Cloud GPUs – making high-power graphics affordable
High-end graphics workstations have long been a serious headache for CTOs. Expensive to buy and maintain, yet indispensable for certain roles, these powerhouse PCs remain a problem.
And despite giving users everything they need to do their jobs, traditional workstations are also quite limiting. Keeping on-premises systems secure is also an ongoing drain on resources, requiring management of patches, antivirus, and other security measures. This allows mistakes and inaccuracies to creep into the project, requiring more time and resources to correct later on.
These traditional workstations are at odds with modern demands for agile operations. Despite representing a proportionally large capital investment, these systems are a bitter pill to swallow – but for high-end tasks, there were not many other choices; until now.
Virtualisation arrives at the high-end workstation
Virtualisation has delivered significant benefits in the data centre. On-demand resources allow businesses to scale infrastructure up and down as business needs change. And because resources are billed on a pay-as-you-use basis, CTOs can avoid purchasing surplus storage and processing systems in advance. The switch from capital spend to operational spend increases predictability of costs, making it much easier to maximise the IT budget and to invest in strategic projects.
Advances in new NVIDIA GPUs provide a way for CTOs to bring similar benefits to the high-end workstation. By deploying virtual desktop sessions pre-configured with NVIDIA virtual GPUs (vGPU), it becomes possible to offload high-performance, processor-intensive workloads to the cloud.
Importantly, the virtual cloud desktop session can be accessed from virtually any device. Users can now benefit from high-end GPU capabilities whenever, and wherever required by simply connecting to the virtualised GPU from any thin (or zero) client – which means that your business can immediately reduce hardware purchase costs.
However, this flexibility goes beyond the desktop. Users can access their virtual workstation in the field from a laptop or tablet. Again, productivity increases as employees can work whenever and wherever required. All of the heavy-duty processing takes place in the cloud so that users can be issued with low-cost client devices.
Scalability as standard
vGPUs offer similar scalability advantages too. Has your engineering department increased headcount? Increase your desktop subscription count accordingly. Has the design team been rationalised? You can terminate unused subscriptions to reduce spending or reallocate them as needed.
Hosted systems running vGPUs are typically easier to manage and maintain too. All support is included as part of the subscription cost, freeing your own in-house IT team of the burden. Managing specialist high-end workstations becomes as simple as maintaining any other PC within your IT estate. Expanding hosted provisions to include AV management, file storage, and Windows updates makes the virtual desktop infrastructure much easier to manage.
The benefits of virtualising high-end workstations
Simplified workstation infrastructure always results in reduced support costs - particularly when implemented as part of a desktop transformation plan. Monthly costs are much more predictable, improving financial planning opportunities. Plus, the added flexibility makes it easier to focus attention on growing the business, not counting licenses and specifying new workstation hardware. And with a virtualised infrastructure your employees can work any place, any time, boosting productivity and paving the way towards a truly mobile, distributed workforce of all the talents.
The NVIDIA vGPU range has the potential to revolutionise the way you do business, by making employees more productive and helping you to contain your running costs. To learn more about our high-performance virtual desktop packages, please get in touch or visit our product page.