Is it feasible to run professional-grade software using a remote desktop, or a virtual desktop? It’s a scenario that many have proposed as the way of the future, driven in part by the software consumers’ comfort with SaaS and in part by the potential cost reduction in eliminating physical hardware. Last week, NVIDIA launched a service that lets you test it yourself. The NVIDIA GRID test drive is now online.
To run the test drive, you’ll need to register and download a thin client (a 10 MB launch file). Once done, you’ll be able to log in to get 24-hour access to a remote desktop, hosted in a GPU-accelerated GRID server. The tester’s desktop is preloaded with, among other programs, AutoCAD, SolidWorks eDrawings, Google Earth, PowerPoint, and a few multimedia files. Continue reading
This week, at NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC, March 24-27, San Jose, California), NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was almost upstaged by an Audi. The self-driving Audi Connect drove itself onto the stage, providing the big finish for Haung’s keynote on Monday.
Before he shared the stage with a driver-less car, Huang also shared the stage with Ben Fathi, CTO of VMware, the company that might foster enterprises operating in a computer-less environment. Haung introduced Fathi as the point man from “the largest and one of the most important virtualization companies in the world.”
Fathi and Huang took the opportunity to discuss Horizon DaaS, VMware’s business that delivers Windows desktops as virtual machines available on-demand, accessible remotely. Just as SaaS vendors deliver software as a service over the internet, VMware plans to deliver “Windows desktops and applications as a cloud service, to any device, anywhere, with predictable costs,” explained the company.
The foundation technology is NVIDIA Grid’s GPU-based HPC hardware, and VMware’s cloud setup. VMware’s partner NaviSite is the first to offer Horizon DaaS products to enterprises. Later, in 2015, virtual GPUs will become part of Horizon DaaS offerings. Continue reading
At Converse’s design-your-own-sneaker portal, you get to create your own pair of Chuck Taylor, Jack Purcell, or Poorman. You pick the fabric print. You pick the sole and lace colors. You can even specify the eyelets — the rings through which you fasten your lace. Want something with more support than a lightweight Converse? Head over to Reebok to design your own running shoes. Marvel now lets you envision your own crime-fighting crusader at its Create Your Own Superhero portal. You choose the skin type, the headgear, and the outfit. If you’re so enamored by your custom superhero that you’d like to put him or her on your iPhone cover, head over to Skinit to upload the saved image and order your own cover.
The DYI consumerism is now spilling into larger products, including cars. Ford wants you to create your own custom Mustang V6, Gt, or GT500. Renault and Maserati are also happy to let you configure your own car online, outfitting it with from preferred bodywork, wheels, and carpets. Partly driven by instant visualization over the web, partly driven by the buyers’ participatory behavior, shopping seems to heading into the virtual world, into an environment that accommodates instant input and feedback. Continue reading
After Dell made headlines last year for taking the publicly traded company private to allow it to innovate more freely, the company’s workstation division is having its “coming out party,” as Jeff Clark, who founded Dell’s workstation business 17 years ago called it. It’s a virtualization party, and the guest list includes the company’s software and hardware partners, as well as its customers.
The press event is taking place just a few miles up the road from Austin, where the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference begins tomorrow. At the event today, Dell announced that it is working with independent software vendors (ISVs), channel partners, virtualization software providers and its customers to move their applications from the desktop to the datacenter. The innovation comes in the knowledge of how to optimize virtualization for specific applications, so that software from Siemens, PTC, SolidWorks or Autodesk, for instance, runs as quickly as possible in a virtual environment.