To whom it may concern,
I'm looking to develop a system to virtualize the client desktop machines at my company. The problem with my particular virtualization project is client machine load - these are very heavy machines. Our standard desktop applications include Adobe software as well as Autodesk's Revit Architecture application and several other pieces of Autodesk's software linup. Revit in particular requires Direct3D rendering capabilities.
I am looking to NVIDIA to provide the GPUs that will exist in the host machines. More specifically, NVIDIA's Quadro FX linup of either the 3800, 4800, or 5800 GPUs (possibly the new 6000 series, or the coming 7000 series GPUs if needed). I would like to make sure that the drivers that exist in either ESX 4.x or in the View Manager (if any) can effectively pool the GPU resources and present them to the VMs. This step is critical - because having a one-to-one mapping of one VM-to-GPU is not going to work. Doing so would severly limit my VM density and thus cause the project to grow far beyond expected costs.
I know this should be possible if I specify an Intel processor with VT-x support and a processor and motherboard combination that support VT-d (for Directed IO). Parallels was able to dedicate one GPU per VM per host, but this limits my VM density on the hosts to the number of PCI/e/Express slots available. I don't really like Parallels' solution to the problem - and we already have our entire server infrastructure running on VMware.
So, to restate the question in a nutshell: can VMware's View 4.5, or ESX 4.x, pool the GPU resources that exist on the host and present them to the VMs to allow for Direct3D rendering?
I would love to hear from VMware on this issue - but any input is more than welcome!
PS - ADMINISTRATORS: if I have posted in the wrong forum, please move this post to the appropriate forum.