ASRock Rack 2U & 3U Server Solution Supports the Latest NVIDIA GRID 2.0

Nvidia recently released their GRID 2.0 at the VMWorld and ASRock Rack now announced that their 2U and 3U server solutions support just this. Nvidia GRID 2.0 is a big step up as it delivers double the application performance as well as double the user density over the previous version. Not only that, it also offers support for Linux OS and blade servers to provide unprecedented speed and efficiency for virtualized graphics. Users can work from almost anywhere with virtually no delays and thereby increase their productivity. IT departments can equip workers with instant access to powerful applications, improving resource allocation. And data can be stored more securely by residing in a central server rather than individual systems.

The two ASRock Rack solution compatible with the new GRID 2.0 are the 2U2N-F and the 3U8G-C612 and both are configurable with four to eight GPU cards; and four are the recommended minimum. Next to the up-to-eight Tesla M60 GPUs, the server units also feature numerous other PCIe slots for further expansion and acceleration by PCIe SSDs, Remote Direct Memory Access by SFP+ or InfiniBand, NVR or facial recognition systems by capture cards and much more.

ASRock Rack fans might have noticed that the mentioned 2U2N-F is a new rack unit. The 2U rack-mounted server features eight 2.5-inch HDD bays and redundant 1600W Platinum PSU. The server supports Intel Xeon E5-2600/4600 series with a TDP of up to 120W and narrow-type CPU cooler. The eight DIMM slots support up to 2133MHz and you’ll also get an ASpeed AST2400 onboard graphic solution with dedicated Realtek IPMI network connection. The 2U2N-F is definitely worth a closer look if you’re about to set up a new powerful virtualization system or plan to upgrade the old.

AMD Announces New Multiuser GPU Platform

With the increasing trend of thin clients and lower-powered user machines, the cloud and virtual machines are taking on an ever more important role. In order to supply users with graphics and compute power even when they are using thin clients, Nvidia introduced their GRID hardware virtualization and cloud gaming service. Now AMD is jumping into the game with their own Multiuser GPU solution.

For now, it looks like AMD is focusing on the hardware virtualization side of things. With the top end card, AMD is allowing up to 15 users per card. This means the GPU is being shared between up to 15 users. Of course, this is for lighter loads, with heavier loads requiring fewer and fewer simultaneous users. Virtualization will also be done on a hardware level, with users being able to access most of the usual features with OpenCL, OpenGL and DirectX acceleration.

AMD’s announcement comes as Nvidia is also refreshing their platform with GRID 2.0. With Nvidia having already carved out their turf, it will be interesting to see how AMD will attempt to move in. Good news for AMD is that it appears that some FirePro cards will support Multiuser while GRID 2.0 requires different cards. This means for FirePro users, it may be an easy switch to enable multiple users. With true hardware virtualization support though, AMD may be able to snag some much needed marketshare before the market gets saturated.