Visual computing appliance brings computing power to SMBs

Nvidia has released what it calls the industry’s first visual computing appliance, and it says it will allow any business – including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) – to deliver fast GPU performance to any Windows, Linux or Mac client on their network.

The Nvidia Grid Visual Computing Appliance (VCA) is a GPU-based system that runs complex, data intensive applications such as those from Adobe, Autodesk and Dassault Systèmes. The graphic output is sent over the network to be displayed on a client computer, using remote GPU acceleration to gives users the same rich graphics experience they would get from a powerful workstation.

Think of it as a virtual workstation. According to the vendor, it’s particularly useful for SMBs with limitd IT infrastructure and resources. An employee can simply create and provision their own virtual machine, with the resources reallocated when no longer needed.

“Nvidia Grid VCA is the first product to provide businesses with convenient, on-demand visual computing,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer of Nvidia, in a statement. “Design firms, film studios and other businesses can now give their creative teams access to graphics-intensive applications with uncompromised performance, flexibility and simplicity.”

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The Grid VCA is a 4U appliance with 16 Nvidia GPUs and Nvidia Grid VGX software, and is able to provide Nvidia Quadro-class graphics performance for up to 16 concurrent users.

Pricing starts at US$24,900, plus $2,400 for an annual software license. It will be available in the U.S. in May; Canadian availability is to be confirmed.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.

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