NVIDIA GRID vGPU provides direct access to the physical GPU on an ESXi host—so multiple users can share a single GPU—using native graphics card drivers. Before you attempt to create a desktop pool that has NVIDIA GRID vGPU capabilities, you must perform certain configuration tasks on the virtual machines and ESXi hosts.

This overview is an outline of tasks you must perform in vSphere before you can create or configure desktop pools in Horizon Administrator. For complete information and detailed procedures, see the NVIDIA GRID vGPU Deployment Guide for VMware Horizon 6.1.

  1. Install the graphics card on the ESXi host.

  2. Install the GPU vSphere Installation Bundle (VIB).

  3. Ensure VMware Tools and the Virtual Hardware (vSphere Compatability) levels are current.

  4. In the vSphere Web Client, add a shared PCI device to the virtual machine and select the appropriate NVIDIA device.

  5. After you add a shared PCI device, you see a list of all supported graphics profile types that are available from the GPU card on the ESXi host. Select the appropriate profile for your use case.

  6. In the Memory section of the virtual machine, select "Reserve all guest memory (All locked)."

  7. Install Horizon Agent in the guest operating system and reboot.

  8. Either install the Horizon Agent Direct Connect software or apply https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3080079 because after the NVIDIA drivers are loaded, you will lose access to the VM through the vSphere Console.

  9. Obtain the GPU drivers from the GPU vendor and install the GPU device drivers in the guest operating system of the virtual machine. Perform this step from an RDP or PCOIP session, as the vSphere Console access will disappear during the driver install.

After you perform these tasks, you must add the virtual machine to a manual pool Horizon 7 desktop pool so that you can access the guest operating system using PCoIP. In a PCoIP session, you can then activate the NVIDIA display adapter in the guest operating system. Hardware encoding is enabled by default after you have vGPU configured in the VM.

At this point, you can configure the virtual machine to be a template or take a snapshot of the virtual machine for use as a base image in a View Composer linked-clone pool. (You must power off the virtual machine before taking the snapshot.) When you use the Add Desktop Pool wizard, after you select the NVIDIA GRID vGPU option for 3D Renderer, only NVIDIA GRID vGPU-enabled ESXi hosts and NVIDIA GRID vGPU-enabled virtual machine templates and snapshots appear for selection in the wizard.