Jun 262024
vSphere 8U3 vGPU Mixed-Size Profiles

I’m happy to announce today that you can now deploy vGPU Mixed Size Virtual GPU types with VMware vSphere 8U3, also known as “Heterogeneous Time-Slice Sizes” or “Heterogeneous vGPU types”.

VMware vSphere 8U3 was released yesterday (June 26th, 2024), and brought with it numerous new features and functionality. However, mixed vGPU types deserves it’s own blog post as it’s a major game-changer for those who use NVIDIA vGPU for AI and VDI workloads, including Omnissa Horizon.

NVIDIA vGPU (Virtual GPU) Types

When deploying NVIDIA vGPU, you configure Virtual GPU types that provide Workstation RTX (vWS Q-Series), Virtual PC (vPC B-Series), or Virtual Apps (vApps A-Series) class capabilities to virtual machines.

On top of the classifications above, you also needed to configure the Framebuffer memory size (or VRAM/Video RAM) allotted to the vGPU.

Historically, when you powered the first VM, the physical GPU that provides vGPU, would then only be able to serve that Virtual GPU type (class and Framebuffer size) to other VMs, locking all the VMs on running on that GPU to same vGPU type. If you had multiple GPUs in a server, you could run different vGPU types on the different physical GPU, however each GPU would be locked to the vGPU type of the first VM started with it.

NVIDIA Mixed Size Virtual GPU Type functionality

Earlier this year, NVIDIA provided the ability to deploy heterogeneous mixed vGPU types through the vGPU drivers, first starting with the ability to run different classifications (you could mix vWS and vPC), and the later adding support for mixed-size frame buffers (example, mixing a 4Q and 8Q profile on the same GPU).

While the NVIDIA vGPU solution supported this, VMware vSphere did not immediately add support so it couldn’t take advantage of this until the new release of VMware vSphere 8U3, VMware vCenter 8U3, and VMware ESXi 8U3.

To configure different classifications (vWS mixed with vPC), it requires no configuration other than using a host-driver and guest-driver that support it, however to use different sized framebuffers, it needs to be enabled on the host.

To Enable vGPU Mixed Size Virtual GPU types:

  1. Log on to VMware vCenter
  2. Confirm all vGPU enabled Virtual Machines are powered off
  3. Select the host in your inventory
  4. Select the “Configure” tab on the selected host
  5. Navigate to “Graphics” under “Hardware”
  6. Select the GPU from the list, click “Edit”, and change the “vGPU Mode” to “Mixed Size”
Screenshot showing the "Graphics Properties" for GPU adapters on VMware ESXi 8U3 with the "vGPU Mode" set to "Mixed Size"

Once you configure this, you can now deploy mixed-size vGPU profiles.

When you SSH in to your host, you can query to confirm it’s configured:

[root@ESXi-HOST:~] nvidia-smi -q

    vGPU Device Capability
        Fractional Multi-vGPU             : Supported
        Heterogeneous Time-Slice Profiles : Supported
        Heterogeneous Time-Slice Sizes    : Supported
        vGPU Heterogeneous Mode           : Enabled

It’s supported, and enabled!

Additional Notes

Please note the following:

  • When restarting your hosts, resetting the GPU, and/or restarting the vGPU Manager daemon, the ESXi host will change back to it’s default “Same Size” mode. You will need to manually change it back to “Mixed Mode”.
  • When enabling mixed-size vGPU types, the number of some types of vGPU profiles may be reduced vs running the GPU in equal-size mode (to allow other profile types). Please see the additional links for information on Mixed-Size vGPU types inside the “Virtual GPU Types for Supported GPUs” link.
  • Only “Best Effort and “Equal Share” schedulers are supported with mixed mode vGPU. Fixed Share scheduling is not supported.
Jun 222024

I hope that you’ll have a chance to Join me at VMware Explore 2024 this year!

VMware Explore 2024, is being held at the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas, on August 26 to 29th, 2024.

Image showcasing that Registration is open for VMware Explore 2024

Register here for VMware Explore 2024!

VMware Explore is one of my favorite, and most important annual conferences for a number of reasons.


Through technology we make friends, connections, and friendships with those in our community. Chances are, you’ll see all your favorite people and that community, at VMware Explore.

You’ll have the chance to catch up with communities like VMUG (VMware User Group), the vExpert community, the vCommunity and I’m sure even some folks from World of EUC (like myself).

Additionally, you’ll get to network with like minded people passionate about the technology, experts in the field, and a diverse group of individuals from all over the world.


I can’t say how important the technical sessions are…

The sessions at VMware Explore help you learn in so many ways:

  • Learn about products you have interest in, but no experience
  • Learn more about the products you’re familiar with, become an expert!
  • Have a chat and dialogue with Product Managers, Presenters, and Staff about the solutions you work with, or are curious about
  • Catch up with and connect with experts (like vExperts)!

You can also save on certification by getting certified and taking exams at VMware Explore at a 50% discount!


As the President and Owner of Digitally Accurate Inc. (a VMware and Broadcom Partner), attending this conference is crucial as it allows me to connect with customers, vendors, and VMware/Broadcom staff.

Deals get done, laughs are had, and these interactions really help advance and move business forward.

You get to have fun

And don’t forget, this event is FUN! There’s numerous events and parties that are held by vendors and community programs (such as vCommunity, VMUG, and more).

I highly recommend you keep your eyes glued to Discord, Slack, E-Mails, and the web to find the invite links to all the parties. Ask around!

Join me at VMware Explore 2024

With all that said, I hope to see you there!

Follow these hashtags to stay up to date

  • #VMwareExplore
  • #VMwareExploreHOL
  • #VMwareExploreSelfie
  • #VMwareExploreParty

Follow the official VMware Explore Social Media pages

May 262024

When using Omnissa Horizon (formerly VMware Horizon), you may note that NVENC offload is disabled when using RDSH with NVIDIA vGPU. This may also affect other VDI and Application Delivery platforms that use RDSH (Remote Desktop Session Hosts) and NVIDIA vGPU (Virtual GPU).

One of the key benefits of deploying NVIDIA vGPU with Omnissa Horizon, is being able to use the NVIDIA NvENC (NVIDIA Encoder) to hardware encode your VDI session. This is also known as H264/H265/HEVC/AV1 offload.

This means that the encoding and compression of the remoted video session is handled by the GPU, instead of the CPU, freeing up resources on the VM guest and host, reducing latency with encoding, and also providing a much better user experience.

The Observation

When deploying NVIDIA vGPU with vApps and Horizon Apps, you’ll note the following in the VMware Horizon Performance Tracker:

VMware Horizon Performance Tracker on RDSH showing software encoder

You can see above that the “Encoder Name” is using “h264 4:2:0”. This means that the CPU Software Based encoder is handing the encoding of the H264 BLAST Session. While the environment is 3D accelerated, the remoting protocol encoding is not hardware offloaded.

You’ll also note the following:

  • VMware Horizon Agent High CPU Usage
  • “nvidia-smi” on the host and VM does not report the encoder being used

This behavior is as expected due to the inability of RDS session hosts to be able to utilize NvENC. RDSH hosts utilize a software framebuffer for user environment and desktop delivery which cannot be used with NVENC.

Solution and/or Workaround

To work around this limitation, you have the option of using VDI desktops (in this case it would be preferable to use non-persistent Instant Clones) to deploy an “Application Pool” with vGPU enabled VMs.

Note that this is a major change to your solution architecture because pushing applications (and desktops) from Windows 10 or Windows 11 Guest VMs is a 1 to 1 relation, versus RDSH which supports many users to one VM.

Using Horizon, you could then push applications (not desktops) from these vGPU enabled Instant Clones, which would support NVENC and hardware offload, as shown in the example below:

VMware Horizon Performance Tracker showing NVIDIA NvEnc Hardware encoder on instant clone

In the image above, you’ll note that the “Encoder Name” is “NVIDIA NvEnc HEVC 4:2:0” showing us that NvEnc hardware offload and encoding is functioning and being used.

Note, that using this method to deploy Horizon Apps will result in more framebuffer being required, however may be offset since a smaller framebuffer can be used with individual VMs versus a large framebuffer being assigned and attached to an RDSH host.

May 252024
VDI Gaming Demo with NVIDIA vGPU and Omnissa Horizon

Here’s a fun quick VDI Gaming Demo with NVIDIA vGPU and Omnissa Horizon 8, using an NVIDIA L4 GPU and the L4-12Q Profile.

This video is just for fun, and is just to show some of the capabilities of the technology, hardware, and software, in this case, with Cloud Gaming.

The NVIDIA vGPU solution provides the ability to “slice” and create multiple Virtual GPU (vGPU) devices for your Virtual Machines and Virtual workloads.

In this video:

  • Quick Introduction to NVIDIA vGPU with Omnissa Horizon 8
  • Validating NVIDIA vGPU functionality (with DirectX Diagnostics, Horizon Performance Monitor Tracker)
  • MechWarrior 5 Cloud Gaming
  • Heaven Benchmark

Environment Details:

  • 2 x HPE DL360p Gen8 Servers (2 x 10 Core Procs, 384GB of RAM)
    • 1 Server with NVIDIA A2
    • 1 Server with NVIDIA L4
  • VMware vSphere 8U2
  • Omnissa Horizon 8

Hope you enjoy the video and demo!

May 222024
Default New User Registry Hive

Today we’re going to dive in to how to modify or add to the new default user registry on Windows. This is the registry that is provisioned to new users when they log on to Windows for the first time.

These steps are required to make modifications to the registry, either to configure the users environment, and/or configure registry settings required for applications that may be install on the windows system that require configuration for a seamless user experience.

I regularly use this method to modify the default user registry on non-persistent VDI golden images for use with Omnissa Horizon (formerly VMware Horizon), however this can be used on traditional Windows systems (non-VDI), and/or other VDI platforms such as Citrix, AVD, and more!

Load the Default User Registry Hive

Let’s go ahead and get started! We’ll need to open “regedit” with administrative credentials (either logon as an admin, or “Run As” administrator). Then we’ll expand “HKEY_USERS”.

Next, we’ll go to “File” and then “Load Hive”. This will open a Windows File Explorer. We’ll navigate to the following directory:


Once we select the “NTUSER.DAT” file, we’ll be prompted to load the hive and give it a key name. You can call it whatever you’d like (as long as it doesn’t conflict with an existing key), but for this example I’ll call it “Default-User”.

You’ll now notice that the Default User’s “HKEY_CURRENT_USER”, is now loaded as the hive you specified above, in our case it’s loaded as “Default-User”.

You can now make any modifications to the default users registry, including importing keys. If you’re using a “.reg” file, make sure you update it to reflect the registry hive location you’ve loaded.

Unload the Default User Registry Hive

Once you’ve made the modifications to the default user registry hive, whenever new users log on, they will be provisioned this hive.

We can now go ahead and unload the registry hive.

We’ll select the “Default-User” key (or whatever you called it), and select “Unload Hive”.

This will properly and gracefully close the default users registry hive.