POC Your 3D Graphics

On 23 April 2014 by Pete Petersen


Recently, a customer had a desire to centralize their end user computing via Citrix XenDesktop/XenApp or VMware Horizon View for heavy 3D graphics applications. Before going very far with this thought, it should be noted that each implementation will be different and deserves its own Proof of Concept (POC) phase before really settling into a solution that will make users happy while meeting requirements.

There is some recent information (please see links at the bottom of this post) that will be helpful. But to sum it down to a few points, the following information is provided:

  • Citrix has partnered with NVIDIA for this function.
    • The Citrix 3D Graphics Pack was designed for Citrix XenServer. Specifically, the components are XenServer 6.2 SP1, XenDesktop 7.1 (and 7.5), and NVIDIA GRID vGPU. The Graphics Pack can also work on Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • VMware has their own software stack for this function.
    • The VMware option, vSGA, but it is not native, and there could be compatibility issues. It is designed to address knowledge worker use-case and some light 2D and 3D workloads.



  • Citrix HDX 3D
    • The solution requires NVIDIA’s GRID K1 or K2 boards.
    • The good part about the Graphics Pack method is that apps can use the native NVIDIA drivers in the VM.
    • 1 or 2 GRID boards per host. The below matrix comes from http://www.nvidia.com/object/virtual-gpus.html
    • Note 32 light users per board. In practice, it’s going to be 8 or 16 users per host (see graphics memory column).
    • There is an application certification list. Other apps are likely to be okay, but these have gone through the NVIDIA driver certification process.


Citrix HDX 3D Pro