I want to share this with you all, Luke Wignall and his team from NVIDIA have created some great AppGuides, that helps with understanding how many users can you put on a NVIDIA GRID system with either K1/K2 in a VMware environment. These guides are made together with vendors such as Autodesk. The guides focus on following apps Autodesk Revit.
In this blogpost my goal is to highlight the great work NVIDIA have done creating the scalability app guides and these guides helps you if you want to virtualize Autodesk Revit with NVIDIA GRID and VMware Horizon. The guides are great – cause they give an idea what you would require in a virtualized environment and these can be reused for other virtualized platforms such as Citrix and Microsoft – keep in mind that results might be different. If you would like to get more informations about how the setup is configured and which methodology i recommend you read the AppGuide, you can download it in under source in the end of this article.
The appguides gives a great idea to understand the impact of CPU and how the GPU are giving value.
About Autodesk Revit 2015
Autodesk Revit is Building Information Modeling (BIM) software with features for architectural design, MEP and structural engineering, and construction. Revit requires a GPU as you rotate, zoom, and interact with drawings. It also creates heavy CPU load as it manages all the elements of a drawing via a database, which means we need high performance storage as well. The heaviest Revit CPU usage occurs during data-rich operations like file open/save and model updates. As a result both CPU and GPU need to be considered in architecting your vGPU solution. The size of your drawing file, the concurrency of your users, and the level of interaction with 3D data need to be factored into defining your user groups.
Results Appguide for Autodesk Revit 2015
The following are results of our testing, looking for the greatest scalability while still within performance expectations. Its important to note that your users, your data, and your hardware, will impact these results and you may decide a different level of performance or scalability is required to meet your individual business needs. As the RFO Benchmark does not currently exercise some of Revit’s newest GPU capabilities, and was built to push the limits of dedicated hardware versus the shared resources of VDI, the decision was made to stop testing once the host’s CPU was approaching 100% utilized and test times had climbed past twice what we were finding on the a single physical workstation with dedicated resources. We then met with the Autodesk Revit team, discussed the results, reviewed the tests in action, and determined with eyes on that this was still within what a typical user would deem acceptable and usable. It’s been well documented that storage performance is key to providing high performance graphics workloads, especially with many users and ever-growing file or model sizes.
FYI – Lower scores are better, representing less time to perform the activity in below tables.
results with Intel Ivy Bridge processors & NVIDIA GRID K2 (K220Q GPU Profile)
results with Intel Ivy Bridge processors & NVIDIA GRID K2 (K240Q GPU profile)
results with Haswell processors & NVIDIA GRID K2 (K240Q GPU profile)
Here are the results when we push for more scalability, bringing the maximum number of VDI guests to 20 and 24. We have added a 15 second staggered start to emulate synthetic human behavior.
Revit 2015 users per server
Based on our findings, NVIDIA GRID provides the following performance and scalability metrics for Autodesk Revit 2015; using the lab equipment shown below, using the RFO benchmark, and in working with Autodesk and their emphasis on usability. Of course, your usage will depend on your models but this is guidance to help guide your implementation.