With the arrival of NVv4 instances for Microsoft Azure, decision-makers in many industries and universities are asking themselves whether cloud-based virtualized desktops can meet their stringent requirements, both in terms of high productivity and financial feasibility.
With the further announcement of NVv4 certification by Autodesk for its AutoCAD, Revit, and Inventor applications, the answer is now a clear yes. After undergoing rigorous testing and detailed evaluation, IT managers and users have the assurance of reliability and the support from Autodesk they need to take their trusted workstation and desktop working environments to the Cloud. This certification is critical because it provides affirmation that NVv4 has been carefully evaluated by Autodesk and is fully supported meeting the expectations of Autodesk’s 3D CAD, AEC and VFX users.
So what is NVv4?
NVv4 instances for Azure are virtualization solutions that use the power of 2nd generation AMD EPYC processors and Radeon Instinct GPUs from the Cloud. The close, balanced interplay between these resources is the key to making cost-effective, fully cloud-based desktop environments capable of addressing the computing needs of a wide variety of workers, from those using everyday office productivity applications to full-blown high-performance workstation tools.
The Opportunity for Autodesk Workflows
The AutoCAD, Revit and Inventor applications from Autodesk require GPU support to deliver a smooth, reliable user experience. However, not all applications or use cases make use of the capabilities of a complete server GPU. In the past, this has been a limiting factor as the only available option was to dedicate an entire server GPU (often 16GB per user) in Azure to each user’s VM. This was an inefficient and costly approach, limiting server density. While the most demanding design visualization power users may very well require a full, dedicated GPU to support their workflow, a desktop user preparing technical publications may only require one-eighth of a GPU to have a great experience from the Cloud.
One of the significant innovations found in NVv4 is fractional GPU capability. Made possible by AMD’s implementation of SR-IOV technology in its Radeon Instinct GPUs, fractional GPU means that individual AMD GPUs in Azure NVv4 instances can be shared among multiple users. With NVv4, each individual user can enjoy an experience comparable to that which they would expect from a locally installed professional grade GPU including professional drivers, even when the GPU they access is shared among multiple users. Hardware resources are physically isolated, separating each VM from others even when a GPU is shared, which helps ensure security within the environment. Optimizations resulting from the collaborative effort of Microsoft, Autodesk, and AMD further underpin the powerful experience for the user.
Autodesk certification means the offer of full vendor support, regardless of the user’s location and the device being used. One need no longer be shackled to high-performance workstations: architects, designers, engineers and visual effects (VFX) experts can access their Autodesk tools whenever and wherever work or life takes them.
The certifications for 2019 and 2020 versions of AutoCAD, Revit and Inventor can be found here and are listed as "Radeon Instinct MI25 MxGPU". 2021 certifications are coming soon.
For more resources:
- NVv4 Microsoft GA blog: Link
- NVv4 pricing: Link
- AMD.com/Nvv4: Link
- NVv4 for Education: Link
- NVv4 for Design and Manufacturing: Link
- NVv4 for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC): Link
George Watkins is a Product Marketing Manager for AMD. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.