Remotely Access and Share 3D-Accelerated Applications April 21, 2008,
Volume 122, Issue 4
Our main goal for Shared Viz 1.1 was to make installation, configuration, and start-up simple and bullet-proof.
-- Linda Fellingham, Sun
Sun Shared Visualization v1.1 is a unique visualization middleware that "virtualizes" visualization by treating the graphics hardware resources as a resource pool and dynamically assigning them to either sharing or scaling or both. Users on a variety of platforms can transparently view and interact with 3D-accelerated applications, which can run on a central resource with very large shared memory, lots of CPUs, many high-performance graphics cards and/or high-performance, high-capacity storage.
This newly released version improves performance and ease of use. "Our main goal for Shared Viz 1.1 was to make installation, configuration, and start-up simple and bullet-proof," shared Sun's Linda Fellingham in the Visualize This blog. "I think we've got it! We've finally got it!" She explained simply that the software, which is based on VirtualGL 2.1, is used to separate the display client from the application and render server.
Improvements in version 1.1 include automation in configuring a VGL server and in connecting and using the VGL image transport; improved Solaris Operating System (Solaris OS) and Turbo VNC performance; and expanded stereo support along with additional compression modes.
Accelerated remote graphics display: Render using graphics accelerator hardware, then distribute compressed images to the user, rather than sending the (larger, uncompressed) graphics command stream
Collaboration: Allows simultaneous viewing of a single or multiple applications by multiple users on separate clients, speeding time to solution.
Optimized image compression: Image CODEC (compression/decompression) uses available media
instructions (SPARC Vis instructions, x86 SSE instructions)
Secure, image-based remote graphics transfer: Only images are transported from application server to clients so customers data is kept safe and secure in data center.
Advanced OpenGL features: Stereo and transparent overlays are usable (if the client supports them), meaning that full capability of the application is available to the remote client.
3D graphics acceleration for Sun Ray clients: This feature extends the benefits of the Sun Ray to 3D application users. Remote graphics from the application on a graphics server can be decompressed and displayed by the Sun Ray desktop unit.
Control over quality/performance trade-off: users can interact with datasets at high performance levels and then switch to high image quality to zero in on a particular area-of-interest.
Resource Allocation: Extends the Sun Grid Engine to allocate graphics resources as well as compute resources. To take advantage of this feature, the Sun Grid Engine needs to be installed. It is licensed separately.
Advance Reservation System: Allow users to reserve graphic resources for specific interactive viewing times. The Sun Grid Engine software will also allocate the remaining graphic resources to other jobs. Therefore, large data sets can be reserved for viewing when individuals are available, which saves utilizing the system when not in view and overall costs.
In essence, companies using Sun Shared Visualization will be able to more effectively share compute and graphics resources while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) by storing the data on graphics servers and accessing it from wide variety of clients. By centralizing data on servers, maintenance and management costs can be lowered as can costs for client hardware, longevity can be improved and data secured more effectively. All of this can be had while enabling enterprise-wide and global collaboration as well as reducing the time it takes to get the desired end-result.
Sun Shared Visualization software can be downloaded and used at no cost. If assurance and support is needed, Sun does offer licensing and support plans for purchase.
Technical specifications are available from the Sun Visualization System of which Sun Shared Visualization software is a part, as is Sun Scalable Visualization software .