Exploring the Three Models of Remote Visualization

By Bill Mannel, Vice President & General Manager – High Performance Computing & Artificial Intelligence, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

May 22, 2017

The explosion of data and advancement of digital technologies are dramatically changing the way many companies do business. With the help of high performance computing (HPC) solutions and data analytics platforms, manufacturers are developing products faster, healthcare providers are improving patient care, and energy companies are improving planning, exploration, and production.

Remote visualization is an HPC technology that is rapidly changing the face of today’s energy, oil and gas (EO&G) industry. Remote visualization allows a centralized HPC resource to host high-end compute and visualization processing, while delivering a local copy to remote users so they can access, manipulate and share business-critical information regardless of their location. Specifically in the EO&G sector, remote visualization technologies are helping companies more quickly discover untapped reserves, appraise new sites with less exploratory drilling, and enhance collaboration and productivity along remote teams.

Remote visualization is an umbrella term for any technology that allows remote users to collaborate on large data files without the need for file downloads. Depending on the needs of the business and its users, a variety of approaches can be utilized. Here are the three basic models of remote visualization that are commonly deployed in the EO&G industry:

Virtualized GPU

This method allows several remote clients to simultaneously share GPU resources. For example, each remote device can be assigned a fixed portion of the graphics card resources, thereby simulating a dedicated graphics card for each remote workstation. While this model isn’t ideal for task workers who use graphics-intensive applications, it can allow for real-time communication and remote access to centralized data files.

Pass-Through GPU

This method allocates each GPU to a single remote client, allowing each virtual machine to have full and direct access to GPU resources and providing full workstation-class graphics and compute performance in a virtual setting. The pass-through GPU method is intended to support high-end graphics “power users” such as those doing seismic modeling and other advanced exploration and production functions, and delivers the highest graphics performance and end-user experience possible in a virtualized environment.

Dedicated Hardware

Also known as a “bare metal implementation,” this model tightly integrates the remote workstation with the centralized HPC resource. With this model, the client OS is installed directly on the server hardware and system resources are dedicated to a single remote user at a time. This method is ideal for customers that prefer bare metal implementations, or demand the power and performance of dedicated hardware.

Remote visualization solutions from HPE are designed to support various types of remote visualization implementations. Comprised of industry-leading visualization technologies, the HPE Remote Visualization solution can deliver data- and graphic-intensive 3D applications and the rich user experience that is required by the most demanding remote environments.

Today’s energy industry is a demanding and fast-paced atmosphere, and the explosion of data has served to intensify that competition and force companies to adopt new ways of doing business. As remote visualization technologies proliferate throughout the industry, many businesses are discovering there doesn’t have to be a “one size fits all” way to take advantage of this game-changing technology. A flexible, scalable remote visualization solution can support the individual needs of the business and enable companies to drive innovation, agility, and growth.

To learn more about HPE’s HPC energy solutions that are driving new breakthroughs in energy, oil and gas, please follow me on Twitter at @Bill_Mannel.

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