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Maybe Virtual Desktops ARE Ready For Us… October 21, 2011

Posted by audiomatron in Uncategorized.

I just love putting my foot in my mouth. No, I still haven’t solved any of the problems that I ran into during our experimentation with virtual desktops, as mentioned in my previous article. However, a little while ago I saw something tweeted by @Dutch_vMaffia that has the potential to finally make virtual desktops a real possibility for users requiring high end graphics.

Apparently, just one day before I wrote my article entitled “Virtual Desktops are Not Ready for Us”, it was announced at VMworld in Copenhagen that nVidia and VMware are teaming up to provide a way for virtual desktops to leverage nVidia’s quadro graphics processors installed as cards in the physical ESXi host. The technology is being called “Quadro Virtual Graphics Platform”.

I have not seen many details as to when the technology will be available, pricing, or which servers are supported for the Quadro Virtual Graphics Platform. Although, I do know that it will require one card for each VM that will be using the  technology. This will limit the number of “Virtual Workstations” that can run on a particular host to the number of expansion slots available in the host server.

This is exciting news to those of us who are IT admins for civil engineering firms (or maybe just me?). Ever since the first time I learned about virtual desktop infrastructure, I have been saying that there needed to be some way to leverage graphics hardware from within a VM in order to make it a viable option for graphics and CAD professionals. I though that perhaps in the future this would become a reality, but it looks as though the future is closer than I thought!


An article on vmguru.nl with some good information about the Quadro Virtual Graphics Platform – this is where I first read about it. Thanks, vmguru!

nVidia’s blog post regarding the Quadro Virtual Graphics Platform

A Press Release from VMware about the Quadro Virtual Graphics Platform



1. Dave Jackson - February 17, 2012

Citrix HDX started Hypervisor GPU passthrough a while ago.. mapping 1 VM per GPU on the host. Quadro Virtual Graphics Platform from VMware is a copy cat which not going to sale either. What people really want is 1GPU on host that can be share by multiple VMs.

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