The 3D rendering options and other pool settings offer various advantages and drawbacks. Select the option that best supports your vSphere hardware infrastructure and your users' requirements for graphics rendering.
This topic provides an overview of the controls you find in View Administrator. For detailed information about all the various choices and requirements for 3D rendering, see the VMware white paper about graphics acceleration.
The Automatic option is the best choice for many View deployments that require 3D rendering. This option ensures that some type of 3D rendering takes place even when GPU resources are completely reserved. In a mixed cluster of ESXi 5.1 and ESXi 5.0 hosts, this option ensures that a virtual machine is powered on successfully and uses 3D rendering even if, for example, vMotion moved the virtual machine to an ESXi 5.0 host.
The only drawback with the Automatic option is that you cannot easily tell whether a virtual machine is using hardware or software 3D rendering.
The Hardware option guarantees that every virtual machine in the pool uses hardware 3D rendering, provided that GPU resources are available on the ESXi hosts. This option might be the best choice when all your users run graphically intensive applications.
With the Hardware option, you must strictly control your vSphere environment:
For vSGA (Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration), all ESXi hosts must be version 5.1 or later and must have GPU graphics cards installed.
For vDGA (Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration), all ESXi hosts must be version 5.5 or later and must have GPU graphics cards installed.
When all GPU resources on an ESXi host are reserved, View cannot power on a virtual machine for the next user who tries to log in to a desktop. You must manage the allocation of GPU resources and the use of vMotion to ensure that resources are available for your desktops.
Select the Manage using vSphere Client option to support a mixed configuration of 3D rendering and VRAM sizes for virtual machines in a pool. In vSphere Web Client, you can configure individual virtual machines with different options and VRAM values.
Select the Software option if you have ESXi 5.0 hosts only, or if ESXi 5.1 or later hosts do not have GPU graphics cards, or if your users only run applications, such as AERO and Microsoft Office, that do not require hardware graphics acceleration.
Configuring Desktop Settings to Manage GPU Resources
You can configure other desktop settings to ensure that GPU resources are not wasted when users are not actively using them.
For floating pools, set a session timeout so that GPU resources are freed up for other users when a user is not using the desktop.
For dedicated pools, you can configure the Automatically logoff after disconnect setting to Immediately and a Suspend power policy if these settings are appropriate for your users. For example, do not use these settings for a pool of researchers who execute long-running simulations.