GPGPU’s & CAD – Dell Precision Appliance for Wyse

I work as a Principle ProSupport Analyst at Dell with specialization in VDI and Virtualization technologies, so I get the opportunity to see & play with some of the coolest technology for the Enterprise.  My admitted bias here is that a lot of the Virtualization products I’ll talk about here are on Dell Platforms – I’ve got to keep my job you know, and I’m pretty sure that neither Dell or my wife will approve of purchasing an HP or IBM/Lenovo server to test stuff out on.  Take it for what it is worth.

I’m currently working through the finer support details of the Dell Precision Appliance for Wyse.  This is a fantastic application of almost Server-Class hardware, High Resolution GPGPU video and Remote Access, all in one package.  The tricky part is that the DPAfW is what is known as a “Reference Architecture” and is kind of a “You need to do 1-8 instances of CAD in your DataCenter and access it remotely?  Well, here’s the parts and a tool to do the basic configuration!  Enjoy!!”

Historically, high-end graphic systems required for CAD rendering, Oil & Gas visualizations, Movie & Game rendering happened on a really nice PC and took a while to do – all while the PC was housed under someone’s desk at work or at home.  The need for data security, protecting the Intellectual Property (IP) of what is being designed, mixed with the need for higher end processing and graphics capability has enabled the migration of these systems into the Datacenter, where the server is protected from physical access, has A/C and conditioned power (with battery backups) and periodic backup of Corporate IP.

Dell has offered a single user version of this for quite a few years in the R5400/R5500/R7610 Precision Rackmount Workstations.  Very high end graphics workstations that can handle the power and heat load of most graphics cards with the advantages of RAID redundancy for storage.  These leveraged Teradici Host Access Cards (PCoIP) cards for remote access and using Dell Optiplex FX100 endpoints – Teradici hardware based thin clients.

The latest version of this is the Dell Precision Appliance for Wyse, which comes in 2 flavors and now leverages DellWyse Teradici based Thin Clients:

  • Dedicated GPGPU – R7910 running ESXi 6.0, 3x nVidia Quadro 4200 GPGPU cards, 3x Teradici Host Access Cards, supports up to 3 virtual desktops leveraging Quadro 4200 video and remotely accessed via Wyse P25/P45 endpoints.  Wiring diagram for dual monitor configuration:

DedicatedGPGPU

 

  • Shared GPGPU – R7910 running ESXi 6.0, 2x nVidia K2 GPGPU cards, supports 4 or 8 virtual desktops leveraging 1/2 or 1/4 of each K2 card (via K2 Shared GPGPU Configuration) and accessed via Wyse P25/P45 endpoints.

Both versions of the DPAfW are designed to work with a “Quick Start Tool” that will do basic configuration of ESXi based on what video cards are detected onboard ESXi.  Here’s a nice video walkthrough of the QST by one of it’s developers.

… more to come.

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