This is a complex question to ask. I am new to vmware and I am looking for a very specific solution.
I am trying to setup 3-4 VM machines on a single piece of hardware that we can use to run a software for Point Cloud processing that requires a dedicated video card.
The software (Leica Cyclone Register 360) does not operate correctly using the standard video options with 3D Graphics enabled. At one point I thought I had it working because the software was running and importing data, but when I went to work on the data, the display was blank. (It was a similar result to logging into a remote machine with the monitor disconnected and the video card not being enabled.)
I ran the initial tests on a trial of VMware Workstation Pro 15 running in Windows 10 Pro. This I thought I had working till the graphics did not show up. Then I upgraded to a beta version that allowed a higher version of Direct X to run… but that did not work either. I tried running a passmark benchmark software on the VM to see if I could figure out where the problem was. When running the 3D graphics tests I got an error stating that the OpenCL.dll could not be found. I think this was tied to not having a dedicated video card so I decided to test the direct video passthrough. So,I installed ESXi so I could try the vDGA option. I have a NVIDIA P4000 on the system and was able to setup a direct passthrough to the VM running Windows 10 Pro and it worked fine. I then installed vSphere so I could easily clone the VM. I installed a second video card (an Nvidia P400) on the system in the 3rd of 4 PCI slots. Then I tried to set vDGA up for each VM so that one VM points to the P4000 which is in the PCI 1 slot and the other VM points to the P400 card which is in the 3rd PCI slot. I can get the fist VM to work fine with the P4000 but the P400 VM will not activate the video card. When I check the properties of the Display Adaptor in Windows 10 it says that windows stopped this device because it has reported problems. I checked the system logs and can’t find the problems it is having.
I don’t know if these issues are because this simply is not possible or if there is something I am setting up wrong in the VMs.
I know the alternate is to buy a virtualized card like an NVIDIA Grid based card costing $2k or so to see if that works, however I don’t want to waist the money if it does not work. I was hoping to test multiple video cards first, and maybe stick to that if it only costs me $100 per NVIDIA P400 card.
I’d appreciate any help or direction. Please remember that this is new to me so I may not understand all the lingo. Thanks for your help!