preceding picture to download the full hardware specifications of the ArcGIS for Desktop Virtualization Appliance.

The following table summarizes the key features of the appliance. For more information, see the full hardware specifications.

Components Configuration
Model Dell 7910 precision rack server
Processor Dual Intel Xeon processor E5-2680 v3, 2.5 GHz, 12 cores
Storage 3.75 TB SSD
Memory 275 GB RAM
3D cards Two NVIDIA GRID K2 GPUs
Supports up to 16 VMs (6 vCPU / 8 GB RAM / 1 GB frame buffer)
GRID profiles 3D (K240Q or K260Q) and 2D (K220Q or K240Q)

How Does It Work?

The ArcGIS for Desktop Virtualization Appliance provides an administrator-friendly setup wizard based on Dell software integration, to set up and configure View virtual desktops in Horizon 6 in record time.

This wizard leverages the predefined virtual GPU profiles recommended by the Esri performance-engineering team:

  • 10 to 12 VMs with ArcGIS Pro using 3D data and the K240Q profile
  • 16 to 20 VMs with ArcGIS Pro using 2D data and the K220Q profile

Stay Informed

The latest news about this solution is available on our joint NVIDIA VMware Community (NVC). NVC allows you to ask questions of our 3D-graphics experts in real time. A MyVMware.com email account is required; if you do not have an account, register to request a My VMware account.