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HP Teams with Parallels on Virtual 3-D WorkstationHP Teams with Parallels on Virtual 3-D Workstation

DN Staff

June 8, 2009

2 Min Read
HP Teams with Parallels on Virtual 3-D Workstation

Hewlett-Packard is teamingup with Parallels on a high-endworkstation virtualization solution that offers engineers near-nativeperformance for resource-hungry applications like MCAD and CAE.

While virtualization technologies are all the rage on theserver side, vendors have been hamstrung from delivering the performance andgraphics acceleration in a virtual machine necessary for resource-intensivedesign tool applications, according to Bruce Blaho, an HP fellow and chieftechnologist for HP's workstation line. "You could virtualize, but it took anorder of magnitude performance hit if you tried to run anything graphicallyintensive," Blaho says. "That essentially ruled out a virtual machine forCAD and CAE – it was a non-starter."

Having a virtual machine capable of running multipleapplications simultaneously has enormous appeal to engineers and designers,according to Blaho. For highly technical users, the ability to run two applicationstacks and environments at once means they could run an MCAD program inWindows while a CAE analysis application churns away on Linux running on thesame physical hardware. "An engineer could be preparing a part in an MCADsystem and then hand off the part to an analysis application running on theworkstation in a virtual machine and start working on the next part while thatanalysis is crunching," he says. "By ping-ponging back and forth, you coulddouble the productivity of mechanical analysis."

A number of new technology platforms have coalesced to makethis kind of virtualization possible on a workstation. Intel's new Xeon5500 series processor in concert with the Parallels Workstation 4.0Extreme workstation virtualization solution and NVIDIASLI Multi-OS-enabled Quadro FX graphics boards are the technology buildingblocks along with HP's new top-of-the-line Z800 workstation. The systemleverages key virtualization technologies from Intel, including VT-x foraccelerated virtual CPU performance, VT-d for direct high performance NVIDIA FXgraphics card and NIC assignment and Extended Page Tables (EPT) for improvedperformance in memory management.

The HP Z800 Workstation with NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800s andParallels Workstation 4.0 Extreme is available now; a version with Quadro FX4800s and FX 5800s graphics boards will follow next month.

The Parallels virtualization solution is based on the high-end HP Z800 workstation.

HP Teams with Parallels on Virtual 3-D Workstation A

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