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AiThority Interview with Anne Hecht, Sr. Director Product Marketing (GPU Virtualization Software Products) at NVIDIA

Hi Anne, please tell us about your role and the team/ technology you handle at NVIDIA.

As the product marketing leader for NVIDIA’s GPU virtualization software products, I work with our product team to develop virtualized computing and server solutions.

This involves bringing to market virtual desktop solutions for enterprise IT departments that can help knowledge workers, creative and technical professionals do their work virtually, on any connected device. NVIDIA offers solutions that accelerate any application and support platforms from the edge, data center, hybrid cloud or public cloud.

Now more than ever there is a greater need for mobility as employees must be able to work remotely from anywhere. NVIDIA’s virtualization technology helps companies onboard employees quickly by provisioning virtual desktops in minutes with the applications they need to be immediately productive and keep information safe.

What is the current definition of Virtualization?

Virtualization is the act of creating a virtual version of something such as hardware like servers, storage devices or networking resources. Basically it makes software look and conduct like hardware. Server virtualization and virtual desktop (VDI) is not new; it’s been relied on by cloud data centers for many years because it enables improved utilization, manageability and security.

Virtual GPU software from NVIDIA enables a software defined GPU so each virtual machine (VM) can benefit from GPU acceleration, improving performance and the user experience. A physical device such as a smartphone, PC and desktop are designed with graphics processing capabilities. A VM can also have graphics processing capabilities with the addition of a virtual GPU. NVIDIA offers virtualization products for both server virtualization and virtual desktop (VDI), also referred to as virtual client computing.

In a VDI environment powered by NVIDIA virtual GPU, the NVIDIA virtual GPU software is installed at the virtualization layer along with the hypervisor. The NVIDIA virtual GPU software creates virtual GPUs that enable every virtual machine (VM) to share a physical GPU installed on the server or allocate multiple GPUs to a single VM to power the most demanding workloads. Because work that was typically done by the CPU is offloaded to the GPU, the user has a much better experience, and demanding engineering and creative applications can be supported in a virtualized and cloud environment.

How is GPU virtualization pushing the boundaries of Enterprise IT infrastructure management during the pandemic crisis?

NVIDIA customers who had already invested in GPU virtualization quickly realized that their employees could immediately work from home. They simply accessed their VM from home and were able to continue with critical work. Even engineers, architects and product designers who require a powerful virtual workstation were able to stay productive because they had GPU accelerated virtual workstations.

We’ve also seen an increase in interest from enterprises now evaluating flexible digital workspaces.

For some of these enterprises, they are considering virtualization and Cloud-based solutions for the first time, since they can be managed remotely by IT and accessed from anywhere by employees.  Also, one of the benefits of NVIDIA’s virtual GPU solutions is that it can support both compute and graphics workloads, from VDI to AI. Since it leverages NVIDIA’s data center GPUs including the T4 and V100, the infrastructure investment can be used to also run AI and machine learning if, in the future, resources are freed up when employees return to the office.

What is the technology plank driving your partnership with SUSE and VMware? Could you tell us how the alliance holds the key to ‘future of remote IT management’ and networking? 

NVIDIA GPUs are becoming more mainstream in the data center and, as a result, the IT team expects to manage them with the same tools they use across the rest of their data center. By working with partners like SUSE, Red Hat, Citrix and VMware, NVIDIA is able to support the data center platforms and tools IT has already been relying on.

Read Also: Top 4 Workplace Challenges In The Post COVID-19 Era

With GPU virtualization, IT can provision a virtual workstation VM with GPU acceleration to a user in minutes. As well, multiple VMs can be supported on a single GPU for lighter workloads and for graphics intensive workloads a single VM can leverage multiple GPUs, so by managing GPU resources from the data center, they can be optimized based on the needs of the user.

A COVID-19 business continuity advice

Businesses should consider virtualization with GPU support, as one of the agile solutions to enable business continuity and improved employee productivity. GPU virtualization is able to support multiple business goals such as virtual desktops for employees at home as well as data science and AI research teams which provide investment protection.

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Thank you, Anne! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

Anne Hecht is the senior director of product marketing for GPU virtualization software at NVIDIA.

Anne leads the product marketing team for virtual client computing and server virtualization solutions.

Previously, Anne held senior positions in product marketing, solutions marketing and corporate marketing at enterprise technology firms Sun Microsystems, NComputing, ForgeRock, and Agari.

Anne has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

NVIDIA Corporation is an American multinational technology company incorporated in Delaware and based in Santa Clara, California.


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