What is VDI and XDI?

BOXX XDI solutions include one-to-one remote access physical workstations as well as solutions that allow multiple users to access multiple virtual workstations on a single server.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) allows an organisation to host several virtual workstations on a single server. The technology provides many benefits that appeal to engineers, architects and 3D artists including remote access, data centralisation, data security and high speed shared storage. XTREME Desktop Infrastructure is the BOXX implementation of this technology, offering the best performance and productivity for power users like you.


XDI V8BOXX XDI V8 

 XDI V8 virtual workstations host up to eight concurrent power users on a single 2U server with a centralised, secure environment. This solution delivers the highest level of performance of any VDI solution. Ideal for powers users running graphics-intense applications and requiring remotea ccess to their workstation, data centralisation, data secuirty and ultra high speed shared storage.


XDI V8BOXX XDI V4

XDI V4 virtual workstations host up to four concurrent power users on a single 1U server in a centralised, secure environment. This solution delivers the highest level of performance of any VDI solution. Ideal for power users running graphics intense appplications and needing remote access to their workstation, data centralisation, data security, and ultra high speed shared storage who don't require the density of the XDI V8.
 


XDI StandardBOXX XDI S1

XDI S1 is a one to one solution (one user to one physical rackmounted remote access workstation.) This solution delivers an uncompromised virtual desktop experience and can be accessed remotely over your organisation's LAN or WAN using Teradici PCoIP workstation technology. Ideal for power users who want the benefits of remote access, data security and centralisation but don't have the need to host multiple users on one physical server.


Add XDI to any BOXX workstation

If you are simply interested in remote access to your workstation and not the additional benefits described below, you can convert any BOXX workstation into an XDI solution by adding a PCoIP card or AMD FirePro R5000 GPU. Either of these options will enable remote access but the AMD FirePro R5000 will free up an extra PCIe slot on your system. This feature is suitable for those looking for a simple virtual machine & desktop solution.


Understanding what is driving the need for a VDI solution?
When considering VDI, you need to clearly understand what is driving your organisation’s desire to procure a VDI solution. You should ask yourself “Why am I interested in VDI instead of traditional workstations?” Are you looking to reduce upfront hardware costs or is remote access to your applications and digital assets a critical factor? One of the main reasons you might be considering this option is hardware consolidation. Perhaps you’re aware of cases where dozens of users are being consolidated onto one physical server. In terms of mitigating upfront hardware costs, this option is appealing to many. However, a misconception exists for those who work with graphics intense applications and can lead to frustration before and after you take delivery of a VDI solution.

Hosting dozens of users on a single physical server is a viable option for task workers running light office applications and web browsing. A standard virtual desktop and virtual machine system can work for this application. However, this system is not ideal for power users driving high-end applications like Revit, SolidWorks, CATIA, 3ds Max or Maya. Power users, such as design engineers and 3D artists cannot sacrifice performance and productivity for the sake of cramming everyone onto a single VDI server. When at all possible, (for these users) a special VDI implementation that preserves application performance needs to be considered.

If you are looking for a lower upfront hardware cost per user compared to traditional workstations, you might be disappointed. The reasons a power user should consider VDI are described below.


Why VDI?
So if there isn’t significant savings on the upfront hardware cost, why should you consider VDI? There are many benefits other than hardware consolidation, which may be appealing to your organization. These benefits include...

Remote Access – with a virtual workstation you can access all of your professional applications and assets from anywhere on your organization’s LAN using a zero client device. Or you can access a virtual workstation remotely from anywhere with an internet connection using Teradici’s PCoIP® Software Client.


Data SecurityData Security – as mentioned above, VDI allows your users to access digital assets on a central server. Sensitive data never has to leave your server room. Additionally, our implementation features 256 Bit suite B Encryption.

 


Data CentralizationData Centralisation - BOXX customers tend to work with extremely large data sets. Virtual workstations have the added benefit of centralising these data sets. Remote users don’t need to transfer large files from your organisation’s server to their location, as found with a traditional VPN. Instead, big data remains in your server room and “lightweight” pixels are streamed to the remote user.
 


Shared High Speed Storage – For some, another attractive feature is the ability to give multiple users access to the same high speed storage. Traditionally, a user would collaborate with others by working off their office’s network attached storage (NAS) commonly connected by 10GBE. Users of virtual workstations are hosted on one physical host server. Their “network” then becomes the local storage (SSDs in a RAID configuration) on the host server that has significantly faster transfer speeds than traditional shared network storage.


Why XDI?
Why should you consider an XTREME Desktop Infrastructure solution from BOXX? Because like all BOXX customers, you see value in keeping high paid power users productive. You are also interested in the VDI benefits described above. An XDI solution from BOXX is the only solution that gives you the benefits of VDI while maintaining peak application performance.

The features which differentiate XDI include:

GPU Direct Assign – Graphics intense applications require access to capable graphics cards with ISV certifications, optimisations and native driver support. A virtualized graphics card running on a CPU is not an option. Directly assigning one physical GPU to each user on the system ensures optimal performance.


CPU MeterCPU Performance – Working on a virtual machine requires a mechanism that connects a user’s client device to their assigned virtual machine. VMWare is one such method that is widely used for VDI. Since all users are sharing the same CPU resources of the underlying physical server, it is critical to eliminate applications that devour CPU cycles. For example, there are several applications that need to run on the host server when implementing VMWare. 

Taking VMWare out of the equation frees up additional CPU cycles, thus improving the user’s experience. This is accomplished by using a PCoIP host card installed on the physical server that relieves the host CPU of pixel stream compression and encryption (sending pixels to the end user).

 


Optimised Network Loading - The PCoIP host card features a dedicated NIC that offloads the pixel stream to the end user from the host NIC.


User Density – A single BOXX XDI virtual workstation server can accommodate up to eight users, each with a dedicated GPU to run their professional applications. This density is achieved by integrating the PCoIP host card onto the GPU using the AMD FirePro R5000.


Detailed overview of BOXX XDI virtual workstations
 


“BOXX XDI solutions take advantage of the AMD FirePro R5000 remote graphics card featuring integrated Teradici PCoIP remote workstation technology. This enables the benefits of traditional Virtual Desktop Infrastructure while preserving the performance and experience for users of graphics intense applications,”
Olivier Favre, director of product management, Teradici.

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