Workstation Extreme offers individual graphics cards on multiple VMs
Parallels has announced the release of Workstation Extreme, aiming to bring the benefits of virtualisation to resource-heavy applications used by industries such as manufacturing, digital content creation and software development.
The company believes this is the first product on the market that offers near-native performance to applications that require large memory support, multiple CPU cores, and direct access to graphics cards.
The platform should enable users to operate a single powerful computer as if it was a larger number of devices, switching between applications and operating systems without the need to reboot the physical machine.
Bryan Goode, vice president, business development and alliances, told CBR that although virtualisation platforms are already available for 3D use, Workstation Extreme offers improved functionality and efficiency.
“Virtualisation on 3D has been terrible,” he said. “Your workflow was disrupted when you moved from one workstation to another, but by using one physical machine you can just move the mouse cursor to another screen and using the SmartScreen technology that virtual machine will kick in.”
Parallels will initially target Workstation Extreme at a small number of vertical markets, which Goode identified as oil and gas, digital content creation, manufacturing, finance, software developers and sciences. It will primarily focus on customers looking for new systems rather than upgrading old platforms, Goode added.
Goode said that he believed that it is not a risk to focus on a small number of markets. “It is very niche, very specific, but it is still being rolled out to a sizable number of people, probably more than most people realise. That’s why we wanted channel partners who understand vertical markets,” he said.
The company has partnered with Intel and Nvidia to enable users to assign professional graphics cards to a virtual machine, allowing the use of individual graphics cards on multiple virtual machines.
Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels, said: “Until now, it has been impossible for them [users of resource-heavy applications] to enjoy the benefits of virtualisation, as the impact on graphics performance has been significant. Parallels Workstation Extreme addresses this, offering users powerful support for 3D professional graphics cards via Intel VT-d (Virtualisation Technology for Directed I/O) and the new Nvidia SLI Multi-OS technology.”
Nvidia SLI Multi-OS is built into the new Quadro FX 3800, Quadro FX 4800, and Quadro FX 5800 graphics cards and enables users to assign both the host and guest virtual machine its own dedicated GPU (graphics processing unit), providing better graphics performance within a virtualised environment.
The product will initially launch for the HP Z800 Series Workstations only and with a MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price) of $399 (£281).