In our earlier research, we successfully managed to establish virtual workstation hosted by a notebook. Well, it's not an ordinary notebook. It's a HP Zbook 17 G6 mobile workstation. Even though the Zbook 17 G6 was introduced in mid 2019 by Hewlett Packard, it's not still performing strongly. The one we have here carries Quadro T1000 professional GPU from Nvidia. However, it's easy to equip the Zbook 17 G6 with more powerful desktop GPUs, using its Thunderbolt 3 port and an enclosure, just like we have here. But we would simply go with its built-in discrete graphics (Quadro T1000) so it will give much clearer picture of how this standard Zbook 17 G6 configuration would perform, providing enough power for 2 users simultaneously: its user and another remote user.
Not long ago, notebooks and mobile workstations were averagely carrying up to 4 cores with 8 threads and they were considered to be very powerful. The competition got even tighter right after AMD released their Ryzen 4000 mobile processors. Then everything seemed to be very interesting for most market. Notebooks started to get populated by more powerful CPUs. Intel on the other hand, didn't want to get left behind. More cores were being added and this was truly good for customers. Keep the story short, this HP Zbook 17 G6 is powered by Intel Core i7-9750H with 6 core. That means it's potentially carrying brute force to handle multitasking jobs. The term "multitasking" led us to the small research, allowing the Zbook 17 G6 to be operated by 2 users, simultaneously.
Virtual Workstation Showcase
If you are familiar with virtual machines, you may already know that virtual machines could be useful but it may not be as fast as the server as the host. Virtual machines could be used as clients, or even render nodes. But not for application that would rely on hardware acceleration, specially GPU acceleration, as many interface are simply emulations. That's why it's being called, "virtual" machine.
Encountering this boundary, we're so curious to see any potentials that could overcome this limitation. So we did our own research, supported by HP Indonesia, to look for possibilities to have "virtual workstation" that could be as powerful as the host, any HP Workstation or Mobile Workstation, that could lead the possibility to be operated by multiple users. And we finally managed to drive the hardware acceleration from the HP Zbook 17 G6 mobile workstation to the virtual workstation, allowing the virtual workstation to benefit all allocated hardware acceleration, including acceleration from Zbook 17's own Quadro T1000 or any Nvidia or AMD professional graphics. The research went well, as it also allowed us to share Nvidia's latest RTX A4000 as an external GPU (eGPU) using Thunderbolt 3 enclosure, to provide extreme acceleration to the virtual workstation.
The showcase here is done, by creating a virtual workstation using HP Zbook 17 G6 as the host, and also providing it's built-in discrete graphics, Quadro T1000, to deliver the graphics acceleration, and being accessed by a Lenovo P40 Yoga, while the Zbook 17 G6 is performing its own tasks without being bothered.
If you need further information or live demo about our virtual workstation that would allow you to use HP Workstation or HP Mobile Workstation as the host for the virtual workstation, feel free to fill the form IN THIS PAGE, to arrange an online demo and presentation, to help you reduce your investment and getting the most out of your HP Workstation investment.
Bimo Adi Prakoso, founder of Sentra Grafika Kompumedia, is an engineering-animation-broadcast industry professional and workstation evangelist. He's been in the Workstation industry since 1996, the era of SGI.