Archive for September, 2015

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 integrated in Microsoft Azure

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in Azure, GRID, GRID 2.0, HPC, Microsoft, NVIDIA

AzureConHeader

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 integrated in Microsoft Azure

At Microsoft Azurecon 2015, NVIDIA announced that Microsoft will offer NVIDIA GPU-enabled professional graphics applications and accelerated computing capabilities to customers worldwide through its cloud platform, Microsoft Azure.

Deploying the latest version of NVIDIA GRID in its new N-Series virtual machine offering, Azure is the first cloud computing platform to provide GRID 2.0 virtualized graphics for enterprise customers.

nvidia in azurecustomized-experience

For the first time, businesses will have the ability to deploy NVIDIA Quadro® grade professional graphics applications and accelerated computing on-premises, in the cloud through Azure, or via a hybrid of the two using both Windows and Linux virtual machines. Azure will also offer customers supercomputing-class performance, with the addition of the Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform’s flagship Tesla® K80 GPU accelerators, for the most computationally demanding data center and high performance computing (HPC) applications.

Unprecedented Virtualized Graphics Performance

With NVIDIA GRID enterprises can deliver graphics intensive applications from companies such as Autodesk, ESRI and Siemens from the cloud to their users. Announced last month, NVIDIA GRID 2.0 provides the NVIDIA Quadro GPU driver support, features and performance that graphics-intensive applications require, as well as other enhancements including double the application performance of the previous generation of GRID GPUs and Linux OS support.

Supercomputing in the Cloud

The Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform is designed from the ground up for power-efficient, high performance computing (HPC), computational science, supercomputing, data analytics and deep learning applications.

Powering some of the world’s highest performance supercomputers, the Tesla platform delivers dramatically higher performance and energy efficiency than a CPU-only approach and unprecedented application throughput in the data center.

By deploying the Tesla K80 GPU accelerator in its N-Series virtual machines, Azure dramatically expands access to supercomputing-class performance, enabling enterprises worldwide to accelerate their most demanding workloads, without requiring them to invest in, build and maintain dedicated computing resources.

Azure N-series, a new family of Azure Virtual Machines 

Available in preview within the next few months, the N-series will feature the NVIDIA Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform as well as NVIDIA GRID 2.0 technology, providing the highest-end graphics support available in the cloud today.

azure

Source

NVIDIA

Microsoft

 

Google Chrome 45.x Blocks GPU Acceleration for WebGL, Direct2D, DirectWrite with Citrix XenApp on Windows 2008R2/2012/2012R2

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in 8.1, Best Practise, Citrix, End User Computing, GRID, HDX, HDX 3D Pro, HowTo, Microsoft, Netscaler, NVIDIA, Receiver, Server 2012R2, vDGA, vGPU, VMware, vSphere, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

Solution: Google Chrome 45.x Blocks GPU Acceleration for WebGL, Direct2D, DirectWrite with Citrix XenApp on Windows 2008R2/2012/2012R2

Google Chrome v. 45  have changed their behaviour of their web browser, so they are blacklisting GPUs, which means hardware acceleration is disabled by default in a Remote session this behaviour is seen in Microsoft RDS with RemoteFX, Citrix XenApp 6.5 -> 7.6 with vGPU/GPU pass-through. Behaviour is also seen on Linux environments with Google Chrome.

Issue highlightet in a Citrix XenApp 7.6 (2008R2/2012/2012R2) with GPU

Open Google Chrome and type in chrome://gpu and then you will see if your RDS/XenApp with a GPU is working or not.
With Google Chrome v 45 the default behaviour is now that Google choose to disabling the GPU.

browser - chrome xa 2012r2 cpu issue - graphics feature issue

Google Chrome experience with a GPU (Citrix XenDesktop vs Citrix XenApp)

browser - chrome xd vs xa gpu - 2008R2 vs Win7

above picture confirms the GPU is not enabled in Google Chrome with RDS/XenApp

interesting is that Multiple Raster Threads in Win7 with a GPU is disable… why lets find out.

This is properly because you haven’t configured the CPU correctly in the hypervisor for the virtual machine.
* hint I did on purpose so you can understand it can be complex to troubleshoot if you don’t configure your environment correctly.

browser - chrome win7 cpu issue fix
best practices with HDX 3D Pro is 4 vCPU and in XenServer 6.5 you configure it 2:2

Then Multiple Raster Threads works in Win7 after you changed the configuration of the CPU on the Win7 vm.

browser - chrome win7 cpu fix

browser - chrome win7 cpu issue fixed

below picture confirms the GPU is not enabled in Google Chrome with RDS/XenApp in Server 2012R2

browser - chrome xd vs xa gpu - 2012r2 vs win81

Now we have validated that the GPU is blacklisted in RDS/XA with a GPU, lets see if we can fix this.

Performance with a WebGL web app in Google Chrome

CPU is very high when the Google Chrome is running the WebGL application. This is because its using the CPU to do software rasterize of the GPU and this makes your user able to run a webgl application without a GPU, but wait. We actually have a GPU in our RDS/XA server now, why is this not offloading the CPU, thats because Google desided to turn off GPU and blacklist them.

browser - chrome xa 2012r2 cpu issue

Solution

  1. Edit Google Chrome link and after the chrome.exe add
    –ignore-gpu-blacklistgooglechrome
  2. Open Google Chrome and run chrome://gpu in the browser
  3. Check if Hardware acceleration is now working for all functions in Google Chrome

browser - chrome xa 2012r2 cpu issue - graphics feature

GPU hardware acceleration is now working in RDS/XA with a GPU in Google Chrome and CPU is now offloaded to the GPU as you can see in the below picture.

browser - chrome xa 2012r2 cpu issue fixed

 

 

 

Mozilla Firefox 40.x Blocks GPU Acceleration for WebGL, Direct2D, DirectWrite with Citrix XenApp on Windows 2008R2/2012/2012R2

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in AMD, Citrix, Desktop Virtualization, End User Computing, GRID, GRID 2.0, HDX 3D, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, RES Software, vDGA, VMware, vSphere, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2, Workspace Manager, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

Mozilla Firefox 40.x Blocks GPU Acceleration for WebGL, Direct2D, DirectWrite with Citrix XenApp on Windows 2008R2/2012/2012R2

One of the great things about adding a GPU in a Citrix XenApp environment is that you can allow rich graphics and offload CPU and run your DirectX, OpenGL  applications on a XenApp server. In latest version of Mozilla Firefox WebGL, Direct2D, DirectWrite this have been disabled, so you can’t open webpages that uses these graphics in a Citrix XenApp session.

Symptoms or Error

If you open Mozilla Firefox 40.x and try to open a webGL website like http://madebyevan.com/webgl-water
this will not load anymore cause WebGL is default now disabled in Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla Firefox 40.x  blocks GPU acceleration for WebGL, Direct2D, DirectWrite in remote sessions on Windows Server operating systems.

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To determine what content Firefox is blocking, run Firefox in your XenApp remote session and enter the address about:support into the browser address bar. In the section labelled “Graphics” you will see the following content disabled (as of Firefox version 40.0.3):

Direct2D Enabled             Blocked for your graphics card because of unresolved driver issues.
DirectWrite Enabled         false (6.3.9600.17999)
WebGL Renderer             Blocked for your graphics card because of unresolved driver issues.

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Solution

The text “Blocked for your graphics card” is misleading as, in this case, it is not the specific graphics card but general Windows Server operating system remote sessions that are blocked. Mozilla’s published advice on how to override the graphics driver blocks also applies to XenApp sessions on workstation operating system (see bottom of this Mozilla Wiki – Blocklisting/Blocked Graphics Drivers).

Enable WebGL in Mozilla Firefox

In Mozilla Firefox entering the address about:config into the address bar and setting webgl.force-enabled=true will enable WebGL for XenApp on operating system (Server 2008R2/2012/2012R2)

webgl

 

You can double click on it and then it will become enabled. (with the value=true) and this is user set.
These settings can be change with a policy or with profile management such as RES Workspace Manager or others.

webgl-working

Now you can open the WebGL demo and the graphics will work

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Enable DirectDraw2D

In Mozilla Firefox entering the address about:config into the address bar and setting gfx.direct2d.force-enabled=true will enable WebGL for XenApp on operating system (Server 2008R2/2012/2012R2)

direct2d

You can double click on it and then it will become enabled. (with the value=true) and this is user set.
These settings can be change with a policy or with profile management such as RES Workspace Manager or others.

direct2d-working

Enable DirectDraw2D

In Mozilla Firefox entering the address about:config into the address bar and setting gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled=true will enable DirectWrite for XenApp on operating system (Server 2008R2/2012/2012R2)

directwrite

You can double click on it and then it will become enabled. (with the value=true) and this is user set.
These settings can be change with a policy or with profile management such as RES Workspace Manager or others.

directwrite-working

Users should be aware and note the caveats and warnings that Mozilla advises if taking this route to above settings for DirectWrite, Direct2D, WebGL

This issue only affects server operating system (example – Win 2012 R2 and Win 2008 R2) and XenApp.

How to force-enable blocked graphics features

If you would like to forcibly enable a graphics feature that is blocked on your system, follow these instructions. Warning: do this at your own risk. There usually are good reasons why features are blocked.

To force-enable WebGL, go to about:config and set webgl.force-enabled=true.

To force-enable WebGL anti-aliasing, go to about:config and set webgl.msaa-force=true.

To force-enable Layers Acceleration, go to about:config and set layers.acceleration.force-enabled=true.

On Windows Vista and Windows 7, to force-enable Direct2D Content Acceleration, go to about:config and set gfx.direct2d.force-enabled=true.

On Android, to force-enable StageFright software decoding, go to about:config and set stagefright.force-enabled=true.

On Windows, you can also spoof your graphics system information to help debug driver blacklisting issues (see bug 604771):

  1. Create spoofed-firefox.bat in the installation folder (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox)
  2. Set the new values of spoofed variables ending with a command to launch Firefox:
    SET MOZ_GFX_SPOOF_WINDOWS_VERSION=60001
    SET MOZ_GFX_SPOOF_VENDOR_ID=0x8086
    SET MOZ_GFX_SPOOF_DEVICE_ID=0x0046
    SET MOZ_GFX_SPOOF_DRIVER_VERSION=8.15.10.2302
    “C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe” -p -no-remote
  3. Double-click spoofed-firefox.bat and create a profile if required
  4. Click the Firefox button, then select Help, finally Troubleshooting Information and check the Graphics section.

If force-enabling a feature doesn’t work, that probably means that your hardware doesn’t support it. For example, layers acceleration currently requires support for 4Kx4K textures, which rules out some graphics cards, like the Intel G31/G33.

Source

Firefox article

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX202065 (credits to Rachel Berry for writing this CTX article)

Another great blogpost to read about this subject is my friend / CTP fellow Barry Schiffer http://www.barryschiffer.com/citrix-hdx-3d-pro-and-nvidia-grid-browser-experience/ He was the guy who wrote a great blogpost with some very interesting results on performance tuning Mozilla Firefox in a XenApp/XenDesktop session.

 

NVIDIA GRID 2.0

Written by Thomas Poppelgaard. Posted in 8.1, Citrix, DirectX 12, FrameHawk, GRID, GRID 2.0, HDX 3D, HDX 3D Pro, Maxwell, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Server 2012R2, vDGA, vGPU, View, VMware, vSphere, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2, XenApp, XenDesktop, XenServer

Nvidia grid 2.0 2x

NVIDIA GRID 2.0

NVIDIA have released the next generation of GRID 2.0. GRID 2.0 is based on the Maxwell architecture and the GRID 1.0 (K1/K2) was based on the Kepler architecture. I have been working with the GRID 1.0 technology since 2012 and it have matured alot in its 2 years of history. When the K1/K2 was released they was first working with GPU pass-through and then vGPU got introduced and you could virtualize the GPUs and increase density, which people wanted. Citrix was with their hypervisor the first company that supported NVIDIA GRID 1.0 and they was also the first company integrating vGPU into their Citrix Studio, so companies could easier provisioning machines with either MCS technology or PVS technology. VMware supported GRID 1.0 vGPU technology in 2015 in their hypervisor VMware vSphere 6.0 and fully integrated with their EUC stack VMware View, so companies can fully provisioning machines. The great thing about GRID 2.0 is that there is no need for a conversation when to choose either a K1 or a K2, if you required GPU compute or GPU framebuffer, M60 are being added to the tope end of the range  and bringing 2x the performance, and if you have bladeserver’s, you can add the powerfull vGPU technology into the bladeserver’s with the M6.

Please notice that M6 will 0nly be supporting newer architecture of vendors not old platforms.

Maxwell architecture

Maxwell architecture is the new architecture of GPUs and a powerful GPU you might know is the Titan X

New GPUs GRID 2.0 and specifications

In GRID 2.0 NVIDIA now have a GPU for blade servers a MXM single socket, High-end GPU called M6

In GRID 2.0 NVIDIA replaces K1/K2 with the new PCIe 3.0 Dual Socket, Dual High-end GPU called M60
The M60 delivers 4096 CUDA or compute and 16GB GDDR5 memory/framebuffer

The M60 has 6x the h.264 encoders of the K2, and also Maxwell supports 4:4:4 chroma sub sampling, which is great news for encoders.

maxwell_grid

Certified GRID 2.0 servers

Click the link to see which servers are certified for M60 and M6
http://www.nvidia.com/object/grid-certified-servers.html

M6 have following servers supported:

m6 certifiedM60 have following servers supported:

m60 certificed

vGPU software editions and license

nvidiagrid20licensemodel

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 software is available in three editions that deliver accelerated virtual desktops to support the needs of your users. These editions include Virtual PC, Virtual Workstation, and Virtual Workstation Extended. GRID perpetual licenses are sold by Concurrent User (CCU).

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 (CCU) stands for ConCurrent User. So basically, per running VM as regardless of whether the user is connected to the VM or not, the VM is connected to the GPU and so consumes a license

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 software is much more than a “driver”. While the software package does include a guest driver for Windows and Linux, it also includes the NVIDIA GRID vGPU manager for VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer, as well as the license server and M6/M60 mode switching utility.

NVIDIA Tesla M6 and M60 profiles are specific to the M6 and M60. There will be similar profiles as to what NVIDIA had on K1 and K2 (512 MB through 4 GB), all with twice the number of users on M6/ M60 compared to K1/K2. Plus, there is an additional 8 GB profile on M6/M60 which also adds support for CUDA, which wasn’t available on K1/K2.

NVIDIA GRID 2.0 is Maxwell only. If you are an existing customer K1/K2 are unchanged and will remain as a parallel option.

nvidiagrid20licensemodel 2

 

nvidiagrid20licensemodel 3

The NVIDIA GRID 2.0 solution

nvidiagrid20

Summary

GA of NVIDIA GRID 2.0 (M60 and M6) will be 15 September 2015.

To get NVIDIA GRID 2.0 if you are a Citrix customer you need:
Server hardware that supports NVIDIA GRID 2.0 +NVIDIA GPU M60 or M6 + NVIDIA vGPU Software license + Citrix XenDesktop or XenApp License (XenServer is included in XD/XA licenses)

To get NVIDIA GRID 2.0 if you are a VMware customer you need:
Server hardware that supports NVIDIA GRID 2.0 +NVIDIA GPU M60 or M6  + NVIDIA vGPU Software license + VMware Horizon license (Horizon includes vSphere for Desktop)

If you are a Citrix customer that wants to run on VMware vSphere you need:

Server hardware that supports NVIDIA GRID 2.0 + NVIDIA GPU M60 or M6 + NVIDIA vGPU Software license + Citrix XenDesktop or XenApp License + VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus license or vSphere for Desktop license

Source

Recent Comments

Server 2016 Support

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Wonderful website. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

Server 2016 Support

Thomas Poppelgaard

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Thanks Jose, I have corrected the map plus updated the map so 29 datacenters are now alive.

Jose Brenes

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Your map of Australia is wrong. You have put the state of Victoria inside the West Australian state.

Tobias K

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Note that on XenServer 7.1, installing VDA 7.13 also works to enable vGPUs running XenDesktop 7.11 even using the newer “NvFBCEnable.exe -enable -noreset” command. Tested with an M60 using various profiles.

Alex

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So how come version 3.11 doesn’t work for application switching?