During VMworld 2013 in Barcelona, I spend some time on the NVIDIA booth trying to figure out more about which graphic cards are supported for accelerating the End User Computing solutions.Wanting to lab and test the acceleration provided by using a Dedicated graphic cards for my View Desktop, I took a closer look at the NVIDIA cards that support the feature. This article will give you a list of the official cards, the ones shown to work and a list of cards that might work.
The VMware official Hardware Compatibility List for vSGA is here, and you will quickly see that a lot of cards are missing.
Before I go further I want to point out to some excellent resources, like these white papers:
- VMware’s Virtual Machine Graphics Acceleration Deployment Guide that covers the various types of acceleration solutions, installation and troubleshooting.
- NVIDIA’s Deploying GRID in VMware Virtual Desktop Environments (Session 3355 from the GPU Conference)
With VMware Horizon View we can user a segmentation in the performance needed by the users. From Task Workers to Workstation Users.
Here is another quick table that explains the differences.
Now let’s get to the meat of this article, the list of the current generation of NVIDIA Cards that support the Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA) and Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA).
I have added two cards to this list following a discussion and followup email exchange with a NVIDIA representative, and from my observations of the Hewlett-Packard demo running a Quadro 3000M graphics card in the blade, running vDGA on ESXi. So I added the Quadro 3000M and the Quadro 1000M.
Why you ask ?
Well there are some Blades that can be configured with these cards, as well as some customized Laptops.
So while enterprise customers will be looking to NVIDIA Kepler 5000/6000 or NVIDIA GRID K1 and K2 cards, the Small Business market and professionals could get VMware Horizon View running with Quadro 4000 or Quadro 2000.
As for the laptop I just mentionned before, the Clevo P570WM, a true beast with 32GB, Xeon E5-1650 6-Cores and upto 4 SSDs and two GPU , can be purchased from resellers like Sager Notebook (US), Eurocom Panther 5SE (Canada), MySchenker (UK & Germany). The Clevo P570WN is able to run vSphere 5.1 natively, as it comes with a Intel 82579V gigabit network connection.
I’m currently out of budget for the rest of 2013, so I won’t try to lab vDGA in my ESXi with Quadro 4000 cards yet…
Hope this article can be useful in listing the NVIDIA Cards that are supported or probably work with Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA)