Nvidia announcements are coming thick and fast, and while most of us won't benefit from their new Network GPU Appliance, it does look like an ideal product for medium to large facilities that need to have GPU power available on-tap
What Nvidia describes as "the industry's first visual computing appliance" is a large collection of GPUs configured to run stand-alone (with the help of two Xeon processors) and on a network.
So while you won't be playing any video games with this set-up, what you can certainly do is palm your rendering tasks off to this network resource. You'll be sharing it with your colleagues but that's what it's designed for. It's highly scalable, as well, just by adding new appliances.
It's not just rendering, either: any graphically or computationally intensive task where the network is fast enough can be farmed out to the Nvidia devices.
Just in case you were thinking of getting one for putting in your garage and making available to all your computers at home, the price is not exactly designed to fit a domestic budget. But at around the cost of a medium-sized car, this should appeal to businesses who will easily be able to calculate the cost vs the benefits.
GRID VCA Configurations
|16 thread CPU
|32 thread CPU
|Number of Users
|up to 8 concurrent
|up to 16 concurrent
Nvidia has already certified its Grid Visual Computing Appliance for use with software by Adobe Systems Incorporated and Autodesk.
From the user's point of view, the system appears as an icon on their desktop, representing a virtual machine called a "workspace". These can be added and deleted according to the demands of their project.