Visualisation and rendering of scientific data play key roles in the understanding and the interpretation of simulated natural phenomena or numerical simulation. HPC facilities allow huge amounts of data to be processed in a short time, but usually they can also generate large amounts of output data. The transfer of the data to a local workstation for visualisation can be time consuming and the graphics processing required may be beyond the capabilities of the user’s personal computer.
To address these issues, DEISA provides a remote visualisation service which facilitates the graphical rendering of simulation output created on the DEISA infrastructure, thus avoiding downloading large quantities of data to local facilities.
The Remote Visualisation Service (RVS) of DEISA is provided by LRZ and is based on a server connected to the DEISA infrastructure and equipped with four Nvidia QuadroFX5500 graphics cards, each with 1GB of RAM. The software implementation is based upon the Virtual Network Computing (VNC). For more detailed information about the RVS at LRZ please consult the LRZ Remote visualisation guide.
The first step is to install on your personal workstation VNC-compatible graphical software for the visualisation of your data (this is known as the client). Among the freely available programs on the market we strongly recommend GSISSH-Term, a gsissh client provided by DEISA and LRZ for accessing the DEISA network.
This can be installed on the user’s workstation or launched directly from the browser as described in the Interactive Access user documentation.
NB only this DEISA-specific version of GSISSH-Term provides the VNC plugin required for the graphics visualisation - please consult the DEISA User Documentation: Interactive Access, for information on how to configure correctly the client.
There are various ways of accessing the RVS but we will only describe that recommended for DEISA users. A typical session consists of the following steps:
- Connect to the service at LRZ.
- Request a reservation for the graphics device.
- Once the reservation has been granted, open a VNC session to provide a virtual desktop.
- Run the graphics application.
- When finished with the application, release the reservation and close the connection with LRZ.
We will now describe these steps in detail.