A Performance Comparison of VMware GPU Virtualization Techniques in Cloud Gaming
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Cloud gaming is an application deployment scenario which runs an interactive gaming application remotely in a cloud according to the commands received from a thin client and streams the scenes as a video sequence back to the client over the Internet, and it is of interest to both research community and industry. The academic community has developed some open-source cloud gaming systems such as GamingAnywhere for research study, while some industrial pioneers such as Onlive and Gaikai have succeeded in gaining a large user base in the cloud gaming market. Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) virtualization plays an important role in such an environment as it is a critical component that allows virtual machines to run 3D applications with performance guarantees. Currently, GPU pass-through and GPU sharing are the two main techniques of GPU virtualization. The former enables a single virtual machine to access a physical GPU directly and exclusively, while the latter makes a physical GPU shareable by multiple virtual machines. VMware Inc., one of the most popular virtualization solution vendors, has provided concrete implementations of GPU pass-through and GPU sharing. In particular, it provides a GPU pass-through solution called Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA) and a GPU-sharing solution called Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration (vSGA). Moreover, VMware Inc. recently claimed it realized another GPU sharing solution called vGPU. Nevertheless, the feasibility and performance of these solutions in cloud gaming has not been studied yet. In this work, an experimental study is conducted to evaluate the feasibility and performance of GPU pass-through and GPU sharing solutions offered by VMware in cloud gaming scenarios. The primary results confirm that vDGA and vGPU techniques can fit the demands of cloud gaming. In particular, these two solutions achieved good performance in the tested graphics card benchmarks, and gained acceptable image quality and response delay for the tested games.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
SupervisorMakaroff, Dwight; Eager, Derek
CommitteeStanley, Kevin; Spiteri, Raymond J.; Teng, Daniel
Copyright DateMarch 2016