ArcGIS Pro virtualization with AMD m125

08-21-2020 12:53 PM
Regular Contributor

Looking for feedback, or recommendations on using ArcGIS Pro in a virtual desktop environment... specifically using the AMD m125 or the Azure NV4as V4 series VMs?

As far as I can see there are some significant cost savings related to software licensing when using AMD (NVIDIA charges per-person license fees for virtual GPU use), which seems to translate to much lower per hour cost in Azure and/or lower acquisition cost for new VM hosts.  

The down side seems to be that AMD only supports portioning out dedicated cores and memory space rather than dynamically allocating GPU cycles as user applications need it.  ESRI seems to only discuss NVIDIA options in their documentation and testing, as well as their hardware recommendations.  

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Regular Contributor

Just going to go ahead and answer my own question.

ArcGIS Pro does indeed run on an Azure NV4as_V4, which has the following specs:

  • 4 CPU
  • 14 GiB RAM
  • 1/8 mi25 GPU

On the surface this configuration might seem pretty weak, but so far in my testing it has done pretty well.  Maybe not the setup you would want for intensive BIM or 3D work, but for 2D mapping it might be just fine.

Perftools shows pretty decent FPS when panning and zooming around with imagery basemaps, with numbers in the 90-160fps range.

A 3D scene is a little more sluggish but still quite usable.  The delay in UI is somewhat compensated for by the speed with which the imagery loads... since the VM is in Azure it has a super fast connection compared to running Pro over an office network (at least compared to our office network).

Hoping to do a little more thorough testing over the next couple weeks, I'll add any further observations as I have them.


Edit: I keep referring to the GPU as the M125, but I see now that it is the mi25... correcting that

Regular Contributor

Did some further testing after scaling the VM up to the NV8as_V4 which has the following specs:

  • 8 CPU
  • 28 GiB RAM
  • 1/4 mi25 GPU

Things seemed much more comfortable in this configuration.  I was able to open a project with multiple maps and 3D views with imported BIM data, 3D buildings, as well as some really large feature services.  Overall performance was smooth - more than acceptable for a VM over Remote Desktop.