Three years ago there were few products on the market that could support remote access for 3D graphics and deliver 3D application remotely. The few that were on the market required at least 5Mbps and latencies below 75 milliseconds. We wanted to build a product that provided a usable experience with 2Mpbs of bandwidth and tolerate up to 150ms round trip latency. We wanted to create the best 3D virtualization platform. We feel that this product has now been created- XenDesktop 4- a breakthrough desktop virtualization platform for 3D graphics.
3D graphical applications like CATIA, Pro/ENGINEER, Autodesk, etc. are used daily by CAD/CAM designers in the manufacturing sector. Research scientists use 3D graphical application for oil exploration in oil and natural gas companies. These are computationally challenging applications that need high end GPUs (graphical processing units) manufactured by companies like nVIDI and AMD. These applications often require the most advanced workstations- fastest possible CPU and GPU and the largest amount of memory.
3D applications are difficult to virtualize because performance is key in these applications. The CPU-GPU interaction has been designed to optimally deliver the highest number of frames per second (fps). Any software that is inserted in the middle can reduce the fps delivered to the user and cause a poor user experience. For example, for some complex models with hundreds of thousands of rendering triangles the workstation may create 2-3 frames per second. If the virtualization platform reduces the display rate to 1-2 fps, the difference is perceptible, and the end user will not want to use the application.
In XenDesktop 4, the latency tolerance optimization has been extended that what is already presented in the HDX technology and has added a few new compression algorithms, including some that use the GPU itself to do compression. The result is a 3D virtualization platform that meets the market requirements and delivers the best possible user experience. On the LAN, our solution can perform even better than locally installed application, because server side GPUs can be more powerful than desktop GPUs. On the WAN there is no other solution that can deliver a usable experience at 2Mbps with 150 ms round trip latency.
You will see this technology platform bear fruit in other areas that affect larger number of users. The new Microsoft OS-Windows 7- leverages the GPS to deliver cool 3D graphical user interfaces. Our experience with high-end 3D graphics will help us effectively solve these problems for millions of users as they migrate to Windows 7. Stay tuned!