Nvidia Introduces Tesla M10 GPU for VDI Environments

The new graphics chip, paired with the latest version of Nvidia's Grid software, offers greater per-use density to enterprises.

Nvidia VDI

Nvidia officials are continuing to roll out new offerings in what is becoming a high-profile month of May for the graphics technology vendor.

The company earlier this month introduced its GeForce GTX 1080, a powerful and highly efficient GPU based on Nvidia's new Pascal architecture for tasks such as gaming and virtual reality (VR), which includes new features such as simultaneous multiprojection to reduce distortion and other visual issues when using two or more monitors. Developed using the company's new 16-nanomter FinFET manufacturing process, the GTX 1080 offers "almost irresponsible amounts of performance," Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said when introducing the new GPU.

The innovation continues: Last week Nvidia introduced the Tesla M10 GPU, which officials said will help drive more virtualized enterprise applications to employees. The Telsa M10 is part of Nvida's Grid application virtualization technology, with the company also rolling out the latest version of the software and promising to show it off to customers this week.

The Tesla M10, based on the Maxwell architecture, provides increased user density, supporting 64 desktops per board and 128 desktops per server, enabling businesses to provide more virtualized enterprise applications to their employees, said John Fanelli, vice president of product for Nvidia's Grid technology.

Such capabilities are becoming increasingly important to enterprises, Fanelli told eWEEK. GPUs have been used as accelerators in such fields as supercomputing and high-performance computing (HPC), delivering improved system performance and power efficiency for running such workloads as 3D applications. However, as businesses adopt new Web and software-as-a-service (SaaS) enterprise applications such as Office 2016, Adobe Photoshop and now Windows 10, the need for greater GPU capabilities is increasing.

According to Fanelli, by January 2017, 50 percent of enterprises will have started deploying Microsoft Windows 10, which was introduced last year.

"Windows 10 is really very graphically oriented," he said. "When enterprises move to the new operating system, they're going to need to upgrade their applications."

That will drive the need for greater graphics capabilities, the kind supplied by the Tesla M10, Fanelli said.

"We're at the point where good enough is no longer good enough anymore," he said, adding that the new GPU is aimed at knowledge workers running enterprise applications.

Pointing to research by Lakeside Software, company officials noted the percentage of accelerated applications used by office workers has more than doubled in the past five years, with half of that growth coming in the first months of this year. Virtualized applications increasingly need the performance capabilities provided by GPUs, officials said.

The Tesla M10 is the latest option for Nvidia's Grid technology, which also has the Tesla M6 an M60 GPUs. Together, officials said, they now cover the need for all enterprise workers.

Along with the density offered by the Tesla M10, Nvidia is offering three software editions of Nvidia Grid, including Grid Virtual Applications and Virtual PC for desktops running Windows 7, 8 and 10. In addition, Grid Virtual Workstation, aimed at such workers as designers and engineers, delivers workstation-level performance. Nvidia is working with Citrix Systems and VMware to deliver high levels of performance to virtual application and virtual desktops environments for less than $2 per month per user for virtual applications and remote desktops and $6 per month per user for virtual PCs.

Nvidia also is offering the technology via a subscription model that includes ongoing software updates through the life of the deployment, officials said. Businesses can buy up to three years of annual subscriptions upfront or can choose the perpetual license model.

The latest version of the Nvidia Grid software is available today, with the Tesla M10 expected to arrive in August. Nvidia officials plan to show off the new offering at the Citrix Synergy 2016 show starting May 24 in Las Vegas.

The news of the Tesla M10 came out the same week that IBM announced that it was incorporating the chip maker's Tesla M60 accelerators to its cloud computing environment.