Windows virtual server with a graphics card on board

The virtual server has long ceased to be something IT-shny and increasingly people are interested in this service with completely different and everyday work tasks: from placing accounting programs to programs for automating routine SEO tasks, from game servers to the games themselves (the most modern! ), from a common file server of a small organization to full-fledged remote desktops of large companies.

It’s not at all necessary to play games to require a video card, now the resources of video cards are actively used by developers of popular software: any modern browser will render pages of sites much faster if it can use a graphics accelerator, not to mention the fact that 3D games can be in themselves Browsers that run on the WebGL platform.

The ability to virtualize video card resources is not new and is present in all popular environments: Hyper-V, KVM, XEN, VirtualBox and its own environment from the most popular chipset manufacturer - NVIDIA GRID.

In this article we will talk about RemoteFX - the capabilities of video cards on virtual servers running Hyper-V, it is on this platform that they work on with professional-level video cards NVIDIA Quadro P6000 .

As a simple demonstration, we’ll conduct a test taking a VPS configuration with 2 processor cores and 2 GB of RAM with and without a 256 MB virtual graphics card . In both cases, we will open in Web Explorer an example on WebGL of the same page .

The result is on the virtual server where the video card is installed:

If you remove the video card from the same server:

So, with the video card we get 42 frames per second, without it - only 3 frames , which the processor desperately renders.

Windows 10 PRO was used as the guest operating system, because, unfortunately, in the server version of Windows 2016, browsers do not start using the graphics accelerator, despite the fact that it is actually present.

RemoteFX technology was first introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and included some basic features:

  • RemoteFX vGPU - allows you to distribute the resources of a physical video card into several virtual instances, so the real 3D-rendering using the graphics adapter appeared on Hyper-V virtual machines.
  • RemoteFX USB Redirection - support for redirecting USB devices to virtual machines, which allowed the use of various peripherals connected to thin clients
  • RemoteFX Codec - a codec for compressing and transmitting high-definition video and text that does not require special equipment and uses exclusively processor resources

Despite the features described above, RemoteFX did not gain popularity due to the extremely limited resources that could be assigned to a virtual machine, with the release of Windows Server 2012 , many additional functions appeared:

  • Adaptive Graphics RemoteFX is a graphic connector that dynamically adapts to various working conditions: the type of transmitted graphic content, the available processing power of the processor, the speed of the Internet channel between the server and the client, as well as the rendering speed on the client side.
  • RemoteFX for WAN - a series of modifications at the network level to support UDP and ensure a stable connection in both WAN and wireless networks
  • RemoteFX Multi-Touch - allows you to use touchscreens on thin clients and transfer up to 256 points of simultaneous touch to the server
  • RemoteFX Media Redirection API - allowed VoIP applications to integrate with RemoteFX, providing rendering and transmission of video and audio content directly on the client side
  • GPU choice - all RemoteFX functions are available both using a graphics processor with a software emulator, and with a physical video card installed inside the server, which gives real hardware acceleration
  • RemoteFX vGPU Added DirectX 11 Support

However, the real breakthrough in the widespread use of virtual graphics cards on servers running Hyper-V occurred only with the release of Windows Server 2016 , which allows you to explicitly set the allocated amount of video memory to the virtual server ( VPS ), and the volumes themselves have grown significantly (up to 1GB per instance), updated The RemoteFX Media Streaming protocol began to work for all types of media content and completely replaced the previously used MMR (Multi Media Redirection) protocol. In addition, there was support for OpenGL 4.4 and OpenCL 1.1 API on a virtual machine using the RemoteFX adapter. VPS video card performance test in the popular FurMark benchmark. Connected to a modern VDS

(virtual server) video card running Windows Server 2016 turns it into a full-fledged home PC. This operating system has a familiar user interface, not much different from Windows 10. On this server, you can freely run almost any software and solve the most versatile tasks.

Without long expectations, the heaviest graphical applications are launched. An example of how Autodesk 3ds Max 2019 works on a virtual server And of course, modern games, in Battlefield 1 the video game will be as smooth as if you launched it on your home PC (with a good Internet connection):

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