NVIDIA GRID: More info on vApps and VPC/vWS Licensing

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Check out Luke Wignall’s blog on NVIDIA GRID licensing and other GRID topics!

I wrote a blog on RDSH (including XenApp) licensing and the options available with NVIDIA GRID vGPU and GPU-passthrough a few weeks ago, which you can read – here (including support for multi-monitor and resolutions). Since then my colleague Luke has added some more information in a blog where he outlines various case studies including many on vApps, which is worth a read here:

Luke answers how many licenses and what type you will need for various use cases, answering questions such as:

  • Q: I am deploying Citrix XenDesktop for 5000 global users, using two data centers, to meet a follow the sun productivity goal.  The data centers are also backup sites to each other.  I expect at most 1200 users at each of our three regional areas to be on during their workday, connecting to their closest data center, but there is some overlap (people working late or starting early) so I am architecting with a buffer for a total of 1500 virtual desktops.  I need to be able to run all users from either data center of one should go down. My users are all engineers and their apps require Quadro.
  • Q:  I am deploying virtual desktops but using XenApp to do so, and am looking for improved end user experience, for 1000 users.  At any given time I expect no more than 850 users to be connected.  I have no other desktop delivery method.
  • Q:  I chose to run XenApp on a bare metal host, so no hypervisor (I would question the decision to forgo the flexibility and manageability of virtualization), delivering three Microsoft Office applications so .  I have 500 users but expect no more than 350 of them to be connected at any given time.  I have no Virtual desktops for these users.
  • Q:  I have 250 engineers using CATIA and similar apps, they must have Quadro drivers, but usually only 200 of them are working at any given time.  I also have 1000 knowledge workers that range from sales to support, their apps do not need Quadro but perform much better with GPU (=happy users), of those I typically see 800 actively on their desktops.  I am deploying VMware Horizon.  We have a set of web apps that all 1250 employees use for time keeping, expenses, and safety training, these I am delivering with XenApp.

 

There is a lot of information on GRID licensing in our knowledge base – just search on “GRID licensing” on our KB home page here:

Highlights include:

Licensing Documentation:

Of course one of the best references is the official licensing guides on the GRID resources page (under deployment guides) here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/grid-enterprise-resources.html. In particular these two are useful:

 

Questions

Any questions – ask below or on the support NVIDIA GRID forums at https://gridforums.nvidia.com

NVIDIA GRID – Citrix offers multi-monitor NVENC hardware encode for both Linux and Windows

A few weeks ago I wrote a KB article outlining the support on various virtualization stacks for hardware encode support.using NVIDIA NVENC functionality.  I’m now in the process of having the KB article updated as today Citrix announced with XenDesktop/XenApp 7.11 that they have added support for Windows alongside their existing Linux support.

A few vendors already offered hardware encode for both Linux and Windows such as NICE DVC and HP RGS, however prior to this release from Citrix:

  • Citrix only supported Linux
  • VMware only supported Windows (and then only single monitor)

This sees Citrix now offer multi-monitor support on both Linux and Windows. I expect VMware will now be under some pressure to match.

Many customers use both Windows and Linux so this parity makes life much easier for the system administrator.

VDI can use GPUs in many ways:

  • To accelerate the applications
  • For the protocol encoding and decoding e.g H.264 e.g. NVENC
  • Allowing protocols access to the frame buffer directly

So solutions without NVENC also do still benefit from GPU availability.

You can read about the HDX/XenDesktop 7.11 enhancements here:  https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/hdx/gpu-acceleration-desktop.html

There are also some other big leaps in HDX such as the addition of hardware H.264 4:4:4 encode (removes the artefacts of standard H.264 4:2:0 but at a cost of a bit more bandwidth).

Nicely any Citrix Receiver that also supports H.264 decoding can be used with NVENC hardware encoding (H.264 4:2:0). Which should ease users trialing and adopting.

The protocol war rages on!

NVIDIA GRID – RDSH licensing (including XenApp)

I’ve had a few questions about what licensing is needed under the GRID 2.0 and up software licensing for the M60/M10/M6 GPUs for RDSH solutions such as XenApp. I think the confusion arises because it’s possible to use a number of GPU/vGPU different profiles for a server OS VM. The key point is to remember that the licensing is always per user.

Continue reading NVIDIA GRID – RDSH licensing (including XenApp)