A high-level ‘graphics acceleration’ comparison section has been added to the Desktop Virtualization category of the ‘Matrix’ (in addition to the previously covered aspects (all listed below).

Which vendor can provide software GPU, shared GPU or ‘GPU pass-through’ capabilities? What levels of OpenGL or DirectX are supported?
The comparison includes e.g. VMware’s vSGA, vDGA; Citrix XenDesktop’s HDX 3D Pro capabilities including vGPU support for NVIDIA’s Grid GPUs (K1 and K2) as well as Microsoft‘s RemoteFX capabilities.

To go directly to the “VDI Comparison View” on Virtualization Matrix – comment: link removed – comparison will be published on WhatMatrix soon

Update (01/03/14): Quick shout-out to “HDX Master” Thomas Poppelgaard from http://www.poppelgaard.com for pointing out the existence of the Citrix OpenGL Accelerator (his side contains tons of useful details on this area!) 

Update2 (08/03/14): Thanks to Rachel Berry from Citrix for pointing out this new blog article on clarifying the DirectX 9 software rasterizer in XD7.x in the standard VDA as well as the OpenGL Accelerator available for VDI-in-a-box, XenDesktop and XenApp.

Sample Screenshot  (subset only) – the matrix allows you to click on each field for further details
(Note that XenDesktop 7.5 is announced but the release date is expected to be in March 2014)

List of supported GPUs (AMD and NVIDIA)
(also contained in “details popup in the matrix):

VMware: Hardware and software requirements for running AMD and NVIDIA GPUs in vSphere 5.5

Microsoft: GPU Requirements for RemoteFX on Windows Server 2012 R2

Citrix: GPU Pass-Through HCL   and     Virtual GPU HCL

The section now compares the following high-level Desktop Virtualization “features” for Microsoft (Remote Desktop Services – RDS), Citrix (XenDesktop / XenApp), VMware (Horizon Suite) and Red Hat (VDI as part of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization):

  • Overview – High-level summary of the vendor’s desktop virtualization solution capabilities and packaging
  • Market Position – Vendor’s market position for VDI (either according to analysts or personal evaluation)
  • Solution Scalability – How large are typical deployments, what scalability limitations are documented
  • Complexity – How complex is the setup and management of the solution (impact on required skills)
  • Display Protocol(s) – What are the supported display protocols and associated capabilities?
  • “VDI” – Does the vendor provide capability to run hosted virtual desktops (HVD)
  • Hosted Sessions – Ability to provide Terminal Services like cababilities (SBC, RDS etc)
  • Graphics – General graphics related capabilities, hardware offload/redirection or other protocol capabilities
  • Software GPU – Ability to emulate GPU capabilities with specialized virtual hardware and drivers in the virtual machine – without the use of a fully capable physical graphics adapter (GPU) in the host system.
  • Shared GPU – The ability to share physical graphics adapters (GPUs) in the host to achieve advanced graphics
  • Dedicated GPU – The ability to dedicate a physical GPU to a user/vm
  • Endpoint Platforms – Supported platforms to run the client applications to connect to virtual desktops / Apps
  • Storage Optimization – Integrated storage technologies that e.g. reduce IOPS requirements for VDI
  • User Portal – Central (enterprise-class) portal capabilities that give users a single point of access
  • Persona & Layering – Integrated capabilities to manage apsects of user persona (profile management) and advanced layering technologies (compartmentalization of images into OS, app & persona layers)
  • DaaS – Desktop as a service (DaaS) capabilities enabled / offered by the vendor

“Detail Pop-up” sample (click on feature field in matrix)


### Archived Article – thanks to Andreas Groth – WhatMatrix Community Affiliate (originally published on Virtualizationmatrix.com) ###

The following two tabs change content below.
Open community of consultants and analysts, providing independent views on IT trends and products - free, trusted analysis from the community, for the community ...

Login to access your personal profile

Forgot your Password?
Signup with linkedin

Registered, but not activated? click here (resend activation link)

Login to access your personal profile

Receive new comparison alerts

Show me as community member

I agree to your Terms of services


Free Download


You are not logged In - What do you prefer?

I don't want to log in or register

Just send it to my email

I am already registered

Let me login

Let me join you!

Join us

Leave your email address

Privacy first! To provide you with this free report, we might share your email with our partners in the selected technology category and might contact you via email. Your data will be handled confidentially and will never be shared with anyone outside of this context.You can contact us any time to review or retract your details. By downloading the report, you consent to the above and our T&C’s.

Accept the T&C's

Thank You


Thank you - your downloadable file is ready for download