AMD (NvV4-series) and Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)

Hi all

I am excited to share this is a blogseries around better understanding the value of NVv4-series in Azure and I will cover different views. From what NVv4-series is, which software vendors it works with and which remoting technology it can be used with, and I also cover later in a blogpost how you can scale and run different workloads and utilize the AMD CPU/GPU and how you can monitor and troubleshoot.

In this blogpost i will cover the overview of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop and how it can be hardware accelerated (GPU) enabled with AMD CPU/GPU more specific the NVv4 series in Azure.

You will learn what offerings Microsoft have with Windows Virtual Desktop high level and where you can access the NVv4-series in which Azure datacenter. The process which is required to start and how you can start enabling your VM’s with graphics acceleration.

I will also cover what the difference is with the difference NVv4 instances and the use cases how to use them with Windows Virtual Desktop.

Windows Virtual Desktop have now been GA for almost a year, and it have been a huge success globally. NVv4-series also have 1 year anniversary as it was GA in 4th March 2020, which I covered in a blogpost here

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Case study – NVv4, Azure, Citrix BIM customer TBI

Last March 2020, I wrote about the availability of the AMD NVv4-series powered by AMD CPU/GPU. I have been working with NVv4-series and I am excited to share one of the customers, I have helped are now an official reference customer for NVv4-series.

TBI, is a dutch BIM customer, I have been working together with a couple of years designing their on-prem which is now a hybrid platform. They are the first official customer case study using AMD NVv4 instances in Azure together with Citrix Cloud. They have been using VDI for several years and been one of the leading innovators using high end graphics for VDI for their BIM users. Microsoft, Autodesk, Citrix uses them as reference customer through the years.

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HPE Power’s the intelligent Edge at Citrix Synergy

 

At Citrix Synergy May 2019, HPE will show how dedicated graphics are delivered real-time by their HPE Edgeline solutions

HPE have following solutions:

Trader Workstation -HPE Moonshot & CITRIX are bringing Mobility and Security to Traders & Developers in Financial Services without compromising on End User Experience. 

Engineering Workstation – HPE Edgeline & CITRIX Cloud are bringing secure collaboration between engineering teams by enhancing systems and application performance and enable IOT & Industry 4.0 transition.

Bare metal VDI- Extending our success in POWER USERS to knowledge workers so that VDI does not need to be the lowest common denominator in terms of end user experience. 

I have helped HPE design & build the Engineering Workstation. Last year at HPE Discover in Europe, November 2018, the solution of the Engineering Workstation powered by Citrix Cloud solution was announced how customers can now use dedicated graphics with either Intel or adding AMD WX4100 GPU or now here in May 2019 add a NVIDIA P1000 GPU. The solutions are incredible how you can get raw dedicated and garanteed performance without any performance overhead of a hypervisor or an operating system that see’s a virtual system. Bare metal is same UX as a workstation, basically HPE is taking the physically workstation at the desk to the edge and making it intelligent with a high user density. HPE is the only vendor who can deliver 4 bare metal VDIs in 1U, which makes them a market leader for Baremetal VDI use cases at the Edge. Customers can as well use Citrix Virtual Apps (RDSH) and increase density, which is popular in the financial industry.

Follow on social media how HPE and Citrix is taking innovation at the edge. #HPECitrix #CitrixSynergy

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AMD Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 18.Q3.1

AMD have released an important new driver for their AMD Radeon Pro GPUs in October 2018.

This release is fixing many major issues that AMD had with Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (aka XenDesktop), I am very happy to see that the engineers inside AMD worked hard and now everything is working out of the box and no “tweak” have to be done to get it working. The drivers works both with a physically machine with Radeon Pro + Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (aka XenDesktop) or with a Virtual machine where the AMD Radeon Pro GPU are attached as GPU passthrough or sliced via SR-IOV with S7150/S7150x2 with Citrix Virtual Apps & Desktops (aka XenDesktop). I have tested the drivers in my lab with AMD Radeon Pro WX4100 + S7150 and S7150x2 and I can confirm that AMD have fixed below, which is important. I haven’t tested with VMware Horizon yet.

The Radeon™ Pro Software for Enterprise is designed to deliver market-leading uptime and stability. Rigorous multi-wave testing and exhaustive ISV certifications help make this “the industry’s most stable driver”1.  Radeon™ Pro Software is certified in over 100 workstation applications including Autodesk® AutoCAD®, Dassault Systèmes® CATIA®, Siemens NX™, Adobe® Premiere® Pro, Avid® Media Composer®, Autodesk® Maya®, PTC Creo® and many more

Built to help content creators make the best, every Enterprise Edition is designed to deliver more quality, performance, security, and simplicity

Lets Dig in why this is important.

Fixed Issues in 18.Q3.1

  • Locked Clock Speed with AMD Radeon™ Pro WX 7100 may be seen.
  • Dassault Systèmes® Solidworks® 2018 may crash at Customer Site while applying service metal fabrications.
  • “19.Light.vpb” file may show issues while rendering with Autodesk® VRED.
  • Application launching issues with Siemens NX™ 12.0.2 may be observed.
  • Some Viewport Corruption may be seen with Blender®.
  • Some issues may be observed with SPECapc™ Solidworks® 2015.
  • Solid Color Outputting may be seen on display using Specific DP 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 Dongle.
  • Dassault Systèmes® Solidworks® 2018/2017 may stop responding after rotating or changing display style on Windows® 7.
  • DXGI window mode stereo in Stereo 3D may only show left eye image when enabling active/passive stereo in Radeon™ Pro Settings on Windows® 10 RS4.
  • Application may stop responding while using ‘sliced geometry’ feature in Notch.
  • Corruption may be seen on model with change in Anti-aliasing modes with Dassault ICEM Surf™.
  • Display issues may be observed while running Nuke benchmark on AMD FirePro™ W8100 and AMD FirePro™ W9100.
  • Unexpected behaviour may be observed when running Intergraph SmartPlant FreeView on AMD FirePro™ 7150 with Citrix® XenDesktop®.
  • Toggling between full screen and windowed mode on Citrix® XenDesktop® may lead to temporary viewport corruption.
  • On Windows® 7, a Catalyst Control Center error may be observed when resizing Citrix® XenDesktop® window.

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Display adapter priority and monitor creation in Citrix sessions

Citrix have created this very important knowledge article CTX237608 about GPUs in Citrix from release 7.16 and forward.

This article is valid for following Citrix products:

  • Citrix XenDesktop 7.16 using Microsoft Windows 10
  • Citrix XenDesktop 7.17 using Microsoft Windows 10
  • Citrix XenDesktop 7.18 using Microsoft Windows 10

(IDD) Indirect Display Driver model was introduced in Microsoft Windows 10 and Citrix is now using this technology.
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/display/indirect-display-driver-model-overview 

I experienced myself an issue with an AMD Radeon WX4100 GPU having a black screen or desktop “freezes” at login and by adding CitrixIDD registry key I got it working. Other GPUs may be impacted so please test. Please be aware that with implementing Citrix IDD you loose vendor specific (control panel) settings, because Citrix bypass the GPU vendor capture APIs and you will have less performance resulting in less FPS. But I have experience myself that performance works amazing with enabling CitrixIDD and it solved my issue with a black screen/desktop that froze.

Update 29 August 2018
Its recommended getting a native driver from the GPU vendor instead of using Citrix IDD to get the best performance the GPU vendors provide via their APi.

Below is relevant for Citrix customers

  • Connecting with HDX to machines provisioned manually or MCS or PVS to a virtual Microsoft Windows 10 with Citrix Client OS VDA 7.16 and above.
  • Connecting with HDX using Citrix RemotePC to a physically PC with Microsoft Windows 10 and Citrix Client OS VDA 7.16 and above.

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