ArcGIS Pro

ArcGIS Pro Virtualization Hardware and VM Profiles

ArcGIS Pro is a powerful desktop GIS application and provides advanced mapping and analysis capabilities for professionals in various industries. When it comes to virtualization, ArcGIS Pro can be run in a virtualized environment, allowing users to access and utilize the software remotely.

Virtualization technology enables the creation of virtual machines (VMs) that can run multiple operating systems and applications on a single physical server. This offers flexibility and scalability, as well as the ability to centralize resources and manage them more efficiently.  To support On-Premises Virtualization having the right hardware is vital to getting the best overall Return on Investment and User Experience.  With your preferred hardware provider (Dell, HP, Cisco, etc.) you can configure a virtualization server capable of supporting VM deployments.

By virtualizing ArcGIS Pro, organizations can provide their users with access to the software from anywhere, using a variety of devices. This is particularly beneficial for remote teams, field workers, or organizations with multiple offices. It allows for collaboration and data sharing, as well as the ability to perform GIS tasks on the go. It’s important to note that virtualizing ArcGIS Pro requires careful consideration of hardware requirements, network infrastructure, and licensing. The performance of the virtualized environment should be optimized to ensure smooth operation of the software.  If you already have a virtualization solution in place such as VMware, you are simply adding additional servers to your infrastructure.  This is very common for many of our users.  These new hosts designed to support ArcGIS Pro capable VMs are almost plug and play once you add them to your vCenter.

Server Recommendations

The following are server recommendations to support ArcGIS Pro Virtualization requirements:

 

Example Server (2024):

Dell PowerEdge r760 Rack Server

 

Virtual Machine Recommendations

Delivering VMs to users can create some issues when it comes to how best to deliver an ideal user experience, but also provide good density on the server.  Below are some examples of VMs provisioned for Light, Medium, and Heavy Users.  These are examples and it is best to consider your individual use cases and requirements when provisioning VMs. A supported Windows Desktop Operating System (Windows 10 or Windows 11) install (.iso) used for the operating system on the virtual machines.

 

Light User: Simple 2-D map display, navigation, and querying. Combining and presenting data prepared by others. (VIEWING)

 

Medium User: 2-D and 3-D map display, navigation, querying, and editing. Moderate use of GP tools. Compilation of presentation of data from multiple sources into a simple map layout. (EDITING)

 

Heavy User: 2-D and 3-D map display, navigation, querying, and editing. Advanced use of symbology including transparency, and dynamic labeling. Heavy 2-D and 3-D analysis involving visibility, and line of sight. (VISUALIZING)

 

Additional Considerations and Requirements:

The NVIDIA Virtual GPU Software provides the technology for the virtualization tier to deliver accelerated virtual desktops and applications from the data center to any user, anywhere. Supporting ArcGIS Pro it is recommended to use the Virtual Workstation (vWS) license.  This software license is required for each VM that is using a connected NVIDIA GPU.

 

Virtualization software – Most customers interested in the ArcGIS Pro Virtualization will already have invested in their own On-Premises virtualization environment. Current supported virtualization environments for ArcGIS Pro include:

 

In summary, virtualization allows for the remote access and utilization of ArcGIS Pro, providing flexibility, collaboration, and scalability for organizations. It’s a valuable option for those looking to leverage the power of ArcGIS Pro in a virtualized environment.

About the author

Esri Performance Engineering.

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