Grid and ESXi 5.1


We run some very intensive gpu & cpu apps. Mostly video encoding and decoding. We’re a heavy user of VM’s but for these apps always go physical.

I know vGPU’s are not out until 2015 for vmware but how could we ustilise Nvidea grid now? Using dGPU could we assign different cores to seperate VM’s?

Anyone know the benefit of using Grid over a normal grpahics card via direct pass through?


You can use vDGA to run a trial deployment now for testing of your workflow, before you deploy upcoming features. Today vDGA is a direct mapping from VM to GPU. I think the additional question you ask is about the benefits of virtualization itself (management, IP protection, data center consolidation, remote access, etc.). GPUs enable apps that were once captive to the PC, thereby moving them to the cloud/VDI environment, in addition to accelerating graphics calls in software that might otherwise revert to the CPU for graphics APIs.

Hi Matt,

You’ll get better density with GRID cards along with the ability to switch to vGPU once it’s released. K2 will support 2 vDGA users per card each with the equivalent of a K5000, and a K1 will support 4 equivalent to 4 K600’s.

If you opt to virtualise using Quadro, you’re limited to a single user per card and once vGPU arrives in vSphere 2015 you’ll be unable to virtualise the GPU without a hardware swap. Without knowing more details I’d suggest starting with vDGA on K2 today giving you 2 users per card with the future option for virtualisation.

Hi Matt,

To give you the VMware perspective, you can definitely leverage GRID today with ESXi to begin testing the functionality of having a high power GPU in the server. Using direct passthrough into the VM you get the full benefit of the Nvidia driver for your application.

As mentioned already, the key difference between using a GRID card and a single GPU card such as the K5000 is density. You will quickly run into the limitation of the motherboard in terms of the number of slots available for graphics cards.

I would encourage you to reach out to your VMware account team or partner and pick up some hardware to begin testing. I guarantee you will be impressed with the performance and manageability that you get from running Nvidia with ESXi.