VMware vSGA without Horizon?

Mackintire

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
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2,957
Have any of you implemented vSGA without Horizon View in place?

Evidently vSGA is just a host level driver that offloads some basic GPU features used by the guest vmware tools installed virtual video card.

The way the documentation reads, it appears it will work, but VMware wants you to purchase horizon view instead.

So I am looking for confirmation.
 

Lag

n00b
Joined
Jun 13, 2006
Messages
22
I believe the only thing holding us back from this is the remote display protocol and client.
Last year I failed in an attempt at getting a XenDesktop 7.6 + CentOS 7.1 + Nvidia GRID K1 VDI rolling due to lack of support in the XenDesktop Linux VDA 1.1 (agent that runs on the virtual desktop facilitating communication and control between the user connecting to the virtual desktop and the XenDesktop controller). I ended up successfully implementing the same setup with VMware Horizon because their Horizon Agent is much farther along in Linux VDI support compared with XenDesktop's Linux VDA -- through to say it was a little 'glitchy' feeling would be an under statement. That said, Windows works well with HW accelerated graphics on both XenDesktop and Horizon.
Around this time I was also researching a means of directly connecting to the virtual desktop to work around XenDesktop, but did not have much luck. It's possible you might be able to use some implementation of VNC, but I suspect the user experience would leave a lot to be desired if you could get it working. Sorry I don't have better news -- perhaps someone else will have more experience, and better results in this area (I'd love to get this working as well).
 

REDYOUCH

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 17, 2001
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4,522
vGPU without vCenter? • /r/vmware

Someone asked a similar question recently on Reddit that I answered (vGPU without vCenter). It's the same idea and same implications. I answered (same screen name)--it can be acheived with proper VIBs, guest drivers, and VM config, although I've never tested it.
 

Mackintire

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 28, 2004
Messages
2,957
Forgive me for sounding blunt... as I am hastily writing this and not reviewing it before posting.

There's a difference between those terms and technology.
vSGA is a VMware specific framework that allows a the basic vmware tools driver to pass 3D WDDM 1.1 calls to a host video card. It requires a vib driver to be installed on the host and is meant for basic desktop apps, and offers a 15-30% offload capability (on a good day) This is more of an offload assist function rather than giving your guest OS a different video card.

vDGA passes the video card through to the guest OS from the host. This is giving a video card to the guest, 1 dedicated video card per guest.

vGPU is a NEW feature, which vitualizes the resources of a video card and splits them into groups. The latest Nvidia K2 card can be split into 32 vGPUs and each guest os can be given a vGPU which works for light to moderate GPU activities such as CAD or even light to moderate gaming, or VDI.


Since I'm running 60-80 guest OSs per host, getting back 15-30% of my hosts CPU back used for GPU calls is significant.

Installing 2x Nvidia K2 at $8000 is not an option.


So my requests for feedback are directly focused on vSGA implementations.
 

REDYOUCH

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 17, 2001
Messages
4,522
Forgive me for sounding blunt... as I am hastily writing this and not reviewing it before posting.

There's a difference between those terms and technology.
vSGA is a VMware specific framework that allows a the basic vmware tools driver to pass 3D WDDM 1.1 calls to a host video card. It requires a vib driver to be installed on the host and is meant for basic desktop apps, and offers a 15-30% offload capability (on a good day) This is more of an offload assist function rather than giving your guest OS a different video card.

vDGA passes the video card through to the guest OS from the host. This is giving a video card to the guest, 1 dedicated video card per guest.

vGPU is a NEW feature, which vitualizes the resources of a video card and splits them into groups. The latest Nvidia K2 card can be split into 32 vGPUs and each guest os can be given a vGPU which works for light to moderate GPU activities such as CAD or even light to moderate gaming, or VDI.


Since I'm running 60-80 guest OSs per host, getting back 15-30% of my hosts CPU back used for GPU calls is significant.

Installing 2x Nvidia K2 at $8000 is not an option.


So my requests for feedback are directly focused on vSGA implementations.

Thanks for the clarification on your question--many posters have a tendency to mix up the various graphics card terminology and I assumed your meant vGPU.

Regarding the vSGA question, I've used Teradici offload cards to do this in the past. They required the VIB and guest VM driver to be installed. The biggest question is what protocol will your users leverage? You'd need to ensure it's supported (either RDP, Citrix, PCoIP, etc.).
 

RyC

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
113
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you can install the vSGA VIB, then in the guest OS install the Horizon Agent AND the Direct Connect package, so you can skip over the Horizon broker (which is the bit that needs a license key). Then you can use the regular Horizon clients to access the VMs via their own IP addresses (instead of a Horizon server).
 

Mackintire

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Only I do not have horizon licensing nor do I want to change from using vSphere 6 ESXI, and VCSA 6.
 

RyC

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
113
You don't need to enter any keys when installing the Horizon Agent on the VMs, and the Horizon Clients are free to download.
 
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