The 3D Renderer setting for desktop pools provides options that let you configure graphics rendering in different ways.

The following table describes the differences between the various types of 3D rendering options available in View Administrator but does not provide complete information for configuring virtual machines and ESXi hosts for Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA), Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA), or NVIDIA GRID vGPU (shared GPU hardware acceleration). These tasks must be done with vSphere Web Client before you attempt to create desktop pools in View Administrator. vDGA and NVIDIA GRID vGPU require a similar setup in vSphere. For instructions about these tasks for vSGA and vDGA, see the VMware white paper about graphics acceleration. For instructions about NVIDIA GRID vGPU, see the NVIDIA GRID vGPU Deployment Guide for VMware Horizon 6.1.

Table 1. 3D Renderer Options for Pools Running on vSphere 5.1 or Later

Option

Description

Manage using vSphere Client

The 3D Renderer option that is set in vSphere Web Client (or vSphere Client in vSphere 5.1 or later) for a virtual machine determines the type of 3D graphics rendering that takes place. View does not control 3D rendering.

In the vSphere Web Client, you can configure the Automatic, Software, or Hardware options. These options have the same effect as they do when you set them in View Administrator.

Use this setting when configuring vDGA. This setting is also an option for vSGA.

When you select the Manage using vSphere Client option, the Configure VRAM for 3D Guests, Max number of monitors, and Max resolution of any one monitor settings are inactive in View Administrator. You can configure the amount of memory in vSphere Web Client.

Automatic

3D rendering is enabled. The ESXi host controls the type of 3D rendering that takes place.

For example, the ESXi host reserves GPU hardware resources on a first-come, first-served basis as virtual machines are powered on. If all GPU hardware resources are already reserved when a virtual machine is powered on, ESXi uses the software renderer for that machine.

This setting is an option when configuring vSGA.

The ESXi host allocates VRAM to a virtual machine based on the value that is set in the Configure VRAM for 3D Guests dialog box.

Software

3D rendering is enabled. The ESXi host uses software 3D graphics rendering. If a GPU graphics card is installed on the ESXi host, this pool will not use it.

Use this setting to configure Soft 3D.

The ESXi host allocates VRAM to a virtual machine based on the value that is set in the Configure VRAM for 3D Guests dialog box.

Hardware

3D rendering is enabled. The ESXi host reserves GPU hardware resources on a first-come, first-served basis as virtual machines are powered on.

This setting is an option when configuring vSGA.

The ESXi host allocates VRAM to a virtual machine based on the value that is set in the Configure VRAM for 3D Guests dialog box.

Important:

If you configure the Hardware option, consider these potential constraints:

  • If a user tries to connect to a machine when all GPU hardware resources are reserved, the virtual machine will not power on, and the user will receive an error message.

  • If you use vMotion to move the machine to an ESXi host that does not have GPU hardware configured, the virtual machine will not power on.

When you configure hardware-based 3D rendering, you can examine the GPU resources that are allocated to each virtual machine on an ESXi host. For details, see Examining GPU Resources on an ESXi Host.

NVIDIA GRID vGPU

3D rendering is enabled. The ESXi host reserves GPU hardware resources on a first-come, first-served basis as virtual machines are powered on. If a user tries to connect to a machine when all GPU hardware resources are being used by other virtual machines on the host, View Connection Server will attempt to move the virtual machine to another ESXi host in the cluster before powering on.

Use this setting when configuring NVIDIA GRID vGPU.

When you select the NVIDIA GRID vGPU option, the Configure VRAM for 3D Guests, Max number of monitors, and Max resolution of any one monitor settings are inactive in View Administrator. When you configure the parent virtual machine or virtual machine template with vSphere Web Client, you are prompted to reserve all memory.

Important:

If you configure the NVIDIA GRID vGPU option, consider these potential constraints:

  • The virtual machine cannot be suspended or resumed. Therefore the Remote Machine Power Policy option for suspending the virtual machine is not available.

  • If you use vMotion to move the machine to an ESXi host that does not have GPU hardware configured, the virtual machine will not power on. Live vMotion is not available.

  • All ESXi hosts in the cluster must be version 6.0 or later, and the virtual machines must be hardware version 11 or later.

  • If an ESXi cluster contains a host that is NVIDIA GRID vGPU enabled and a host that is not NVIDIA GRID vGPU enabled, the hosts display a yellow (warning) status in the View Administrator Dashboard. If a user tries to connect to a machine when all GPU hardware resources are being used by other virtual machines on the host, View Connection Server will attempt to move the virtual machine to another ESXi host in the cluster before powering on. In this case, hosts that are not NVIDIA GRID vGPU enabled cannot be used for this type of dynamic migration.

Disabled

3D rendering is inactive.

Table 2. 3D Renderer Options for Pools Running on vSphere 5.0

Option

Description

Enabled

The 3D Renderer option is enabled. The ESXi host uses software 3D graphics rendering.

When software rendering is configured, the default VRAM size is 64MB, the minimum size. In the Configure VRAM for 3D Guests dialog box, you can use the slider to increase the amount of VRAM that is reserved. With software rendering, the ESXi host allocates up to a maximum of 128MB per virtual machine. If you set a higher VRAM size, it is ignored.

Disabled

3D rendering is inactive.

If a desktop pool is running on earlier vSphere version than 5.0, the 3D Renderer setting is inactive and is not available in View Administrator.