ChalkTalk Video – Does VDI Need Dedicated Storage?

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In this chalk talk video George Crump from Storage Switzerland discusses the trend towards using dedicated storage systems to power VDI implementations and goes into the reasons why VDI-only storage may not be the best way to go.

It’s an accepted fact that a VDI environment can create some challenges for the IT infrastructure. Mashing hundreds of desktop workloads onto a disk array that was designed for more general-purpose applications can lead to poor or inconsistent performance. This can lead to another challenge, meeting user expectations.

Performance and Expectations

When a VDI project is undertaken, it’s assumed that the user ‘experience’, how responsive their desktop applications are, will be the same or better than with the legacy infrastructure. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, based in the storage challenges that often accompany a VDI project. Making things worse, many users are getting spoiled by the performance of flash in tablets and flash boot drives in laptops.

This combination of demanding storage requirements and heightened user expectations has driven many companies to conclude that their VDI project must be supported by a dedicated storage system. But what if it could also support other applications, even those with high performance demands of their own?

QoS

What would this system look like? First and foremost, it would have to take care of the desktop users who need to have the same experience with VDI that they did with legacy infrastructure. The storage system must have a mechanism to assure adequate resources are available for mission critical and business critical host workloads.

Flash

Flash capacity has to be sufficient to support that performance, and must be scalable to stay ahead of demand as overall system capacity grows. This may include server-side flash as well, since this can reduce the load on the shared storage system and save resources for the non-VDI workloads.

Hybrid Architecture

A hybrid architecture that combines PCIe flash and hard disk drive shelves is the most cost-effective way to build a high-performance storage system. It’s also the most appropriate if you’re looking to support other applications on other servers, besides VDI. A hybrid storage system can be configured to reflect the needs of the various hosts that are connected to it, whether that’s capacity centric storage or a high-performance configuration with a flash tier or flash caching.

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Fusion-io is a client of Storage Switzerland

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