Solving the Big Three VDI Storage problems

Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) have the potential of reducing the cost to deploy and support an organization’s desktops and laptops. But VDI presents three big problems to the storage infrastructure; assuring the proper use of flash, the proper placement of user data and the proper use of data efficiency techniques. These problems cannot be addressed individually since each one impacts the other, as well as the overall cost, performance, and eventual acceptance of the VDI project.

Join Storage Switzerland and Tegile for a live webinar on March 12th at 1pm ET / 10AM PT to discuss the big three VDI storage problems and how to resolve them.

The Flash Problem

Potentially more so than in any other environment, VDI requires the surgical placement of the right storage technologies at the right time. Flash performance can improve the user experience, increase the chances of user acceptance, and extend the number of virtual desktops per physical host. But of course flash is expensive, and not all data within the VDI infrastructure can justify its use.

The User Data Problem

User files are examples of data that can’t typically justify being placed on premium priced flash, but can effectively be served from less expensive, hard disk capacity. Many VDI implementations use an all-flash array for virtual machine images, and then use a hard disk based NAS for user files. This allows users to login from practically any console and still have access to their data. And it puts low performance data on lower cost media. But the dual storage system approach raises the cost of the VDI project by forcing the project to be burdened with the cost of two storage systems.

The Data Efficiency Problem

Like flash storage, data efficiency technologies, such as thin provisioning, clones, deduplication and compression, can have a tremendous payoff in the VDI environment by driving down storage capacity demands. But data efficiency can have an impact on performance. Most of this performance impact can be hidden by using flash but, again, many VDI systems are a mixture of all-flash arrays and a NAS. Many NAS systems either don’t have deduplication, or won’t allow for deduplication efficiencies to be realized across disparate systems.

StorageSwiss Take

The proper use of flash, managing user data and intelligently integrating data efficiency are the three big challenges that VDI projects will face relating to storage. In our upcoming webinar “What’s best for VDI Hybrid or All-Flash Storage” we will discuss these three problems in detail and cover ways that you can solve them.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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