login vsi company logo login vsi company logo 250x40

Creating a Graphics Workload for VDI

Creating a Graphics Workload for VDI

A recent trend in desktop virtualization and application virtualization is to extend virtual desktop environments to a new set of users—those who work with graphics-intensive applications. Large manufacturing, architecture, industrial engineering, entertainment and creative industries lend especially well to deploying GPUs as part of their virtual desktop environment. Like any other end user, the graphics-intensive worker expects great performance. However, for the IT department, introducing heavy graphics users creates a lot of unknowns in when it comes to planning, managing and testing performance.

One size does not fit all

With Login VSI's experience pioneering industry standards for virtual desktop load and stress testing, we thoroughly understand how to conduct tests and how environments should react to stress. We also know workloads. The first matter to address when it comes to performance testing environments with graphics-intensive users is to determine the right workload. Out-of-the box Login VSI workloads assume the user works with standard applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet Explorer. But what are the standard applications used by those who work with heavy graphics?

We see that each industry moving GPUs into their centralized virtualized desktop environment uses its own graphical applications, such as AutoCAD, Siemens NX or Catia. What’s more, even within the same enterprise, there is variability among workers in the applications they use and how they use them.

Different models, for example architectural models versus industrial designs, have different visualization styles. Variation in frame rate requirements makes it difficult to create a standardized graphics workload.

vdi graphics different applications autocad siemens nx catia

Every company uses different graphical applications

Finding the similarities

While there are a lot of differences in testing performance for graphics users versus regular office workers, there are, of course, similarities. As in all virtual desktop environments, end user experience is critical. The key performance indicator for professional graphical applications is frame rate. Even though different use cases have different frame rate requirements, the way of measuring frame rate is similar for every end user.

In addition to frame rate, the common performance metrics used for standard workloads are the same for GPU-enabled virtual desktop deployments. These metrics include performance indicators like CPU utilization, memory usage and disk I/O. Using graphics intensive applications introduces new important performance indicators like GPU utilization, network usage and CPU utilization on the endpoint device.

Graphical workloads

Because of the many complexities, we decided not to create a graphical workload, but to instead provide a customizable graphical testing framework which can use any graphical application with different visualization modes, models and frame rate requirements.

By providing a “template” graphics workload--which contains only the basic workload commands to get started--it is easy to incorporate the graphics application of the end user. As long as the application supports some kind of automation (for example, using an API, keystrokes or a macro), it can be used in the Graphics Framework.

Analyzing data

Some applications, like AutoCAD, can report the frame rate for certain actions (like spinning a model) by itself. But not all applications will allow generating a file with frame rate. For this we rely on an external application called FRAPS. In addition to frame rate on the application level, another important frame rate metric is the frame rate on the protocol level (for example over HDX or PCoIP). This is what the end user will actually see. A high frame rate within the application will not matter if the frame rate forwarded by the protocol is too low. The Login VSI Graphics Framework includes a flexible data collector to gather data on protocol level and generates CSV files which can be parsed by the Graphics Analyzer.

The Login VSI Graphics Framework is very dynamic, meaning that the data gathered during tests will be different per customer. We rewrote the Login VSI Analyzer to report on any data gathered during tests. As long as the data is formatted in Login VSI format, a chart will be generated for each collected dataset.

One big difference between the regular Login VSI Analyzer and the Graphics Analyzer is that the Graphics Analyzer will not report on a VSImax (which the regular Login VSI Analyzer does). This is because the frame rate requirement is different for different uses. You will be able to decide yourself which frame rate suits best for your end users and scale your virtual desktop environment accordingly.

Since gathering data on the host-level is separate from the regular test results, the Graphics Analyzer supports importing of external data (CSV format). By combining data from the guest level (gathered by the Login VSI Graphics Framework) with the host level data and endpoint device level performance metrics (which can be imported in the Graphics Analyzer), full insight can be generated about the performance from end to end.

graphics workload vdi analyzer

Login VSI GFX Workload Analyzer - Framerate (FPS)

graphics workload vdi analyzer external data

Login VSI GFX Workload Analyzer - External Data

Availability

With the Login VSI Graphics Framework, we’ve created a highly dynamic framework which can be customized to every end-user’s needs. By combining the end-user’s application, models and visualization styles, any scenario can be tested in a GPU-enabled virtual desktop environment.

Interested in trying out the new Graphics Framework? Contact us for more information.

Tags: Features, Login VSI, Graphics Framework, Workloads, Product Updates

Popular Blogs

login-vsi-vdi-performance-summit

The VDI Performance Summit - Virtual Conference and Expo

Visit the VDI Performance Summit to gain knowledge and experience about performance and tuning VDI, improving End-User Experience and IT service. Join us at the ONLY virtual event 100% dedicated to VDI performance and tuning | May 2, 2019 This 1-day event offers key-notes presented by the best VDI performance experts in the world, technical and business oriented breakout sessions, the possibility to chat with experts directly to discuss your own situation, and a virtual exhibit hall featuring… Continue Reading

Scalability testing Parallels Remote Application Server with Login VSI

Recently I went to VMworld in Barcelona where Login VSI had a booth on the expo... While I can’t remember exactly how many conversations I had - there had been so many that I lost my voice on day one. What was new this year is that quite a few people asked if our software is compatible with the solutions from Parallels specifically their Remote Application Server (RAS) (Datasheet). Continue Reading
Login VSI Blog Article - Microsoft Windows 10 Default FTA Associations - Teaser Image

Windows 10 Default File Type Associations and Login VSI

When Login VSI 4.1 was released, the majority of desktops were running Windows 7 and life was easy. We’d set the default filetype for an application and it would simply work. The default and industry standard workloads in Login VSI include launching and using Adobe Reader as part of the virtual user simulation. Because Login VSI doesn’t always know which version of Adobe Reader is installed, or where it’s installed, the workload relies on the file type association (FTA) for .pdf documents to be… Continue Reading
Login VSI - Press Release - IGEL - Login VSI Partner to Optimize End User Computing Experience Image

[Press Release] IGEL Partners with Login VSI to Optimize the End User Computing Experience

Login PI enables organizations to better protect the performance and availability of their IGEL OS-powered virtual desktop environments San Francisco, USA, Feb. 6, 2019: IGEL, a world leader in software-defined endpoint optimization and control solutions for the secure enterprise, today announced that it is partnering with Login VSI, provider of software solutions to test and actively monitor the performance and availability of virtual desktop environments, including VDI and… Continue Reading
Login VSI - Blog - Login PI Blog Teaser Image - Windows Virtual Desktop: How To Monitor User Experience With Login PI

Windows Virtual Desktop – How to Monitor User Experience?

Microsoft has just announced the public preview of their new Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) offering at Microsoft Ignite on Tour in Amsterdam today. For those of you who’ve not followed the rumors or the private beta, here’s the outline... Continue Reading
Investigating Online Application Performance with Login PI

Investigating Online Application Performance with Login PI

As many companies do, we use a CRM system. Recently, I have been getting complaints about our cloud CRM system, Microsoft Dynamics, being slow. I tried to investigate this by shadowing one of our users to see what was wrong. As expected, everything was fast. 15 minutes later, the same user reported slowness again. How could I investigate this without bothering the users? Continue Reading
Cookie Settings