SAN JOSE: FLEDGLING SYSTEM BUILDER Nvidia said that customers that upgrade their Grid Visual Computing Appliance (VCA) will void its warranty.
Nvidia announced its Grid VCA server yesterday at its GPU Technology Conference (GTC) as a way for customers to stream workstation applications such as AutoCAD and Solidworks to Apple Macs and relatively low specification workstations. However the firm said today that those who buy Grid VCA servers and upgrade the hardware will void the warranty.
Jeff Brown, GM of Nvidia's Professional Solutions Group, said that the firm will sell the Grid VCA to be treated "as an appliance". When Nvidia or any other hardware vendor says something will be treated as an appliance it usually means that customers simply buy the machine, install it and perhaps pay a subscription fee without being able to open the box.
Brown said that while customers will invalidate their warranty if they upgrade a Grid VCA system, "Nvidia wouldn't be draconian" about clamping down on firms that upgrade the Intel Xeon chips or RAM that comes in the servers. He did confirm that customers that opt-in to any monitoring services that phone home to Nvidia will not see it sending kill messages to shutdown machines that have been modified.
According to Brown, the reason Nvidia discourages users from modifying the Grid VCA's hardware configuration is that the operating specifications for the system fall within a very narrow band. Brown's statements might sound suspicious but given his other claims about how the firm built the hypervisor from the ground up, Nvidia's stance could mean that Grid VCA customers will stick with what they buy rather than try to get increased performance by upgrading the hardware themselves.
Brown said that Nvidia will release additional Grid VCA servers in the future and their hardware specifications will incorporate changes as a result of its GPU roadmap. µ
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