NVIDIA SLI Multi-OS empowers world’s first virtualized graphics workstation
By Darren Quick
April 1, 2009
April 1, 2009 NVIDIA has introduced the NVIDIA SLI Multi-OS, a technology that allows users and visualization applications, for the first time, to take full advantage of multiple NVIDIA Quadro GPUs from a single graphics workstation in a virtualized environment. NVIDIA claims their new technology provides application performance nearly identical to systems configured with a dedicated operating system and GPU while delivering cost savings, more efficient workflow and maximized productivity in markets such as digital content creation, sciences, manufacturing, and oil and gas.
In the past workflows that previously required a combination of graphics-centric applications running on a variety of operating systems concurrently required the management of multiple workstations. With NVIDIA’s SLI Multi-OS technology, a user now has the ability to fully virtualize all resources in the workstation, so a user can directly assign a dedicated Quadro graphics board to both the host operating system and a range of optionally loaded guest operating systems. Using an SLI Multi-OS virtualized workstation, a designer, artist, or engineer, can simultaneously run multiple, business critical 3D or compute applications using different operating systems, each taking full advantage of the processing power of Quadro professional graphics cards - reducing the need for a multiple system work environment
Built into the new Quadro FX 3800, Quadro FX 4800, and Quadro FX 5800, SLI Multi-OS works in association with Parallels Workstation Extreme virtualization software and Intel’s VT-d technology, assigning both the host and guest virtual machine its own dedicated GPU. The technology is available in the new HP Z800 workstation and Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager, HP Workstations says, “SLI Multi-OS is the first technology to provide users working with multiple graphics-intense applications optimal visual quality and GPU performance from a single workstation within a flexible and virtualized environment. By offering this technology in our new HP Z800 workstations, we are giving our visualization customers the productivity and cost benefits of a virtualized workflow.”
The SLI Multi-OS capability is available now on the new NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800, Quadro FX 4800, and Quadro FX 5800 graphics solutions and supports selected combinations of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Linux operating systems. Current certified workstations include the new HP Z800.