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SGI Delivers Powerful Collaborative Visualization with Visual Area Networking

Published
  • May 25 2004, 1:00am EDT

Silicon Graphics announced that as part of its commitment to address the demand for powerful collaborative visualization, visual area networking (VAN) is now available with high performance support for Silicon Graphics Onyx4 UltimateVision systems using OpenGL Vizserver 3.3.

As the first commercial solution for high performance remote visualization and collaboration, SGI's proven solutions now provide nearly 200 VAN server installations and thousands of clients with instant, visual access to large data sets independent of the location of the data or person accessing it. VAN users and collaborative teams now achieve up to three times the interactive performance - increasing realism, insight and productivity.

Raising the bar again, SGI has increased the performance and interactivity available to remote users and multi-user collaborative teams, enabling them to visually analyze complex data sets and reach decisions faster than ever before. The combination of OpenGL Vizserver 3.3 with Onyx4 and the new Scalable Graphics Capture card can now deliver full screen visual results to remote clients at up to 30 frames per second, with some scientific visualization and engineering analysis applications able to achieve as high as 60 frames per second for full screen results.

Illustrating the benefits of OpenGL Vizserver 3.3 with Onyx4, is WestGrid, a $48 million grid computing infrastructure project that provides high performance computing, networking, and collaboration tools to seven institutions in western Canada. WestGrid is dramatically advancing the visualization capability delivered to the researcher's desktop using an 8-pipe Silicon Graphics Onyx4 as a VAN server at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver, B.C.

"We are excited by the level of visualization capability this allows us to deliver to the desktop of our computational community," explains Brian Corrie, collaboration and visualization coordinator for WestGrid. "We are able to deliver very data-intensive interactive, collaborative visualizations between researchers in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, and Banff - a distance of more than 800 kilometers."

For over three years, customers around the world have turned to SGI's VAN solutions to help accelerate their large data visualization workflows. These customers use VAN to virtualize visual access to their large data sets, eliminating time lost to data copying and improving analysis power. They are able to use their existing OpenGL applications on remote systems and with remote collaborators, unifying distributed teams with the common language of visualization.

Another part of VAN's appeal stems from its ability to support cross platform clients. Users of laptops, PC's and workstations running the Windows or Linux operating system, Sun Solaris and IRIX can access scalable visualization resources and collaborate together even if their application of choice only runs on the IRIX server. As a result, heterogeneous clients can all see the same results and share control of the same application.

Since its inception, VAN usage has crossed over traditional computing and industry boundaries. VAN enables users and teams in industries as diverse as manufacturing, government research & defense, grid, education and health care to improve visual access and collaboration with large data sets. With energy and pharmaceutical customers joining the VAN movement, the trend that binds them together is their need to visualize and collaborate on larger and larger business critical data sets.

The OpenGL Vizserver server software is available in different modules for Silicon Graphics Onyx family scalable visualization systems with a special value workstation package available for Silicon Graphics workstations. Client software for Windows, Linux, Solaris and IRIX operating systems are freely downloadable from www.sgi.com.

 

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