ebb3: Fast Connection to Data is the Key to High Performance Virtual Computers

ebb3 launches high-performance virtual computers (HPVC) offerings, targeting those who need virtual workstations for graphics-intensive applications.


ebb3 launches high-performance virtual computers (HPVC) offerings, targeting those who need virtual workstations for graphics-intensive applications. ebb3 enters the virtualization market with high-performance virtual computers (HPVC), targeting those who need virtual workstations for graphics-intensive applications.

The diagram above explains ebb3's HPVC setup. The key to ebb3's solution is easy access to data. (Image courtesy of ebb3) The diagram above explains ebb3’s HPVC setup. The key to ebb3’s solution is easy access to data. (Image courtesy of ebb3)

Andy Bowker, executive founder of ebb3, believes proximity to data is the key to a good virtual machine experience.

“The company was born out of the realization that the data the workstations are expected to handle is rapidly growing,” he said.

In the IoT era, the increase use of sensors in connected devices is expected to generate large volumes of data. Furthermore, CAD and simulation software users are beginning to wrestle with significantly larger assembly files due to sheer complexity in products.

The data growth is happening at the same time people are exploring the use of virtual machines (VMs), delivered remotely through private and public clouds. With expandable computing infrastructure, VMs are an attractive solution to firms with evolving or inconsistent project needs. But the large-volume data transfer to and from the VMs is the Achilles heel. It could become a bottleneck to undermine the remote setup.

Bowker said, “If you’re a traditional organization where the data is your crown jewel, you probably have lots of it and the physical operation of moving the data into the cloud could be very disruptive—we’re talking about bringing servers offline in some cases.”

Adding a new twist and an extra letter to the widely used acronym HPC (high performance computing), ebb3 came up with an offering dubbed HPVC (high performance virtual computer). In ebb3’s HPVC setup, the data sits in close proximity to the computing resource (see chart above).

Bowker said, “Our virtual workstations communicate with your data at a 40GB, 80GB, up to 160GB per sec speed. We’re delivering a fantastic experience to locations like Las Vegas or San Jose. It’s worth noting that, in those cases, the mouse is effectively 8,000 kilometers (5,200 miles) away from the actual machine.”

ebb3 is located in Surrey, UK. According to Bowker, he and his colleagues demonstrated ebb3’s HPVC platform could deliver smooth, reliable remote computing from its London-based demo unit to thin clients and tablets as far away as San Jose and Las Vegas over a wireless network. “The Round trip click-to-pixel—or mouse-to-screen is therefore circa 16,000 km,” he pointed out.

ebb3’s technology partners include NVIDIA and Citrix, both formidable players in the virtualization market. NVIDIA offers GPU-powered VM-hosting solutions, which address the needs of engineers, designers, digital artists, and animators who work with graphics-intense software applications. Citrix’s XenDesktop is a leading VM-enabling software component.

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Kenneth Wong

Kenneth Wong is Digital Engineering’s resident blogger and senior editor. Email him at [email protected] or share your thoughts on this article at digitaleng.news/facebook.

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