3D software suite for 8 mobile users via one remote workstation

The Nvidia Grid VCA (visual computing appliance) for SolidWorks 2014 is a GPU-based appliance for small and medium-sized businesses that can be centrally located and accessed over the company network without the IT complexity of commercial virtualization solutions.

September 10, 2013

The Nvidia Grid VCA for SolidWorks 2014 is a powerful GPU-based appliance for small and medium-sized businesses that can be centrally located and accessed over the company network without the IT complexity of commercial virtualization solutions. GPU (graphics processing unit) acceleration gives local and remote users—even those on notebooks or mobile devices—the same SolidWorks experience they would get from a dedicated high-performance desk-side workstation.

Benefits for SolidWorks users

Benefits include hardware, software, mobility, security, and integration. Specifically:

  • A turnkey SolidWorks remote graphics platform: Every installation supports up to eight SolidWorks designers concurrently with a powerful graphics workspace powered by an Nvidia Quadro K5000-class GPU.
  • High-performance Quadro professional graphics: Each designer’s personal workspace can manage all SolidWorks design modes, including large assemblies, RealView, and more.
  • Certified for SolidWorks 2014: The Grid VCA is the only remote computing platform to be tested, certified, and fully supported by SolidWorks, to date.
  • Improved security: Valuable SolidWorks data files and the Grid VCA are co-located in a secure central location. Only the SolidWorks user interface is streamed to the user, so intellectual property and important data never leave the company.
  • Freedom to use SolidWorks on your favorite system, Apple Mac, Microsoft Windows, or Linux: Designers get high-end workstation-class performance on the system of their choice, such as Mac, Linux, and even entry-level Windows PCs.
  • Simple maintenance and management: The GRID VCA simplifies management. Instead of managing eight individual workstations, the IT manager maintains one appliance delivering up to eight concurrent sessions.

Configuration: total, per user

Grid VCA System Configuration follows. GPU: 8 High-end Nvidia Kepler-based processors; total graphics memory: 32 GB; CPU: 2 Intel Xeon E5; physical CPU Cores: 16; System memory: 256 GB; network connections: 2 10-Gigabit Ethernet and 2 1-Gigabit Ethernet; application storage: 75 GB; maximum system power: 1475 W; number of users: Up to 8 concurrent; dimensions: 4U rack mounted (19x7x32 in.).

Grid workspace configurations (per user) follows. GPU: High-end Kepler-based processor; graphics memory: 4 GB; virtual CPU cores: 8; system memory: 30 GB; and storage: Users share 60 GB of persistent scratch storage. Network storage is required for data files.

Savings estimate

While Control Engineering usually doesn’t publish prices, it’s relevant to mention the lower cost and flexibility involved in this case, where eight licenses can be shared among many more users, as opposed to assigned to only eight machines, with a traditional SolidWorks setup. In addition, an estimate for CFE Media from Andrew Cresci, Nvidia GM manufacturing industries, put the total cost at $24,995, which breaks out to $3125 for each of the eight seats, as opposed to about $4750 per SolidWorks user on comparable individual Dell workstation hardware. The estimate doesn’t count the cost of additional IT integration for eight machines, versus one. Also not counted is the network storage for data files using the Nvidia setup.

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, mhoske@cfemedia.com.


See also, linked at the bottom of the file:

3D design software top 10 features, simulation, visualization, electrical; helps with robot design

3D CAD, simulation, product data management, technical communication, electrical design software