Graphics Virtualization Turns Underpowered Devices into Graphical Powerhouses
Imagine a workplace where employees could run graphically demanding software like CAD applications and video editing suites on a modest-cost laptop instead of an expensive, powerhouse workstation without sacrificing performance. Graphics Processing Unit Virtualization lets businesses utilize their data center servers to handle much of the heavy lifting that was previously only practical on expensive workstations. GPU Virtualization works by dividing the hardware’s memory and cores into multiple, dedicated instances so multiple virtual devices can rely on having powerful graphical capabilities at all times. Both AMD and Nvidia have GPU virtualization solutions available.
Virtualization in the Workplace
Businesses rely on virtualization technology to run multiple client workspace instances across many devices from centralized server implementations. It’s very helpful in cases like helping a Mac user access a program that only works in Windows XP. However, virtualization suffered a major performance bottleneck with graphics capabilities that prevented users from being able to run applications that require powerful GPU hardware over virtual machines. According to PCWorld, businesses often implement virtual machines as a way to provide a more secure computing environment for employees. Virtualization also makes it easier to offer a homogenous work environment while supporting BOYD.
Light-Powered Client, High-Powered Graphics in Business Applications
Depending on the industry, a company may operate a combination of video editing, graphic design, CAD, CAM, and complex data calculation machines that require substantial GPU power to work. Switching to a GPU virtualization model means that employees no longer need expensive workstations, since the server does all the heavy lifting, and can instead use lower-spec, less-expensive machines to do their jobs. Additionally, companies can implement lengthened hardware replacement cycles since local hardware power is no longer essential.
Scaling Business as a Whole
Previously when a company needed to upgrade employee work computers, the business would need to individually purchase each worker a new system. These upgrades usually did not come all at the same time, so some employees would have superior hardware compared to others. With GPU virtualization a business can upgrade its entire workforce with a singular upgrade instead of having to replace multiple, expensive workstations. In other words, a company can upgrade a central system that all employees can immediately use to see a benefit. According to AMD, the technology lets companies access workstation power on demand from any client device as needed.
The technology can be a cost savings measure because a server-based implementation can more efficiently use processing power than multiple workstations. Instead of employees using underpowered hardware when the more powerful hardware is sitting idle, the server is able to allocate resources as needed to multiple users.
GPU Virtualization technology offers exciting opportunities for businesses to get more out of their existing data centers and local servers. The technology could be poised to transform how businesses look at client-side systems and server implementations in the workplace as a whole.
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