Offering aimed at complex, data-intensive workloads
NetApp on Tuesday unveiled a new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution for VMware environments that runs with VMware’s Horizon 7 VDI software and leverages Nvidia GPUs in the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), a key part of several announcements by NetApp at the VMworld show in San Francisco.
The Lowdown: The use of GPUs in the NetApp HCI for VDI with VMware Horizon 7 is aimed at enabling enterprises to improve the performance of such complex and data-intensive workloads as medical imaging, CAD/CAM, and other technical and scientific applications from vendors like Autodesk, Dassault, and Siemens that need the extra boost to run well in VDI environments.
The Details: The GPU capabilities come with the new H615C compute node through the use of Nvidia’s Tesla T4 Tensor core cards, which are designed for high-performance technical and scientific applications and for modern technologies like deep learning. The VDI solution lets enterprises use such offerings as NetApp Kubernetes Service and Nvidia GPU Cloud, which provides GPU-accelerated containers for deep learning, high-performance computing, and HPC visualization workloads.
The new VDI offering with VMware Horizon 7 supports all of the top VDI solutions from other vendors and enables organizations to more easily install, expand, and upgrade while adding compute and storage independently of each other rather than having to do both simultaneously and to the same degree. NetApp officials said the company’s new VDI solution will enable organizations to run certain CAD operations more than two times faster than existing offerings and some medical imaging applications six times faster.
The Impact: The use of such high-powered GPU accelerators in VDI environments not only speeds up CAD and medical imaging workloads but also opens up virtual desktops to better run deep learning, machine learning, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and other modern applications.
The new offering means such complex workloads no longer have to be done on expensive and space-consuming workstations. It also gives channel partners a new powerful cloud-based platform they can offer to customers to run their own value-added solutions.
Background: The NetApp-VMware offering is only the latest cloud partnership aimed at enhancing virtualized desktop environments, following Citrix Systems’ announcement the day before of a cloud-hosted desktop solution for running Windows applications and desktops on Microsoft Azure. It also was one of several announcements NetApp made with VMware this week, with others including a NetApp HCI service for implementing VMware Private Cloud and NetApp Kubernetes Service (NKS) support of a fully managed Kubernetes service on vSphere regardless of where the infrastructure is being run.
The Buzz: “In today’s data-driven world, faster, simpler access to applications and data is critical to business success,” said Brett Roscoe, vice president of product management for NetApp’s cloud infrastructure business unit. “As a result of our ongoing partnership with VMware, we offer breakthrough management solutions for virtual infrastructure, private cloud, public cloud, and desktop virtualization – in any cloud, in one experience – that offer superb simplicity for high-performance, complex environments.”
“With NetApp HCI, you can overcome the challenges of virtualized 3D graphics workloads and quickly explore deep learning with NetApp Kubernetes Service and Nvidia GPU Cloud,” said Chris Rodriquez, cloud solutions principal architect at NetApp. “And by using your data fabric delivered by NetApp technology, you can gain even more value from NetApp HCI.”