NVIDIA GRID VCA: Using SolidWorks in the Cloud

NVIDIA GRID VCA: Using SolidWorks in the Cloud
Posted in: Mechanical Design
January 24, 2014

It was 12:30AM, and I was on my way home from an indoor soccer game. (I know what’s going through your mind: “Why is this guy playing soccer at 12:30AM?” Well…it’s just the way this league works – and yes, it makes it tough to be at work at 8AM the next day.)  Anyways, before hitting the hay I decided to check my email.

What did I find? Only an SOS from one of our Simulation customers. They had a design review at 9AM, their simulation wouldn’t run and they were hoping I could get it working so that they would have something to show at their meeting. No problem!  Still wired from soccer, I had a couple hours until I’d be ready to go to sleep. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my laptop home with me. Now what? Should I just drive to the office?

Luckily this wasn’t the first time I’d run into this issue, so a few years ago I worked with my IT to give me access to my work computer through remote desktop. I wouldn’t say it was the best experience; the mouse was laggy and the graphics were nonexistent, but it worked. Later they put the kibosh on that due to security and I got around it with LogMeIn (please don’t tell them).  The experience was a little bit better on the graphics side, more accessible because I could use my iPhone but still just usable. If I got desperate or I didn’t leave my computer on at work, I used Parallels or Bootcamp to run SolidWorks on my MacBookPro. I’m sure for many people this experience is ok, but for me the graphics, stability and performance are significantly less capable than my work computer.

But that was the past – now, we have NVIDIA GRID VCA. NVIDIA GRID VCA (Visual Computing Appliance) is a network appliance that lets me run SolidWorks over a network connection.


How does it work?

I download the client for MAC, I plug in my username, I plug in the IP address for the GRID in our datacenter and start my session. I now have access to SolidWorks and SolidWorks Simulation on Windows 7 x64 with 30GB of RAM, a 4GB NVIDIA Quadro graphics card, 8 virtual CPU cores and a solid state drive – basically what I have access to when I’m on my work computer.

But what about the mouse lag, and the graphics problems I had with the other solutions? Well, that’s one of the standout features of GRID VCA. Regardless of the fact that I’m using SolidWorks over an internet connection, the mouse is smooth and responsive just like it would be on my local system. And even with Real View, shadows, perspective and ambient occlusion on, the graphics when rotating components are smooth and accurate. Sometimes they’re even better than my work computer, which only has a 2GB graphics card.

In addition to giving you access to SolidWorks anywhere and anytime from a Windows, MAC or Linux system, GRID VCA also simplifies your ability to install, deploy, and maintain your SolidWorks installations, consolidate your SolidWorks capable hardware, and add additional security for your design data. If you have 8 or more SolidWorks users, NVIDIA GRID VCA is definitely worth a look. If you’re interested in learning more click here to register for our upcoming Webinar Wednesday eDemo on NVIDIA GRID VCA or click here to download the datasheet or to request a quote.

If you’re wondering whether I got the simulation completed by 9AM, of course I did. I had to fight through using SolidWorks with LogMeIn but was able to get it done. Now, when I run into these kinds of midnight SOS moments, I’m able to do things in less time and  frustration thanks to NVIDIA GRID VCA.

January 24, 2014
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Dan Bodenstein
July 12, 2019
Is NVIDIA Grid still a thing with Solidworks? I can't find any current references or support for it. Are there any newer, better remote solutions?

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