Editor's Note: Q&A with CADspeed answers CAD hardware questions from our readers. This question was a response to Tony DeYoung's recent blog series about remote graphics.
Could you explain the difference between remote graphics and hosting a virtual desktop by running a VM session from a server with MS server 2008 and RDP or Citrix? It seems exactly the same. This also seems similar to the way Onlive gaming works — just the graphics are being sent. Another question you might be able to answer: can the RAM & graphics card be dynamically shared or are they allotted and dedicated to the VM session?
The quick answer is the FirePro remote graphics solution can be used in either a 1-1 remoted solution (e.g., one remote workstation running AutoCAD with a FirePro card providing graphics to one user) or a 1-N multiple VMs remoted solution (e.g., one server workstation running two copies of AutoCAD each in a VM, with two FirePro cards providing high performance 3D graphics to two users).
The card does not virtualize it's own 3D driver, so it can't dynamically allocate some computing to one user and leftover computing ability to another (which is what Microsoft does with RDP for non-3D graphics).
The real advantage of remote graphics is that you can have one workstation "server" rather than four individual workstations (or workstation laptops). And, of course, the security of having all data remote.
Author: Tony DeYoung