VMware, Nvidia team up to boost virtual desktop performance

The integrated product will allow users of graphics-intensive applications to ditch the traditional workstation

VMware and Nvidia will work together to implement the graphics company Quadro's Virtual Graphics platform on VMware’s View virtual desktop platform in order to allow more users to ditch the traditional workstation.

The two companies announced the partnership at VMworld Europe in Copenhagen on Wednesday. A key part of VMware’s strategy for servers and desktops is to evolve its platforms and tools to allow more users to virtualize more applications.

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The work with Nvidia is focused on the latter. Since the advent of server-based computing, handling graphics-intensive tasks has always been a challenge, but performance has gradually improved.

Users of graphics-intensive applications, such as engineers, artists and scientists, will be able to work from almost anywhere, without being tied to their workstation and access their applications from, for example, tablets and thin or zero clients, according to VMware.

The solution uses a dedicated Nvidia Quadro card on the host and a graphics driver in the virtual desktop. A demo at VMworld Europe, which rendered a human head, showed that it works. However, there is one drawback: each user needs a graphics card of their own on the host to deliver the improved performance.

There isn’t a firm date for when the View and Quadro Virtual Graphics will start shipping, but VMware is hoping that some users will be able to start testing before the end of the year, according to a VMware spokesman.

The Quadro Virtual Graphics platform was first shown by NVIDIA as a technology demonstration at this year's Siggraph conference, which focuses on computer graphics, in August in Vancouver, Canada.

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