Update on NVIDIA GRID vGPU Licensing – FAQs – May 2016

Answer ID 4183
Published 06/29/2016 01:56 PM
Updated 09/22/2016 01:12 PM

Update on NVIDIA GRID vGPU Licensing - FAQs - May 2016

When should a customer buy perpetual licenses vs. an annual subscription?

The annual subscription is the easiest model for customers and NVIDIA. It guarantees that customers have access to all of the latest upgrades along with support and maintenance. Customers can buy up to 3 years of annual subscription upfront.

Customers who are not in favor of an annual subscription can still purchase the perpetual license. The first year of Support, Updates and Maintenance Subscription (SUMS) is required as part of this license, and additional years of SUMS must be purchased for access to product updates, support and maintenance.

Do I need to buy SUMS with an annual subscription?

No, the annual subscription comes with support, updates and maintenance included. With everything combined into one SKU this is the easiest and most cost effective model for customers.

What happens if I do not renew an annual subscription?

The annual subscription includes the customer's entitlement to the NVIDIA GRID license for the duration of the subscription. If the subscription is not renewed, the license will expire, and they will no longer be able to access the GRID features that are included as part of that entitlement. With the purchase of an annual subscription, the license is enabled for 13 months to allow for a 1 month grace period.

How do I deploy licenses to my VMs?

When a customer purchases NVIDIA GRID licenses, they will receive a Product Activation Key (PAK) with their license entitlement. Licenses are downloaded using the PAK from the NVIDIA Licensing Portal and installed onto a license server. The VMs connect to the license server through network (external or customer's internal network) to check out these licenses. The VM will run even if they are not able to connect to the license server or there is a shortage of licenses.

What happens if I run out of licenses?

Even if a customer exceeds their purchased licenses, VMs leveraging a GRID vGPU profile with continue to function. Customers should track their usage of licenses, and if they are consistently using more licenses than they have purchased, they should purchase additional licenses to ensure they remain compliant with the EULA. New licenses can be added to the license server at any time.

What happens if the license server breaks?

While VMs continue to check for licenses from the license server, the license is not required for a VM to run. If the license server breaks or is not accessible the VM will still run as with full GRID functionality.

How do customers report on total licenses used?

License use is monitored in the license server and current licenses usage is reported. In the future, we will evolve this into usage recording over a period of time and reporting. If a customer is often reaching full license utilization, they can use vCenter or XenCenter to see how many active VMs are running using a GRID profile. If this exceeds the number of licenses they own, they should purchase additional licenses to remain compliant with the EULA.

Does the license server require a full physical server?

No. The GRID license server can be installed on a VM on an existing server. This license VM can run on a GRID server or, more commonly, on an existing license server used for other software products.

What is NVIDIA GRID Virtual Applications?

GRID Virtual Applications entitles users to host virtual RDSH applications with GPU acceleration and entitles licensed users to be able to access unlimited virtual applications, hosted on multiple servers running on top of Tesla M6 or M60 GPUs.

How is licensing allocated for GRID Virtual Applications?

This is licensed per concurrent user, the same as all editions of GRID.

How is licensing enforced?

Licensing is enforced through the EULA. Like the other GRID products, licenses will not have hard enforcement. Unlike the other editions of GRID, there is no check in and check out functionality with GRID Virtual Applications licenses, which means customers must track their own usage to ensure compliance with the EULA. It is recommended that customers purchase a license for every concurrent user who accesses a GRID-enabled XenApp (or other RDSH solution) server. Additionally tools like Citrix Load Evaluator can be used to track XenApp usage over time and help size a given environment.

How do customers decide between Virtual Applications and Virtual PC?

These products server two different use cases, Virtual Applications is for customers deploying RDSH environments such as XenApp. This means they are deploying individual applications to the user without an OS wrapper. Application virtualization is generally limited in terms of customization and can be challenging if you need applications to smoothly interact with each other. Customers who deploy this way are often looking for the highest density, lowest cost option for virtualizing their users. GRID Virtual Applications allows you to provide graphics acceleration to the XenApp Server and then connect as many users as you want. This means you performance increases can vary greatly depending on how many users are accessing a single server.

Virtual PC is for desktop virtualization solutions such as XenDesktop or Horizon. In this model, organizations are virtualizing the entire desktop (OS, applications, permissions, etc.) and delivering a full virtual instance to the user. This means users can interact with it like it was a physical desktop, applying personal settings, downloading applications, etc. This model is used to provide the most native like experience to an end user. In this model we allocate specific vGPU profiles to each VM and can guarantee a certain level of experience because we prevent the IT administrator from overloading a host. Today we can fit up to 16 Virtual PC users per GPU.

What about customers who want both virtual desktops and applications?

Both GRID Virtual PC and GRID Virtual Workstation editions include entitlements to GRID Virtual Applications. A user can access GRID accelerated virtual applications as well as their GRID enabled virtual desktop with a single license. If a user wants to access graphics accelerated virtual applications from a non-GRID enabled desktop, they only need to purchase the GRID Virtual Applications license.

Can I deliver Quadro enabled applications with GRID Virtual Applications?

Quadro features are only available in the GRID Virtual Workstation edition. If customers want to deliver virtual applications with Quadro features enabled, they must purchase the GRID Virtual Workstation license per concurrent user.

Where is NVIDIA GRID software installed for RDSH applications?

There are 3 configuration modes supported by GRID Virtual Applications, these are all licensed per concurrent user.

  1. Bare metal (supported on M6 only): GRID software is installed in the OS loaded in the bare metal hardware configuration. Bare metal configuration on Tesla M6 GPU will be enabled with GRID 3.0 drivers. This will require a vBIOS from the OEM that will take a couple months to complete. Contact to PM team for more details.
  2. Passthrough: GRID software is installed in the VM assigned to the GPU in the 1:1 configuration
  3. GRID vGPU: GRID vGPU manager is installed in the hypervisor, and the GRID software is installed in the Guest OS in the vGPU VM

Can I run RDSH desktops with a GRID Virtual Applications license?

Yes, Hosted Shared Desktops on XenApp are supported using the GRID Virtual Applications license.

What RDSH solutions does this work with?

GRID Virtual Applications is suited for any RDSH hosting solution including Citrix XenApp, VMware Horizon Apps, etc., including session based desktops.

Relevant Products

NVIDIA GRID GPUs used for vGPU or GPU pass-through including M60, M6, M10, K1, K2 cards

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