Cloud-based GPUs Present New Use Cases for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

BrandPost By Paul Desmond
Sep 18, 2018
Computers and Peripherals

Graphics processors such as the AMD Radeon Pro V340 are built for the sole purpose of delivering the power of a GPU to cloud-based, virtualized applications.

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Credit: Gorodenkoff

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) applications were once used mainly for simple, traditional business applications, such as those used by office workers and call center agents. But with the advent of powerful new processors that support cloud-based VDI services, including those that require heavy graphics processing and 3D rendering, the realm of viable use cases is greatly expanding.

Graphics processors such as the AMD Radeon Pro V340 are built for the sole purpose of delivering the power of a graphics processing unit (GPU) to cloud-based, virtualized applications. Remote users get a GPU experience from wherever they may be, on whatever device they are using – even for compute-intensive engineering and design applications. For engineers, it provides a level of freedom and flexibility that simply wasn’t possible in the past. In this post, we’ll run through a few of the many possibilities.

Designers and engineers gain newfound freedom

At one time, designers and engineers required powerful deskside workstations with graphics processors to render their designs. As a result, they were tied to their desk in an office. Now CAD and other applications can be delivered from the cloud, giving them newfound freedom.

That means an architect using AutoCAD can work from a light laptop at a job site, working side by side with the builder and project owner, taking suggestions and bringing them to life on the spot.

An automotive engineer using a 3D modeling package such as SOLIDWORKS may be on site at a race track with just a simple tablet, making tweaks to a race car design while watching the car go through its paces and monitoring its performance.

A graphics designer using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign or Photoshop may be in a conference room with an editor, brainstorming and collaborating on design ideas for a feature story. With the ability to come up with designs in real time on a laptop and show them to the editor, he can get sign-off in minutes rather than hours or days.

Similarly, a civil engineer using ArcGIS may be out in the field, perhaps at a mining operation in a remote area, creating detailed maps of the site using just a tablet.

No matter the location – in the field at a job site, at a coffee shop or in a home office – these professionals can work effectively because all the processing happens in a cloud data center, with the result being pixels streamed to the user’s device.

Global collaboration, sound security

Such cloud-based applications also enable virtual teams to collaborate on centralized datasets  from wherever they may be. Perhaps a large, global engineering firm is working on project in Dubai, where on-site engineers use cloud-based CAD programs with support from colleagues in regional offices. Such a setup could result in a “follow the sun” approach that gets jobs done faster.

What’s more, the resulting data is inherently secure. All data remains in a central data center, not stored on the remote device. And the Radeon Pro V340 isolates each virtual machine’s access at a hardware level with its Multiuser GPU (MxGPU) technology, preventing any user from accessing another’s data.

The virtual approach with AMD’s Radeon Pro V340 GPU is also cost-effective, with no additional licensing requirements as new users are brought online providing enterprises with a lower cost per user.

To learn more about the kind of power virtual GPUs are delivering to VDI applications today, visit AMD’s site.