3D Graphics like never before with VMware Horizon and NVIDIA T4 GPUs

Aug 21, 2019
Anirban Chakraborty

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Anirban is a Senior Product Line Manager at VMware, with ownership of multiple user experience products such as Blast Extreme, 3D Graphics and UC Integrations. He has expertise driving business model transformations and delivering best in class end user experiences with modern SaaS applications in hybrid cloud mobile, desktop and web environments.

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VMware Horizon with Blast Extreme 3D graphics has always been at the forefront when it comes to breaking the tethers of a physical workstation and delivering immersive 2D and 3D graphics seamlessly rendered on any device, accessible from any location. Used extensively by graphics designers and engineers, Blast Extreme delivers a great user experience on virtual workstations, with significantly reduced host CPU load and increased users per host. Leveraging the H.264 and H.265 codecs designed for the newest generation of multimedia and graphics workloads, Blast Extreme uses the hardware for encoding and offload graphics processing to GPUs on the server, thus reducing load on the CPU significantly.

While VMware Horizon has provided a full spectrum approach to enhancing user experience and accelerating application responsiveness with a portfolio of software and hardware-based graphics acceleration technologies, it has now stepped into a new frontier with the Horizon 7.9 release. In addition to providing knowledge workers the highest level of experience for all their apps on any device, Horizon in partnership with NVIDIA now brings AI-enhanced graphics, video and image processing that speed creative workflows to deliver an uncompromising experience for professional graphics users.

VMware Horizon 7.9 with NVIDIA T4

With the 7.9 release, Horizon has added support for NVIDIA’s T4 GPUs built on the latest Turing architecture and enables the next generation of computer graphics, the RTX platform. The T4 is the most universal GPU to date, and when combined with NVIDIA Quadro Virtual Data Center Workstation (Quadro vDWS) software, is capable of running large workloads such as complex CAD models, CAE, advanced Digital Content Creation (DCC) and medical imaging to drive greater data center efficiency and deliver the most optimal user experience. The GPU’s real-time ray tracing and AI-enhanced denoising capabilities can render photorealistic designs and images with accurate shadows, reflections and refractions on virtual workstations using VMware Horizon. Furthermore, users of high-end applications such as Dassault Systèmes CATIA, SOLIDWORKS and Esri ArcGIS Pro benefit significantly when working with mid-to-large sized models on their virtual workstations.

T4 offers double the amount of framebuffer (16 GB) versus the previous generation NVIDIA P4 (8 GB) card, therefore users can work with bigger models within their virtual workstations. Benchmark results show that T4 with Quadro vDWS delivers 25% better performance than P4 and offers almost twice the professional graphics performance of the NVIDIA M60, based on geomean.[1]

Over and above delivering these sophisticated workloads, the T4 is also very well-suited for knowledge workers using modern productivity applications on their virtual desktops. Modern productivity applications, high resolution and multiple monitors, and Windows 10 continue to require more graphics. With Horizon desktops backed by T4 GPUs and NVIDIA GRID virtualization software, users can achieve a native-PC experience in a virtualized environment. NVIDIA T4 GPU-accelerated servers improve virtual desktop performance by up to 33 percent compared to CPU-only servers[2] and provides improved video performance than previous generation with additional support for mainstream codecs like H.265 and VP9.

NVIDIA T4

Horizon with NVIDIA T4: A Versatile Graphics Solution

Additionally, the GPU’s dense, low power form factor can reduce data center operating expenses by scaling easily as compute and graphics needs grow while at the same time improving performance & efficiency. As two T4 GPUs can fit into the same space as a single NVIDIA M10, customers are able to considerably reduce their operating costs and scale their vGPU deployment by installing additional GPUs in a server. T4’s Turing architecture is also the first to support GDDR6 memory, which provides improved performance and power efficiency versus the previous generation GDDR5.

Horizon 7.9 with NVIDIA T4 is the most versatile solution when it comes to delivering a comprehensive graphics solution to customers on their virtual desktops, meeting a wide spectrum of needs from delivering a native-PC experience for virtualized productivity applications, untethering architects, engineers and designers from their desks, to enabling AI-driven graphics processing from anywhere, on any device. And with support for VMware vMotion technology for live migration IT admins can repurpose resources and maximize data center utilization with the added flexibility that T4 brings of running compute workloads, including AI, deep learning and inferencing, at night.

If you are heading to VMworld in San Francisco, check out NVIDIA’s booth #1351 to see firsthand the use cases for the universal accelerator NVIDIA T4 – from using AI to enable anyone to sketch beautiful artwork to enabling engaging digital workspaces in industries like financial services and healthcare. Also stop by NVIDIA’s booth on Monday, August 26, at 2:15pm for the theater session on “State of the arts graphics experience with VMware Blast Extreme and NVIDIA” for a deep dive on how you can deliver an uncompromising user experience with VMware Horizon and NVIDIA GPU so you can save time, reduce costs, and efficiently scale your infrastructure.

  1. SPECviewperf 13 results tested on a server with Intel Xeon Gold 6154 (18C, 3.0 GHz), Quadro vDWS with T4-16Q, VMware ESXi 6.7, host/guest driver 410.87/412.10, VM config, Windows 10, 8 vCPU, 16GB memory.
  2. Tested by NVIDIA on knowledge worker worklaods (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Chrome, Media Player, PDF) running on a single HD-resolution display with NVIDIA GRID 7.1 and NVIDIA T4-1B
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