vSGA, or Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration, allows multiple VMware vSphere virtual machines to share hardware GPUs. We have advocated in previous blog articles the use of NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology, and this is a good solution for many use cases. In this blog, we look at the performance of vGPU technology vs. vSGA while limiting our testing to a workload generated by VMware Horizon 7 VDI desktops. Based on our measurements (we present some of that data in this blog) vSGA provides performance very close to vGPU when using a variety of software applications, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, CAD viewers, YouTube video, and viewing or working with WebGL-based images. vSGA does not require any additional licensing. This cost savings combined with the performance of vSGA makes a compelling case to use vSGA on NVIDIA GPUs to support 3D graphics in VDI desktops.
vSphere is an industry-leading virtualization platform that enables customers to build private clouds for running enterprise applications such as SQL server databases. Customers can expect near-native performance from their virtualized SQL databases when running in a vSphere environment. VMware vCenter Server, the management component of vSphere, uses a database to store and organize information related to vSphere-based virtual environments. This database can be implemented using SQL server. Based on the previous VMware performance studies involving SQL databases, it is reasonable to expect the performance of a virtualized SQL Server-based vCenter database to be similar to that in native.
A study was conducted in the VMware performance engineering lab to validate the assumption. The results of the study show that:
- The most resource-intensive operations of a virtualized SQL Server-based vCenter database perform at a level comparable to that in native environment.
- A SQL Server-based vCenter database managing a vSphere virtual environment of any scale can be virtualized on vSphere.
- SQL databases, in general, perform at a near-native level when virtualized on vSphere 4.1.
Complete details of the experiments and their results can be found in this technical document.
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