Remote Graphics and the Professional CAD Workstation, Part 2: Reduced Hardware Costs
We’re talking about remote graphics in this series. We’ve outlined the potential benefits for CAD users, and now we’re going to get more specific.
The Remote Graphics 4:1 Advantage
Many companies are looking for ways to cut back on their IT spend and want to purchase hardware and software solutions that allowed them to do more with less. By implementing a remote graphics solution that is capable of supporting more than one user on zero clients, that’s fewer workstations and graphic cards you have to buy and support.
The FirePro RG220 Remote Graphics card for example, supports hardware-accelerated PCoIP compression and is capable of supporting up to four users on thin clients with a single professional graphics card and at least one quad-core CPU server running the Parallels Workstation Extreme 4.0 hypervisor.
At each users desk, in addition to keyboard, display and mouse, there is just a PCoIP-supporting thin or zero client that is mapped to the graphics card. And it doesn’t matter where these four individuals sit (well they do need to be within 100 miles). As long as they have a 10+ MB/sec network connection (sorry your 3G MiFi card won’t do the trick), they can use the remote computing solution. For more complex modeling a 20-50MB connection is recommended (i.e., a standard office Ethernet LAN, Verizon Fios connection, or even my high-speed Comcast line).
Now obviously we aren’t talking about four users manipulating multi-million polygon 3D models and rendering. That can tax a single high-end FirePro or Quadro card. But in many engineering/CAD firms, many users are working on 2D AutoCAD DWG drawings or are working on medium-complexity 3D projects that would generally require the resources of a low-end 3D graphics card like the FirePro V4800.
Next up, we’ll outline the benefits for the heavy-duty 3D CAD user.
Author: Tony DeYoung