Offloading graphic processing for virtual desktop interfaces (VDI) allows such virtualized computer environments to support graphics intensive applications. While graphics acceleration is embedded into billions of consumer and business devices, including smartphones, laptops and workstations, it has not natively been built into virtual desktop interfaces. As a result, users of graphically-intense programs such as geospatial applications and 3-D rendering have been denied the flexibility of VDI.
As explained previously, VDI connects users to a server from a thin client computing device, such as a thin client in the workplace, or remote desktop software on a PC or laptop. VDI, which Webhosting.net provides as a utility computing model for mid- to large-sized businesses, allows a user’s desktop to run as a virtual image on a server in a data center rather than concentrating all computing power in an endpoint desktop. The obvious issue with this model however is that demanding graphic applications are highly disadvantaged under this model, since they require a tremendous amount of processing power.
The use of server-based graphic accelerators delivers the ability to offload graphics processing from the central processing unit (CPU) to the graphics processing unit (GPU) in virtualized environments, allowing hosting service providers such as Webhosting.net to deliver graphics-rich experiences to its VDI users. GPU hardware virtualization therefore provides access, and simultaneously enhances, applications that are graphic-dependent, which include 3-D intensive applications and multimedia programs such as video editing which require a highly responsive experience.
Webhosting.net not only specializes in deploying VDI for its clients, but it also ensures that graphic processing can be offloaded. Due to the emergence of new technology, offloading graphic processing is now completely transparent to VDI users.
Graphic card manufacturers are now building hardware accelerators that can add on what is known as “virtual shared graphics acceleration”, to provide hardware accelerated 3-D graphics to virtual desktops. Webhosting.net fully takes advantage of this technology, in order to provide its clients with the best visual experience while allowing them to use extremely demanding applications.
For example, with the advent of this technology, it is absolutely possible for an architectural firm to render plans and drawings in a computer-aided design package by way of VDI. It would also be possible to run a video editing package on VDI, with the use of a properly deployed offloaded graphic processor.
Ultimately, with such a system, high-end visuals can be displayed, as long as broadband office connections and thin or software clients are properly configured. By providing this capability to Webhosting.net’s clients, more target users can be serviced using virtual desktops and clients can actually fulfill their multimedia end use requirements. In addition to expanding target use cases, graphics offloading further augments the user experience that is delivered by enabling truly high performance graphics, but also delivering maximum compatibility and portability. As a result, Webhosting.net believes that any virtual desktop interface customer should give full consideration to the benefits of graphic processing unit offloading.