Towards Hardware OpenGL Support in Cloud Computing
Modern realistic computer graphics applications, such as physically accurate lighting simulation systems, require a lot of computer power for images generation. Usage of the resources of cloud computing platforms for such calculations allows to avoid additional expenses for purchase and maintenance of own computer farms. However often such simulation systems use OpenGL for 3D images display, for example during scene preparation and modification. Since cloud-based virtual machines had only software (that is, slow) OpenGL display support, it was not convenient for the users to work with their habitual computer graphics applications in such environments, and typical workflow was to prepare all data on local computer and then execute simulation in the cloud service (usually using distributed processing). Recently several cloud computer service providers started to suggest users the option of hardware (GPU-based) OpenGL support in their cloud virtual machines. This article is devoted to the investigation of hardware OpenGL display options, suggested by various providers of cloud computing services, and their comparison. Available types of hardware GPU were checked and compared, along with the conditions for their usage.