NVIDIA
Physical GPU shared between user/license types
Two items to keep in mind with Blast Extreme using H.264 offload is that this currently only works with single monitor clients. CAD users are typically two or more monitors. Also, you need to be careful that H.264 encoding provides the level of image quality expected by users of these types of applications (see: [url]http://connect.teradici.com/blog/the-importance-of-lossless-support[/url])
Two items to keep in mind with Blast Extreme using H.264 offload is that this currently only works with single monitor clients. CAD users are typically two or more monitors. Also, you need to be careful that H.264 encoding provides the level of image quality expected by users of these types of applications (see: http://connect.teradici.com/blog/the-importance-of-lossless-support)

#16
Posted 08/26/2016 10:17 PM   
Wow, I didn't know Blast Extreme only works with single monitor clients. I guess they hide that info in all the marketing fluff about that protocol. One more thing to go back and look at I guess.
Wow, I didn't know Blast Extreme only works with single monitor clients. I guess they hide that info in all the marketing fluff about that protocol.
One more thing to go back and look at I guess.

#17
Posted 08/30/2016 08:25 PM   
Some details of blast extreme were covered in a recent webinar, includign the single monitor limitation: http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4112/kw/blast Worth a read and finding the webinar recording. The VMware NVIDIA forum is a good place to ask such questions and highlight your need for > 1 monitor! Rachel
Some details of blast extreme were covered in a recent webinar, includign the single monitor limitation:

http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4112/kw/blast


Worth a read and finding the webinar recording. The VMware NVIDIA forum is a good place to ask such questions and highlight your need for > 1 monitor!

Rachel

#18
Posted 08/31/2016 10:26 AM   
First a clarification. Blast Extreme does work with multiple monitors except when an NVIDIA GRID GPU is present and using the NVENC H.264 encoder to offload the CPU-heavy H.264 encoding. This is a VMware restriction, not an NVIDIA restriction, so it will probably go away some day. However, VMware confirmed at VMworld in their public session that this restriction will [b]not[/b] be fixed in the upcoming release that is coming out "soon".
First a clarification. Blast Extreme does work with multiple monitors except when an NVIDIA GRID GPU is present and using the NVENC H.264 encoder to offload the CPU-heavy H.264 encoding. This is a VMware restriction, not an NVIDIA restriction, so it will probably go away some day. However, VMware confirmed at VMworld in their public session that this restriction will not be fixed in the upcoming release that is coming out "soon".

#19
Posted 09/01/2016 12:08 AM   
First a clarification. Blast Extreme does work with multiple monitors except when an NVIDIA GRID GPU is present and using the NVENC H.264 encoder to offload the CPU-heavy H.264 encoding. This is a VMware restriction, not an NVIDIA restriction, so it will probably go away some day. However, VMware confirmed at VMworld in their public session that this restriction will [b]not[/b] be fixed in the upcoming release that is coming out "soon".
First a clarification. Blast Extreme does work with multiple monitors except when an NVIDIA GRID GPU is present and using the NVENC H.264 encoder to offload the CPU-heavy H.264 encoding. This is a VMware restriction, not an NVIDIA restriction, so it will probably go away some day. However, VMware confirmed at VMworld in their public session that this restriction will not be fixed in the upcoming release that is coming out "soon".

#20
Posted 09/01/2016 12:28 AM   
Blast extreme does indeed work with multiple monitors even when an NVIDIA GPU is present, however VMware currently only leverage NVENC on the GPU with one monitor, when >1 monitor the applications will still access the GPU but rather than NVENC CPU encode will be used.
Blast extreme does indeed work with multiple monitors even when an NVIDIA GPU is present, however VMware currently only leverage NVENC on the GPU with one monitor, when >1 monitor the applications will still access the GPU but rather than NVENC CPU encode will be used.

#21
Posted 09/02/2016 01:12 PM   
If you're not tied into VMware, then ... Citrix have just released their version of the H.264 Hardware Encode, and it's VERY good and does support multiple monitors. Not only that, but it comes with new Adaptive Display v2. This monitors the screen content and only uses the H.264 Encode for video type content, and uses still image compression and bitmap caching for other areas. This retains the quality lost by a full screen H.264 encode for text etc Here are some links to it if you're interested: [url]https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/hdx/gpu-acceleration-desktop.html#par_richtext_5235[/url] Scroll down to the bottom of the page to where it says "Use video codec for compression" [url]https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/policies/reference/ica-policy-settings/graphics-policy-settings.html[/url]
If you're not tied into VMware, then ... Citrix have just released their version of the H.264 Hardware Encode, and it's VERY good and does support multiple monitors. Not only that, but it comes with new Adaptive Display v2. This monitors the screen content and only uses the H.264 Encode for video type content, and uses still image compression and bitmap caching for other areas. This retains the quality lost by a full screen H.264 encode for text etc

Here are some links to it if you're interested:

https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/hdx/gpu-acceleration-desktop.html#par_richtext_5235

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to where it says "Use video codec for compression"

https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/xenapp-and-xendesktop/7-11/policies/reference/ica-policy-settings/graphics-policy-settings.html

#22
Posted 09/14/2016 07:40 AM   
Thanks for the info! We were chosen by this potential customer to be one of a few providers to show them a demo. This 30 day demo won't have GRID, but it will allow them to experience a VMware Horizon VDI experience. If after this demo we are chosen to be their hosted VDI provider we will need to really get down to brass tacks with GRID. They are heavy users of 3D accelerated applications and will require hundreds of virtual desktops powered by GRID.
Thanks for the info! We were chosen by this potential customer to be one of a few providers to show them a demo. This 30 day demo won't have GRID, but it will allow them to experience a VMware Horizon VDI experience. If after this demo we are chosen to be their hosted VDI provider we will need to really get down to brass tacks with GRID. They are heavy users of 3D accelerated applications and will require hundreds of virtual desktops powered by GRID.

#23
Posted 09/16/2016 02:46 PM   
[quote="RachelBerry"]Blast extreme does indeed work with multiple monitors even when an NVIDIA GPU is present, however VMware currently only leverage NVENC on the GPU with one monitor, when >1 monitor the applications will still access the GPU but rather than NVENC CPU encode will be used.[/quote] Do you have any white papers that break down the performance impact in this scenario? How does this affect density of guests on a single GRID node (server) We'll be using a hyperconverged platform where each node will already be hosting a VM ofr the hyperconverged infrastructure, and we need a VERY solid idea of the actual VDI footprint we can actually have on each node. Every user in this environment uses multiple monitors. Either 2 or 4
RachelBerry said:Blast extreme does indeed work with multiple monitors even when an NVIDIA GPU is present, however VMware currently only leverage NVENC on the GPU with one monitor, when >1 monitor the applications will still access the GPU but rather than NVENC CPU encode will be used.


Do you have any white papers that break down the performance impact in this scenario? How does this affect density of guests on a single GRID node (server) We'll be using a hyperconverged platform where each node will already be hosting a VM ofr the hyperconverged infrastructure, and we need a VERY solid idea of the actual VDI footprint we can actually have on each node. Every user in this environment uses multiple monitors. Either 2 or 4

#24
Posted 09/16/2016 02:53 PM   
You mention above that you are one of a few providers to show the client a demo. However, with the information you have detailed within this thread, I have a few concerns, and I'd like to help you address these so you stand a better chance of surpassing the clients expectations and offering more performance than the other evaluations. Have you considered your options when one of the other providers gives the client a GRID enhanced evaluation to assess rather than a standard (non GRID) one? As your client is a heavy user of 3D accelerated applications, I'm sure they would want to evaluate a platform that can deliver this performance (I know I would). If you do not have a platform that they can evaluate, I'd suggest that you direct them towards the Try GRID offering from NVIDIA. This runs on Horizon and I [i]believe[/i] this is now running on Maxwell generation GPUs. You can access it here: [url]http://www.nvidia.com/object/vmware-trygrid.html[/url] One of the important things to note, is that you are not designing to deliver VDI. You are designing for Workstation replacement, and they are not the same. You design for them in the opposite way. You design for performance and user experience first and foremost, everything else comes a distant second. Once the client is happy with the performance (typically, you'll out perform their local workstation, or at the very least, match its performance) you then scale the platform without impacting the performance or experience. I mention this because you plan to use a Hyper-Converged platform. Hyper-Converged platforms are not conducive to delivering the level of performance required for true Workstation replacement, they are designed for density and consolidation, which is the last thing you want with Workstation replacement, as the resources are contended. Also, with a Hyper-Converged platform, you are (excuse the term) "robbing Peter to pay Paul" in terms of resources, as each Node (as you already mention) requires management and that resource should be being used by the application, not the infrastructure. You should (in my opinion (for what it's worth)) be looking at a Converged platform for the appropriate level of performance (for Workstation replacement). Regarding the multi-monitors and NVEnc, I'm not aware of any white papers on this. Typically, you'll evaluate the resources required within a demo lab to gain an understanding of the requirements, as there are again many variables such as resolution, refresh rate, how the screens are being used, application type, how the applications are being used etc etc. Certainly, for this, as the GPU won't (currently) be used for all monitors, the faster the CPU the better (unfortunately, further echoing my point in an earlier post, which we both agreed on).
You mention above that you are one of a few providers to show the client a demo. However, with the information you have detailed within this thread, I have a few concerns, and I'd like to help you address these so you stand a better chance of surpassing the clients expectations and offering more performance than the other evaluations.

Have you considered your options when one of the other providers gives the client a GRID enhanced evaluation to assess rather than a standard (non GRID) one? As your client is a heavy user of 3D accelerated applications, I'm sure they would want to evaluate a platform that can deliver this performance (I know I would). If you do not have a platform that they can evaluate, I'd suggest that you direct them towards the Try GRID offering from NVIDIA. This runs on Horizon and I believe this is now running on Maxwell generation GPUs. You can access it here: http://www.nvidia.com/object/vmware-trygrid.html

One of the important things to note, is that you are not designing to deliver VDI. You are designing for Workstation replacement, and they are not the same. You design for them in the opposite way. You design for performance and user experience first and foremost, everything else comes a distant second. Once the client is happy with the performance (typically, you'll out perform their local workstation, or at the very least, match its performance) you then scale the platform without impacting the performance or experience. I mention this because you plan to use a Hyper-Converged platform. Hyper-Converged platforms are not conducive to delivering the level of performance required for true Workstation replacement, they are designed for density and consolidation, which is the last thing you want with Workstation replacement, as the resources are contended. Also, with a Hyper-Converged platform, you are (excuse the term) "robbing Peter to pay Paul" in terms of resources, as each Node (as you already mention) requires management and that resource should be being used by the application, not the infrastructure. You should (in my opinion (for what it's worth)) be looking at a Converged platform for the appropriate level of performance (for Workstation replacement).

Regarding the multi-monitors and NVEnc, I'm not aware of any white papers on this. Typically, you'll evaluate the resources required within a demo lab to gain an understanding of the requirements, as there are again many variables such as resolution, refresh rate, how the screens are being used, application type, how the applications are being used etc etc. Certainly, for this, as the GPU won't (currently) be used for all monitors, the faster the CPU the better (unfortunately, further echoing my point in an earlier post, which we both agreed on).

#25
Posted 09/19/2016 11:07 AM   
As it stands now I believe the customer has given a price point for us to target. I'm not making the decisions on whether to use converged or hyperconverged, I'm just a slave to the process. Our current platform is a traditional converged platform featuring a VCE vBlock (Cisco UCS blades, EMC VNX storage, VMware). This is where the demo will live. Because this intial demo has to be provided to the customer for 30 days free of charge, and we don't currently use GRID, we have decided to only deliver standard desktops. As far as your comment regarding using the GRID test drive, I don't think that is an option because it is only for 24 hours and would probably not be an acceptable 'demo' to the customer. It would be nice for nVidia to have a whitebox demo that could be branded by a company working on a proposal, and be usable for an extended period of time. Even if there were a small fee it would be better than investing the time and money into setting up our own demo environment. We're not strictly a VDI provider, so we may not ever use that equipment again.
As it stands now I believe the customer has given a price point for us to target. I'm not making the decisions on whether to use converged or hyperconverged, I'm just a slave to the process. Our current platform is a traditional converged platform featuring a VCE vBlock (Cisco UCS blades, EMC VNX storage, VMware). This is where the demo will live. Because this intial demo has to be provided to the customer for 30 days free of charge, and we don't currently use GRID, we have decided to only deliver standard desktops.
As far as your comment regarding using the GRID test drive, I don't think that is an option because it is only for 24 hours and would probably not be an acceptable 'demo' to the customer. It would be nice for nVidia to have a whitebox demo that could be branded by a company working on a proposal, and be usable for an extended period of time. Even if there were a small fee it would be better than investing the time and money into setting up our own demo environment. We're not strictly a VDI provider, so we may not ever use that equipment again.

#26
Posted 09/19/2016 03:32 PM   
I'm familiar with vBlock. We use bespoke FlexPods ourselves, no Blades currently though. We have the same configuration options in terms of network and compute :-) Are your Blades B200 M3 or M4? If M4, and assuming your VMware licenses are correct, could you not evaluate a pair of M6s from one of your suppliers? These are great little cards considering the form factor and install very easily. Then using [url]http://www.nvidia.com/object/grid-evaluation.html[/url] you could add some GPU into your evaluation. It won't give you everything you need, but at least by doing this you would be able to run some of their 3D applications.
I'm familiar with vBlock. We use bespoke FlexPods ourselves, no Blades currently though. We have the same configuration options in terms of network and compute :-)

Are your Blades B200 M3 or M4? If M4, and assuming your VMware licenses are correct, could you not evaluate a pair of M6s from one of your suppliers? These are great little cards considering the form factor and install very easily. Then using http://www.nvidia.com/object/grid-evaluation.html you could add some GPU into your evaluation.

It won't give you everything you need, but at least by doing this you would be able to run some of their 3D applications.

#27
Posted 09/19/2016 05:36 PM   
My manager has had talks with reps at nVidia and I have been in contact with someone. Nobody has ever offered up a card to test with. However, the AMD rep I talked to offered one right away. At this point we may not have enough time to integrate the GPUs and do the required testing before our demo is due to be delivered. This is a fairly rushed timeline. (I know AMD's FirePRO card is a bit of a different solution, but I just wanted to point out they offered us a card to test without asking.) *edit* we run all B200 M3 blades, and 1 B440 M2. We are a VMware VSPP and our licensing is all squared away.
My manager has had talks with reps at nVidia and I have been in contact with someone. Nobody has ever offered up a card to test with. However, the AMD rep I talked to offered one right away. At this point we may not have enough time to integrate the GPUs and do the required testing before our demo is due to be delivered. This is a fairly rushed timeline.
(I know AMD's FirePRO card is a bit of a different solution, but I just wanted to point out they offered us a card to test without asking.)
*edit* we run all B200 M3 blades, and 1 B440 M2. We are a VMware VSPP and our licensing is all squared away.

#28
Posted 09/19/2016 06:57 PM   
I've sent you a PM. Let me know what you think ...
I've sent you a PM. Let me know what you think ...

#29
Posted 09/19/2016 08:17 PM   
Turns out the customer did not end up requiring the 10-desktop demo, and went ahead and moved us on to the next phase. Now we actually do need to provide a demo, and here is the sticking point. We're going to run this on Nutanix, and my manager said that the Nutanix 'nVidia' person says we cannot mix profiles per card. Everything we've been talking about here indicates we can have 2 different profiles on the same card - (1 per GPU). My manager and I were just discussing this and he initially mentioned having to buy 2 cards for the demo to be able to deliver 2 profiles. He said the Nutanix person mentioned something about licensing being the limiting factor. So now my question is does VMware have some sort of licensing restriction that you know of that would prevent 2 different profiles being used on 1 M60 card?
Turns out the customer did not end up requiring the 10-desktop demo, and went ahead and moved us on to the next phase. Now we actually do need to provide a demo, and here is the sticking point. We're going to run this on Nutanix, and my manager said that the Nutanix 'nVidia' person says we cannot mix profiles per card. Everything we've been talking about here indicates we can have 2 different profiles on the same card - (1 per GPU). My manager and I were just discussing this and he initially mentioned having to buy 2 cards for the demo to be able to deliver 2 profiles. He said the Nutanix person mentioned something about licensing being the limiting factor. So now my question is does VMware have some sort of licensing restriction that you know of that would prevent 2 different profiles being used on 1 M60 card?

#30
Posted 10/07/2016 01:10 PM   
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