General

Chromebook as the Front-End Client Device for Virtual Machines

Normally, you would think long and hard before you attempt to run a Windows-based CAD program on a Google Chromebook. Though affordably priced (starting $199), the lightweight notebook has very limited local storage capacity and runs in Google Chrome OS. That presents challenges for those trying to install and run Windows-based design and engineering software titles that demand graphics acceleration, generous hard-disk space, and ample memory. But what if you use Chromebook only as the front-end client device to access a virtual workstation hosted elsewhere?

That’s the setup NVIDIA, VMWare, and Google are advocating at VMWorld (San Francisco, August 24-26), a virtualization conference. In a press announcement today, the three jointly announced, “a collaborative effort to deliver high-performance virtual desktops and workstation-class graphics to Google Chromebooks.” Billed as a technology preview, the virtualization solution lets you use the latest Chromebooks powered by NVIDIA Tegra K1 mobile processors to remotely run Windows programs using VMWare’s virtualization software. Continue reading

NaviSite Launches Desktop-as-a-Service Offerings

A week after OTOY announced  the launch of its app-streaming platform X.IO, NaviSite, a cloud service and product vendor, is launching Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) products, powered by NVIDIA GRID. NaviSite believes the product beings “desktop virtualization for even the most intensive graphics workloads to a broader audience of end-users using engineering, design, and multimedia applications.”

Though underlying technologies, acronyms, and definitions may be different, app streaming and DaaS are driven by the recognition that consumers are open to the idea of using remotely accessible workstations, billable for usage or time. With NVIDIA Grid, NaviSite’s DaaS offers remote desktops with GPU acceleration, a characteristic that’ll be important to CAD and design software users who rely on photorealistic visuals to evaluate product aesthetics.  Since most of the computing is done on the hosted hardware, users may interact with the remote machine from a lightweight tablet or PC, usually priced far less than a professional workstation. Continue reading

Streaming Apps and Virtual Machines from SIGGRAPH 2014

 

OTOY, the Los Angeles-based company with technologies to stream games and render graphics in the cloud, has just launched an application-streaming platform, dubbed X.IO.

The announcement came from the show floor of SIGGRAPH 2014 (Aug 10-14, Vancouver, Canada), the annual conference for graphics industry veterans and pioneers. OTOY describes X.IO as “a new application virtualization service that instantaneously ports Windows desktop applications to the cloud without needing to modify any code, enabling users to access them on any Internet-connected device, regardless of form factor or platform … [It] was built from the ground up to handle the demanding nature of graphics-intensive applications, including image editing, CAD, and 3D modelling and rendering applications …”

For CAD vendors with design programs originally written for Windows-based desktops, X.IO offers a shortcut to the cloud. In a demo video, OTOY promises the vendors’ software titles could become cloud-hosted streaming applications “with no drop in performance, no major redevelopment.” The platform gives users the option to integrate their existing cloud-hosted storage (such as Dropbox or Google Drive). Continue reading

Teradici and Dell Launch Software-Based Workstation Virtualization at SIGGRAPH 2014

Even if your Dell Precision workstation is physically miles away, you can reach for it and commandeer it remotely from the nearest windows tablet or PC. Today at SIGGRAPH (August 10-14, Vancouver), Teradici and Dell announced a partnership that would facilitate remote workstation usage.

Typically Teradici’s PC over IP (PCoIP) solutions require hardware — a remote card — that connects the host device and the client device. The approach lets you use a lightweight device (a Teradici client box or a lightweight tablet) to access and drive a more powerful machine hosted on a server or located offsite. The latest solution, however, is made possibly solely with software. You install the Teradici Workstation Access software on your Dell Precision workstation and the lightweight client device to connect the two. Continue reading

Consultant Proposes Social-Mobile-Cloud Report Card for Software

Randall Newton, long-time industry watcher to the design software business, singled out cloud, analytics, mobile, and social as the four technology pillars driving the next IT revolution. Accordingly, he came up with CAMScore, an assessment method his firm Consilia Vektor would use to rate software products based on those four categories. Analytics have been part of product data management (PDM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software for quite some time, but the more recent explosion of data — the Big Data phenomenon — is stirring renewed interest in such tools. And the other three — social, mobile, and cloud — are characteristics spawned by emerging consumer trends that didn’t exist before. So how would Consilia Vektor reconcile the decade-old products from the design industry with CAMScore? Continue reading