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As graphical processing units (GPUs) become mainstream elements of application environments, NVIDIA is starting to create a more robust channel ecosystem around its processors. To advance that goal NVIDIA added a NVIDIA GRID channel program aimed at cloud service providers (CSPs), while at the same time revealing additional partnerships with Nutanix and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE).

NVIDIA aims to spur both the adoption of its GPUs and the NVIDIA GRID software that it developed to improve graphics performance in both virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments deployed in a local data center as well as in desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) platforms accessed via the cloud, said John Fanelli, vice president of product for NVIDIA GRID.

“GPUs are no longer a high-end esoteric thing,” he said. “From a price point, they are now much more affordable.”

In general, demand for access to graphics in corporate applications is now starting to accelerate thanks to the arrival of Windows 10 applications that make much broader use of data visualizations, said Robert Young, an industry analyst with International Data Corp.

“You’re now seeing 3D graphics embedded inside applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint,” he said. “In a business environment, it doesn’t get more mainstream than that.”

At the same time, Young said IT professionals that make use of, for example, CAD/CAM applications are much more mobile than they have historically tended to be. Because of that shift in user behavior, the demand for graphics-enabled VDI and DaaS technologies is rapidly growing, he added.

Much of that growth has substantially helped NVIDIA extend its influence on the desktop at the expense of Intel. Naturally, it remains to be seen how Intel will ultimately respond to NVIDIA’s continued encroachment on the desktop.

Young advised solution providers to take note of the fact that NVIDIA appears to have enough momentum on the desktop, in the local data center and in the cloud to be a force to be reckoned with. He said that as emerging technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, coupled with deep learning technologies in the cloud, start to go mainstream, the amount of influence NVIDIA will be able to exercise in the months and years ahead is likely to increase.