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In what ways can Virtualized GPUs help higher education?

9/12/2022 | Sean Mehrabi

With the increasing remote learning needs and students’ expectations for access to graphics-intensive applications, Entertainment Arts faculties must rethink how they deliver specific tools and compute power. 

By implementing the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with virtualized graphics processing unit (VGPU) cards, educational institutions can cost-effectively virtualize graphics-intensive applications and enable access from student devices from anywhere.


How VDI with Virtualized GPU Can Solve Higher Education’s Computing Challenges


Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a desktop delivery system that processes and stores desktop workload and data on a virtual machine. It allows users to access enterprise computer systems from their personal devices anytime, anywhere.  

A virtual Graphics Processing Unit (VGPU) is a processor that renders graphics on a virtual host server rather than on a physical endpoint device. The server can be hosted on the vendor’s cloud platform, allowing institutions to deliver superior performance to end users’ devices on demand. Depending on the unique business requirements and students’ needs, universities and colleges can optimize their VDI on a cloud platform of their choice, namely AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. 

With GPU virtualization, VDI can offload the graphic processing from users’ devices to the server. This is the optimal solution for students and staff members in the Entertainment Arts faculty who are challenged with running computer-aided design (CAD), gaming, and 3D graphics applications. Rich applications as such tend to require high bandwidth and high processing power, which cannot be adequately fulfilled in VDI without VGPU. A traditional VDI environment is limited to the power of the user’s physical devices or PCs. Physical setups incur a high physical footprint and are limited to one-to-one connection between user and machine. Users often experience underperformance or reduced feature sets on graphics-heavy applications. Furthermore, educational institutions might face scalability challenges in the future, having to maintain and update every physical workstation. 


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Benefits of VDI & VGPU  

Optimized performance 

VDI with virtualized GPU replaces the physical dedicated graphics workstations without comprising the user experience and the ability to render and process graphics-heavy workloads. A virtualized GPU can greatly improve the speed and performance of VDI. The system decreases CPU load on the end user’s device by offloading app rendering costs to the virtualized GPU. It also makes mobile broadband possible, allows for higher bandwidth, and provides more computing power for mobile devices.  

Improved security

VDI with virtualized GPU solution keeps information centrally hosted on the cloud. This system significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized data access since endpoint devices do not contain any corporate data. Software updates are also applied centrally, ensuring a reliable and consistent experience from any device upon login.  

Improved flexibility  

Host servers can support more users simultaneously in a virtualized environment. Students and faculty are no longer tied to a specific device or location. Instead, CAD users can run their applications smoothly without experiencing any underperformance from their own devices anytime, anywhere. Educational institutions can boost student retention by giving students the choice of when, where, and how they learn.  

The simplified total cost of ownership 

VDI with virtualized GPU enables IT departments to save money from running an on-premises VDI system, hardware upgrades, and administration efforts. Maintaining and updating one-off desktop fixes can be costly, time-consuming, and affect scalability later. In the long run, educational institutions minimize desktop operating costs by deploying low-cost zero-client VDI on the cloud. Having a consolidated pool of graphic processing power and data on the server, VDI with VGPU allows for the centralization of IT resources. This means easier system maintenance, more efficient resource allocation, and less IT administration effort. 

Use Case   

SEYA Group creates customer value by developing unique solution designs for clients with different business needs. We have a proven track record in providing a cost-efficient and performance optimization VDI solution to a client’s Entertainment Arts faculty. The institution was struggling with the expense of running graphics-heavy applications and 3D systems for its students. SEYA Group addressed the problem by deploying VDI through the AWS environment and a second cloud platform, Microsoft Azure. The solution successfully reduced the client’s management overhead costs by 65% per user. There is no cookie-cutter solution design for every enterprise. Depending on your unique business requirements, SEYA Group can develop a unique solution with your choice of infrastructure - on-premises, cloud, hybrid, or multi-cloud. We are not only cloud agnostic; we are tools agnostic as well. 


Any type of digital transformation for higher education may feel like a major undertaking. However, deploying a VDI with virtualized GPU is an imperative strategy for Media and Entertainment Arts educational sector to build competitive advantages. Make the decision today to empower your students who specialize in animation, VFX, and game development, with the autonomy to choose their own way of learning and working.  

Game development, animation, and VFX from anywhere!








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