Supermicro, a member of the Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance, has been working with NVIDIA on a new set of GRID-based solutions that address the growing virtual desktop infrastructure space. In theory, VDI provides an efficient way to conference and collaborate from anywhere, but technological limitations have limited its adoption. At the same time, Supermicro has updated its server chips for Intel’s Ivy Bridge architecture, and the new silicon may be particularly beneficial for financial services providers.

VDI implementations are often beset by lag. As ZDNet’s Stephen Vaughan-Nichols explained, a large number of employees may try to log into the VDI solution all at once, straining the infrastructure and making it too slow to use. Despite this common issue, VDI will likely remain an important enterprise tool. Advances in networking technology, such as 4G and super-fast Wi-Fi, along with the growing number of cloud-connected mobile devices may ensure that VDI remains an important utility for communication and collaboration.

The NVIDIA-Supermicro partnership aims to make VDI more suitable for the modern enterprise. Techradar’s Désiré Athow stated that both of the new GRID units feature two Ivy Bridge E5-2680 V2 Xeon processors, each clocked at 2.8 GHz with eight cores. Top-shelf NVIDIA Kepler K1 and K2 GPUs make the units capable of handling intensive graphics and applications.

The improvements will be crucial in helping more enterprises to adopt VDI. According to SiliconANGLE’s Maria Deutscher, performance and cost are among the primary obstacles to VDI uptake. At the same time, companies have been upgrading their cloud infrastructure with different storage media and technologies, and VDI projects may have been put on the back burner.

However, VMware’s recent acquisition of Desktone, a supplier for VDI-as-a-service, indicates the widespread interest in VDI. Supermicro’s new GRID-based products will be key to providing robust yet cost-effective technology solutions to companies seeking to delve into VDI.

“With the economics and technology of solutions maturing, IT departments should revisit VDI,” stated Wikibon senior analyst Stu Miniman, according to Deutscher. “Users are advised to undergo a thorough evaluation and pilot phase and to work with knowledgeable partners that have proven experience in successful deployments without going over the planned budgets.”

Supermicro Ivy Bridge servers also offer low latency and high performance
The GRID-based products may have appeal across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing and supply chain management, because of their low latency and high responsiveness, not to mention general demand for strong VDI installations. In this respect, the NVIDIA-Supermicro solutions resemble Supermicro’s recent updates to its server technologies, which have attracted interest from trading firms.

Speaking to, Supermicro global head of business development Don Clegg explained that the Ivy Bridge-based servers were a huge upgrade over the previous Sandy Bridge architectures. The improvements may be more remarkable due to Supermicro having already created, in its earlier Hyper-Speed products, the only hardware-accelerated server solution for enterprises.

“Supermicro believes that high-frequency, low-latency trading firms will gain significant competitive advantages by upgrading to our Ivy Bridge Hyper-Speed product line,” stated Clegg. “The performance increase from the new generation architecture and firmware improvements are, we believe, unrivaled with 15 percent lower median latency and an incredible 94 percent reduction in jitter.”

Clegg also highlighted the benefits of the 2U Supermicro Hyper-Speed server. This product utilizes the Ivy Bridge architecture in a small form factor, enabling enterprises to build denser cloud storage systems. With thermal technology and energy efficiency far above industry standards, the Supermicro Hyper-Speed cuts down lag times and costs.

The accelerated chips that Supermicro provide maximum reliability and allow servers to run at peak performance levels indefinitely. Combined with support from Supermicro’s HFT team, these technologies enable companies to create faster, more capable cloud storage systems.

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