Remote Visualization

Remote Visualization is performing visualization on a remote and distant system, often with significantly more capability than you have locally, and having the display sent to you locally. There are several different types of remote visualization.

Client-Server Application

The user runs a client application locally and connects to a distant server. The memory, CPU, and graphics capability of the server are used and frames are sent back to the client. This offers a near-real-time experience that is similar to performing the visualization locally.

Many visualization packages support this:

  • ParaView supports this in many various modes.
  • EnSight offers a Client-Server mode.

Batch Applications

The user runs a visualization program on a distant system to process data into images. The processing is often very intensive and takes a long time, and the images are then e-mailed to the user, available via a webpage, or simply left on disk for the user to retrieve at their leisure.

Many visualization packages support this:

  • ParaView offers pvbatch for this.
  • Pov-RAY can be considered a form of this, as Ray-Tracing typically takes a significant amount of time and resources.

Streaming Video

Usually requiring dedicated hardware, this allows the user to run applications that do not support client-server models in a client-server fashion. By running the entire application remotely but having the display compressed and transmitted at high-speed to the local workstation, it gives the appearance of a client-server model but without some of the niceties and optimizations usually offered.

There are many solutions for this:

  • IPVideo Systems offers the Teraburst system, a hardware solution.
  • VNC can be considered a software solution for this.
  • Simple X-Forwarding over SSH is the most basic solution.

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