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HP claims GPU virtualisation first

HP officials claim the company's new DL380z Virtual Workstation is the first to support GPU virtualisation.

The HP DL380z (pictured above) is a rack-mounted device that can deliver up to eight virtual machines simultaneously. Each VM gets its own dedicated resources, and the GPUs in the Nvidia Grid K2 graphics cards can be used in either pass-through or virtual modes.

HP APJ PC category vice president Annelise Olsen claimed this is the first time GPUs have been virtualised, presumably referring to an off-the-shelf desktop virtualisation appliance rather than desktop virtualisation in general.

Nvidia Quadro K6000, K5000 and K4000 cards are also supported.

One advantage of using virtualised workstations for demanding tasks such as CAD and animation is that it helps keep intellectual property secure in the data centre, she said.

Another is that co-locating processing and storage can dramatically improve performance.

The DL380z is Citrix certified and will ship this month - "Pricing is available on request."

In other workstation-related announcements, HP will release this month the Z Turbo Drive (pictured below), "the first cost-effective PCIe-based SSD for desktop workstations" in 256GB (US$499) and 512GB (US$899) configurations, with twice the performance of SATA SSDs.

"Z Turbo Drive is the most cost-effective way to gain storage speed for HP Z Desktop Workstations," company officials stated.

HP Z Turbo Drive

Also new is a revised version of HP's Remote Graphics Software (RGS), used to provide remote access to a workstation from a Windows PC or tablet for collaborative purposes. Features include mapping gestures to commands, and allowing the entire surface of the touchscreen to be used for the 'precision onscreen mouse.'

Company officials said RGS provides the fastest response of any workstation-class remote protocol, allows remote interactive collaboration, and supports Linux applications.

The new version will is a free update, and will ship on all Z Workstations starting this month.

Disclosure: The writer travelled to Mumbai as the guest of HP.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.