Grid 2.0


Is Grid 2.0 officially released (>=15 September 2015) ?
Is there any price information for Tesla M6/M60 ?
Will it be available to K1/K2 boards (eg. linux support) ?
What is "NVidia licensing CCU" (and price) ?
Will the NVidia license be required for K1/K2 boards ?

I must pay many for K1/K2 (M6/M60) hardware + for Citrix Enterprise/Desktop license + guest OS and for Microsoft SA or VDA + new for NVIDIA vGPU CCU license !

Thanks for answers, Martin

PS: Forward link - actual NVidia CCU license costs are also published by NVidia (>Dec 2016) - -> NVIDIA GRID Packaging, Pricing & Licensing Guide
Licensing FAQ -

Yes, I have seen the M60 available from at least one source (Dell). We get special educational pricing, so it makes no sense to discuss it here; contact a vendor that sells it now for a quote. My guess is you’ll pay quite a bit less than double the price for an M60 vs. a K2, which is not bad given you get 2x the performance and twice as much on-board memory on the M60 vs. the K2. As to concurrent user pricing for XenDesktop/XenApp, it will also depend on your vendor – a VAR might be able to get you a better price than directly from Citrix. The list price (at least here in the US) is I believe around $500 per seat. To use the GPU other than in passthrough mode, you will indeed require either a paid-for Citrix license, or if you run XenDesktop/XenApp Enterprise or higher versions, the XenServer licenses are free for those XenServer machines that host the VDIs and will allow full access also to vGPU capabilities. The Microsoft licensing policies are way too complicated to discuss here, but you do need some sort of virtual desktop license for each instance. Again, talking to a qualified sales representative is probably your only hope. It took a team of several of them to help a VAR work it out in our case and at least a couple of weeks. Why Microsoft licensing is so confusing is a question that will probably never be answered! I hope this helps at least a little.

As I understand it, you need/get a special license for the technical preview that makes it possible to access vGPU functionality. You might want to check the XenServer Dundee technical preview (XS 6.6) specifications in more detail. For the final Dundee release, I am quite sure that the licensing restrictions will still be as I stated above.
However, as for the K1 and K2, that’s news to me, and so we will have to see what the final licensing will end up being; this would seem like an odd choice to split which GPUs support vGPU functionality and which do not. As to Linux vGPU support for VMs, that should be indeed officially supported in the final release of XenServer 7.

NVIDIA license? Have not seen that at least with our XS 6.5 SP1 install and GRID K1 and K2 cards running under XenServer/XenApp. I would be very surprised if this was the case for the M6/M60 as the drivers are readily available for download. My guess is the document hasn’t been updated yet to reflect the M6/M60 because they are so new.

I now see what you mean about the NVIDIA CCU licensing…

I found this good blog that talks about the CCU licensing from NVIDIA, which is very new indeed, and I will have to look at this in more detail:
There is also this page from NVIDIA directly:

Let me see if I can get more information on this from someone I know at NVIDIA. Meanwhile, if an NVIDIA employee could address this, it would be something of interest to many of us, in particular prior to any potential purchases.

Thanks for sharing that latest info, Martin. It appears each configuration is different, Virtual PC, Virtual Workstation amd Virtual Workstation - Extended, the last one is need for supporting GPU passthrough. I will contact our vendor to see about getting an idea about pricing.

It appears that each connecting virtual machine will take one token when used in vGPU mode whereas if used in GPU passthrough mode (Virtual Workstation - Extended license) it is assigned to the virtual machine, such as a XenApp server, to accomplish this, but it’s not clear if that is sufficient for the whole XenApp server or if you need a separate license for each concurrent user connecting via this passthrough server.

Why in the world do companies universally make licensing so complicated and fail to provide understandable explanations of licensing procedures? Maybe NVIDIA could come out with some examples of various licensing scenarios, which would be a good start to be able to better relate to this.


This is via the OEM’s same as for K1/2 Nivida doesn’t sell Tesla direct.

No - GRID 2.0 is Maxwell (M60/6) only and future architectures. It will not be added to Kepler. If you require Linux or 4K displays in vGPU, it’s GRID 2.0 only.

Pricing is via OEM’s & VAR’s that have relationships with a GRID distributor.

Features are licensed for each user (easier to think of this as per running VM though). There are 3 different feature sets so you license based on the features required. Boot a VM, it takes an appropriate license, shut the VM down and it hands the license back.

A license is required for passthrough, and will also be required for concurrent users on RDSH type workloads such as XenApp.

No. Licensing is for GRID 2.0 and onwards.

I have a conference call with Dell and NVIDIA in a few minutes and will report back further information.

The exact licensing model is still in the works, above all, how GPU passthrough will be dealt with differently from vGPU configurations. Full details are expected to be released in about a week. There will apparently be special educational pricing, as well.

Am confused as I see general Linux GRID drivers available for download on the NVDIA site.


Passthrough is available in GRID 1.2 ( k1/2)
vGPU for Linux is GRID 2.0 only.

Ah, right.

My vote to add official support for K1/K2 guest Linux VMs, please!!! Not everyone on the planet needs/wants 4k displays.

Not everyone in the planet needs windows… Mac support would also be great if it was possible…

My understanding now is that there is no current licensing model how GPU passthrough via an application like XenApp (as opposed to a user / vGPU combination) will be handled in GRID 2.0 and may take weeks to sort out. I have heard that licensing information, at least in general, may be released as early as sometime next week. The license server itself will apparently be similar to the one Citrix uses, namely a product from Flexera, but will have to be run totally separately as a Windows instance specifically to handle GRID 2.0 licensing.

As to Macs, Apple refuses to allow MacOS to be virtualized and marketed. I guess they make too much money on their hardware sales to want to lose control over that.

Sorry, duplicate post, please ignore.

It’s already supported in K1/2 when used in passthrough.

Linux vGPU is a 2.0 feature.

Licensing system is available and GA today. Anyone that trials 2.0 will see how it can be deployed.

It’s based on FlexNet from Flexera, is either a windows or linux based server and we’re looking into developing a virtual appliance too.

Since GRID 2.0 requires a CCU, XenApp is licensed based on the users count. In the initial release this is not enforced but could be audited, however future releases will enforce the user count.

Correct, It’s all about controlling the user experience.

Apple only allows OS X to be deployed on Apple hardware, which is why VMware Fusion can virtualise OS X and maintain the EULA. Since Apple no longer produce server hardware, it’s limited. Whlist we’re all well aware of the Hackintosh movement, Enterpise businesses such as Citrix & VMware aren’t going to circumvent another vendors license restrictions.

First off, thanks for the updated information on the licensing. Nice to see the Flexera option for Linux is also there (though Citrix requires the Windows version for XenDesktop/XenApp for some strange reason). Go figure.

Can you elucidate which model of licensing will be required for GPU passthrough (it seem only the “Virtual Workstation Extended” fits a GPU passthrough description according to and presumably it would require the full, 8 GB configuration to be able to map to one of the GPU engines, right? Or is there flexibility to use less than the full engine (which seems kind of silly on the surface, but there may be real use cases that would justify this)? In any case, I’ve heard about some pretty scary pricing for the Virtual Workstation Extended license – not that incomparable with the price of the device itself – let alone if you wanted to map to both engines for two GPU passthrough instances.

The statement “Since GRID 2.0 requires a CCU, XenApp is licensed based on the users count. In the initial release this is not enforced but could be audited, however future releases will enforce the user count” makes me feel very uneasy. It’s like buying a bus and being told you can fill it with as many passengers as you want, but eventually, this will be regulated and you will probably have to pay some additional and undetermined amount if you want to fill up more seats. Buying into an unknown like this is IMHO a real put-off, as it is tied into unknown costs once you have committed to the initial purchase. Surely, NVIDIA should be able to come up with something more definitive (which ought to have really been thought out and worked out prior to the release). GPU passthrough is as important in many environments as vGPU. Customers should have reasonable information on what they are buying into up-front.

I agree with Tobias on this one. This could easily be a make or break for vGPU deployments depending on what the costs for this become. This could especially become painful for those who have already adopted the K1/K2 route that will need to upgrade infrastructure some day. More information on this would be greatly appreciated.

Correct, that’s the version required for passthrough.

It’s not undefined, every concurrent user requires a license.

To use the bus analogy, you need a ticket to ride, but right now we’re not putting inspectors in every coach.

So, if you have a XenApp environment with 500 concurrent users connecting to GPU enabled servers, you need 500 licenses at the relevant level of features.

We’re looking to simplify the maangement / enforcement of this but just like an RDS CAL, you’ll need a GRID 2.0 license if you’re on Maxwell.

It’s not undefined, every concurrent user requires a license.

Yes, it will be defined by numbers, but not in the pricing. I would hope that the cost would not be as high as that of a vGPU user, but this remains as of this moment something that will still end up being an additional and undetermined cost.