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G-cluster avoids Nvidia Grid VCA to remain hardware agnostic

Uses whatever kit is best for the job
Thu Apr 04 2013, 11:20
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CLOUD GAMING PROVIDER G-cluster said it doesn't need cloud rendering appliances like Nvidia's Grid VCA server because it is hardware agnostic.

G-cluster's cloud gaming service is sold to telecoms operators rather than to customers directly. The firm claims to be one of the most popular services and was one of the launch partners for AMD's Radeon Sky rendering cards last week. The firm told The INQUIRER that its policy of remaining hardware agnostic means that machines such as Nvidia's Grid VCA server are not of interest to it.

Nvidia's Grid VCA server is the chip designer's first hardware product that requires customers to sign a software licensing deal that also restricts what changes the customer can make to the hardware. For G-cluster, and presumably other similar cloud rendering gaming firms, being tied down to a single hardware vendor let alone a single configuration, makes such servers - or "appliances" as Nvidia prefers - not particularly attractive.

G-cluster SVP of strategy and content Sevan Kessissian told The INQUIRER that Nvidia's Grid VCA server isn't a big deal for the company. He said, "It doesn't matter for us, because the choice we made from a technology standpoint is to make sure our solution and our platform is agnostic in the sense that it can work on almost any hardware, and we actually combine solutions from different hardware providers."

Kessissian explained that from a system standpoint, it's all about the total amount of computing power and how that is divided up among users, or in the case of G-cluster, gamers. Kessissian said, "The only thing that matters is what is the platform and what is the processing power you have available and how do you share your installed base with the processing power you have available."

However Kessissian gave credit to Nvidia's Grid products, which include cloud rendering cards, adding that the firm has been working with other big names to implement its cloud gaming infrastructure. He said, "You have different options and of course before the Nvidia Grid announcement there was not any industry standard for cloud gaming and we have been working with many industry partners, IBM is one of them."

Kessissian's comments might be specific to G-cluster but given that industry vendors tend to copy each other in terms of hardware deployment practices, Nvidia could find it hard to sell its locked-down Grid VCA server. However the chip designer might find somewhat more success selling its standalone Grid cards to firms like G-cluster that prefer not to be tied to a particular hardware vendor. µ


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