By Melvin Koh on Aug 01, 2008
Recently, one of the local IT architect asked about the Shared Visualization System and if Sun Rays can be used to view 3D graphics. And the answer is YES! The general idea about the Shared Visualization solution is that you can have a central pool of graphic resource, which potentially can be a grid of multiple, different systems with accelerated graphics capabilities. Users can then have the ability to remotely access and share 3D visualization applications on a variety of client platforms.
The main software that is used to enable this is virtualGL, an open source program which redirects the 3D rendering commands from Unix and Linux OpenGL applications to 3D accelerator hardware in a dedicated server and displays the rendered output interactively to a thin client located elsewhere on the network. The thin client can therefore be a Sun Ray, but I believe that a plug-in is required to be installed at the Sun Ray server. Sun Grid Engine is also part of the software stack to manage access to the graphic resources.
See also the slides by my Sun colleague Torben, who presented the solution at one of a Grid conference.