Test Drive Performance Very Disappointing

I’m the lead technical resource for an AEC firm who is looking to find a solution to virtualize CAD/BIM workstations. Everything I’ve read and seen says that NVIDIA GRID is the way to go. I’ve seen some other demos of products running Citrix app front ends and virtualizing either the apps or even the whole desktop that have run pretty well.

So when I learned from one of the world’s leading design software manufacturers that they used NVIDIA GRID, I came right to the source to see what they had. I was excited when I saw the ability to run a “Test Drive”…I signed up immediately and started the “Test Drive”.

From the start I found the experience…rough. I expected SOME delay as my two choices for server locations were either in Amsterdam (across the Atlantic from me) or in San Francisco (3,000+ miles away). I chose San Francisco, hoping that avoiding the ocean would help. The scenes were choppy, the load times were slow and frankly, it was not an experience that I could show anyone. This happened regardless of how many apps were running although I will say that performance degraded heavily when more than one application was opened. I see the promise…was the VMWare Horizon client the issue? Maybe. Like I said, I saw Citrix based demos work a lot better. But this demo was disappointing. And so my search for a viable BIM/CAD virtualization platform continues.

Same on this end. AutoCAD was choppy when navigating. Since I use 3D intensive software this was my way of testing any decrease in lag. I saw no improvement at all. I have a hunch I’m missing something here. There must be some tweaks somewhere. I did run a speed test from the test drive location and it was super fast. Locally is at about 72mbps while theirs is 10 times as fast.