15 Replies Latest reply on Sep 17, 2018 12:30 PM by Tanner Knight

    Does Solidworks support VDI Type Workstations

    Wayne Schafer

      Our IT guys informed me that they are testing solildworks on a VDI setup.  Has anyone doing this and does solidworks support such a setup?

        • Re: Does Solidworks support VDI Type Workstations
          Frederick Law

          Usually not a good idea.

          CAD programs are usually CPU and GPU intensive.  Also highly interactive.  Any network problem will be amplified.

          Make sure they test with the largest assembly you can find.  Not just if SWX open and close on VDI.

          • Re: Does Solidworks support VDI Type Workstations
            Piotr Szulta

            From my experience - We are not there yet. it's gonna work, but not gonna work well.


            … but this is very close future.

            • Re: Does Solidworks support VDI Type Workstations
              Wayne Schafer

              Just in case some may not know what VDI stands for it means Virtual Desktop Infrastructure according to my IT guys.  They are trying to justify it as a cost savings.

              • Re: Does Solidworks support VDI Type Workstations
                Glenn Schroeder

                I'd never heard of it, but I Googled it and found an article explaining it.  Below is a portion that I copied and pasted.  None of that gives me warm fuzzy feelings thinking about trying to use it with Solidworks.  Some of it reminds me of the nightmare we're dealing with here with storing files on Laserfiche.


                Drawbacks of VDI

                The cost savings associated with endpoint hardware can disappear quickly, however, after factoring in IT infrastructure expenses.

                Storage in particular can make VDI cost prohibitive. When a desktop runs locally, the operating system, applications, data and settings are all stored on the endpoint. There is no extra storage cost; it's included in the price of the PC. With persistent VDI, however, the OS, applications, data and settings for every single user must be stored in the data center. Capacity needs, and the cost required to meet them, can quickly balloon out of control.

                Converged infrastructure and hyper-converged infrastructure products, which bundle storage, servers, networking and virtualization software -- often specifically for VDI deployments -- have emerged to help address the scalability and cost challenges associated with virtual desktop infrastructure.

                VDI's reliance on network connectivity presents another challenge. Users can't access their virtual desktops without a network connection, and weak connectivity can hinder desktop performance. This problem is especially common with graphics-intensive applications and other software with high processing demands.

                In addition, VDI can complicate software licensing and support. Nonpersistent VDI especially causes issues, because some licensing and support agreements do not allow for software to be shared among multiple devices and/or users.

                • Re: Does Solidworks support VDI Type Workstations
                  Alex Taguchi

                  Wayne, you're not alone out there in the SOLIDWORKS VDI world. We have used it fairly extensively ourselves and have supported many customers who have been using VDI and there are many drawbacks but there are some very critical benefits (like security and IT hardware lifecycle reasons) that it makes it very appealing to IT groups. We have recently moved away from self-hosted VDI servers to cloud services, which work much better for our use-case.


                  We have seen a shift in hosting your own virtual server to paying someone else to do this for you through a cloud service like Frame or Paperspace(which make so much more sense in terms of ease-of-use and connectivity).


                  The problem with self-hosted VDI is the real-use requirements of SOLIDWORKS(especially visualize) have increased quite a bit like having 16GB RAM per session, 8 cores at 3+ghz, and 4GB of GPU VRAM that anything less will provide vastly inferior performance compared to a $2000 traditional desktop/laptop.


                  The other problem we had is that despite the advances in recent CPU and GPU density, we could not realistically get more than 8 session on a box if we wanted to maintain a certain level of performance(even though the newest Tesla's can do 24 sessions in theory).


                  Third problem is finding a hardware vendor who has built these servers for SOLIDWORKS use specifically is very difficult. We really only found one that had extensive expertise in this field, and that was Ciara Tech.

                  • Re: Does Solidworks support VDI Type Workstations
                    Tanner Knight

                    EpiGrid Has been hosting fully GPU-enabled Workstations in the Cloud for a while now. The NVIDIA Tesla GPU architecture makes it all possible. This is actually a solution that has been deployed to several companies, large and small, with more investing in Cloud-VDI workstations each week.


                    Although it hasn't been shouted from the rooftops, SOLIDWORKS has quietly been embracing Cloud solutions, and EpiGrid's Cloud-hosted VDI is one everyone is excited about.