Empowering Manufacturers with Scalable, Hardware-Based Graphics Performance

Andrew Rink, Global Marketing Strategy, NVIDIA

Success in manufacturing today depends on the ability to innovate quickly, reduce time-to-market for new products, and continuously drive efficiencies across internal processes. Virtual GPU (vGPU) solutions from NVIDIA® are empowering manufacturers to accelerate innovation across the entire product development cycle. These software innovations running on the latest server platforms from Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) are helping manufacturers drive productivity, enhance collaboration, and protect intellectual property (IP) with scalable, hardware-based graphics performance.

The cycle of innovation in manufacturing has hastened in recent years, driven forward by the adoption of new digital tools, shortening product life spans, and improvements in computer-aided design (CAD) software. This need to constantly churn out a new portfolio of diverse and increasingly complex products is leaving today’s manufacturers continually looking for ways to compress design cycle times and reduce unit costs. Product design and engineering groups are also feeling the pressure to rapidly deliver innovative new products, quickly respond to market demands, and remain productive regardless of their location.

Today’s product design teams are highly mobile and often geographically-dispersed, so manufacturers are needing to quickly rethink the way they deliver desktops, data, and apps to their workers. A recent report from Strategy Analytics found that the global mobile workforce is set to increase from 1.45 billion in 2016 (38.8% of the global workforce) to 1.87 billion in 2022 (42.5% of the global workforce). In order for these employees to fully enjoy the benefits of mobility, organizations are investing in solutions that extend the capabilities of physical workstations to a variety of more easily portable personal devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

However, there are challenges as IT teams attempt to provide the constant access to data, files, and applications to support this new type of workforce. To properly do their jobs, product designers must be able to rely on a seamless, highly responsive user experience regardless of which device they are working on, and some may have tried VDI in the past with dismal results. Additionally, providing this constant access to company files increases the security risk to IP for many manufacturers, and introduces a variety of new vulnerable endpoints to the network.

Virtualizing product design workloads means that sensitive models and data can remain safe in the data center, while only pixels are pushed out to end user workstationsdevices. Manufacturers can not only better protect their data, but they can also meet the needs of users who can’t afford to wait for hours-long downloads before they begin their real design and engineering work. For the end user, virtualization streamlines productivity and makes collaboration easier and more efficient. And as 3D CAD models grow in size and complexity and design teams increasingly demand higher quality visualization, there is a critical need for greater graphics power behind these workloads.

Virtual GPU solutions from NVIDIA are allowing manufacturers to seamlessly transition traditional graphics-heavy workstation workloads into a virtualized environment. NVIDIA vGPU technology provides designers and engineers scalable, hardware-based graphics performance for virtualized desktops and CAD software by allowing the resources of one GPU to be shared across multiple virtual machines and applications. With NVIDIA® Quadro® Data Center Workstation (Quadro vDWS) software, manufacturers can deliver the most powerful virtual workstation from the data center or cloud to any device, allowing engineers and product designers to work from anywhere, tackle larger datasets, and increase productivity with greater security.

Manufacturers are leveraging these innovative software tools to boost productivity, enhance collaboration, and protect IP.

Enhance productivity with real-time performance

Slow data movement and model loading can translate to hours of lost production time for product designers every year, which ultimately slows time-to-market for new products. NVIDIA vGPU solutions give manufacturers the ability to deliver the superior, highly responsive graphics performance that their users expect on a variety of virtual machines. Designers can view, manipulate, and work with large 3D design models and graphics-intensive applications without lag or delay, allowing them to capitalize on maximum efficiency and productivity regardless of their location. They can also take full advantage of the GPU-accelerated features they regularly use in their CAD software tools.

Enable anytime, anywhere collaboration on any device

Design teams can now enjoy the full benefits of mobility by working on a variety of devices anytime and anywhere they choose, whether that’s at home, at a hotel, or at a meeting with a client. With files and data centralized in the data center, geographically-dispersed teams can easily access the information they need to work together from any location, while IT teams can offer shared access to a common model, streamline version control, and provision new workstations in a matter of minutes. As a result, collaborations like Follow the Sun allow designers to pass workflows globally to enable ongoing development and faster time-to-market.

Strengthen data security to safeguard IP

A recent report found that 21% of manufacturers have suffered a loss of sensitive or proprietary data from cyberattacks, and it’s estimated that approximately $400 billion worth of IP leaves the U.S. each year. By centralizing sensitive data and mission-critical files in the data center, manufacturers can feel confident about delivering data to remote devices or issuing company laptops to external contractors, knowing that their information is fully protected and easy to recover.

Global transportation equipment manufacturer Honda Motor Co., Ltd. recently implemented next-generation engineering VDI HPE Apollo 2000 powered by NVIDIA vGPU software and NVIDIA® Tesla® M60 GPU accelerators to enhance productivity and operational efficiency for their R&D/production centers. With graphics acceleration from the data center, NVIDIA vGPUs empower teams across Honda to use CAD/CAE applications on any device, gain faster access to data, and enhance the security of their IP. Today, Honda R&D centers and factories around the world are designing and developing in the new NVIDIA vGPU environment, and the company plans to migrate all client machines to the new system by 2020.

Certified virtualization partners like HPE are helping make GPU-accelerated virtualization a reality for any manufacturer. HPE offers a variety of high performance computing (HPC) platforms with NVIDIA® Tesla® GPUs that are supported by the latest version of NVIDIA vGPU software. HPE Synergy is a powerful and versatile software-defined solution that provides workstation-class remote desktop performance using NVIDIA virtual GPU technology. With Synergy, IT teams have the ability to quickly reconfigure compute resources for other GPU workloads during non-business hours. For example, Synergy blades can be used for design and visualization workloads by day, and then repurposed for simulation and design validation at night. This unmatched ability to schedule multiple workloads on the same hardware reduces underutilization of compute resources, helping organizations to realize better total cost of ownership (TCO) and totally transform the economics of their GPU-accelerated VDI. With NVIDIA software running on HPE’s enterprise-grade server platforms, manufacturers can not only get the rock-solid technology they’ll need to drive innovation, but they’ll also capitalize on the solutions expertise and end-to-end support that HPE is known for within the industry.

As the need increases for remote workers and dispersed design teams to quickly and securely access the right data, manufacturers must turn to solutions that support mobility and collaboration without sacrificing data security. To learn more about how NVIDIA vGPUs are accelerating manufacturing innovation, please follow me on Twitter at @AndrewRink1. You can also check out @NVIDIAVirt, or check out @HPE_HPC for additional news and updates.

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