Virtualization reaches the (NVIDIA) display card

nvidia logo

Sooner or later even the the graphic cards had to be virtualized.

To achieve the task three components are needed: a chipset providing some sort of I/O virtualization technologies, a virtualization platform that can support it, and a display card that can handle the requests to access its GPU coming from different virtual machines at the same time.

The first three companies that made this possible are Intel, which provides the I/O virtualization technology (VT-d), Parallels, which provides the platform (Workstation) and NVIDIA which provides the GPU (Quadro with SLI Multi-OS).

Intel announced the new Xeon 5500 series (codenamed Nehalem) with Intel VT-d technology.
NVIDIA announced the SLI Multi-OS technology as part of the new Quadro FX 3800, 4800 and 5800 cards. 
Parallels announced the upcoming availability of a new edition of Workstation 4.0 called Extreme which supports both Intel VT-d and NVIDIA Multi-OS.


Parallels reports that the VMs using this technologies will score between 95% and 100% of native graphic performance.

The first graphic workstation to have all the three components in mid-May will be the new HP Z800.