Remember the days when you needed to add a graphics card in your PC to support higher resolution displays? That is the idea behind a new add-in card from Teradici that is used to boost the performance of VDI implementations. One of the issues with VDI is that having multiple virtual machines come online at the same time (such as around 9 am, when everyone is coming to work and turning on their computers) can bog down a server. Not any longer.
The card, called the APEX 2800 and pictured above, plugs into any PCIe slot and runs some software drivers to talk to VMware vSphere 4.1, ESXi 5.0 and View 5.0. By offloading image encoding to a separate hardware encoding card, as much as 50% of, CPU capacity can be recovered, at least according to Teradici’s own tests. This means you can have each hypervisor serve up more virtual desktops. If you are running a lot of graphics-intensive VMs, such as Windows 7 with the aero interface enabled, you might want to look into this option. The card costs $2000 and is available from both HP and Dell online stores. The server offload card is compatible with all existing PCoIP clients and VMware View software clients.