Hyperconvergence and VDI – The Perfect Match?

Atlantis Briefing Note

Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) look good on the IT whiteboard. Their lower operational costs and longer desktop/laptop life expectancy are top expectations. In execution, however, the projects often stall. Calculating the necessary compute performance, storage performance and storage capacities are ongoing problems. Hyperconverged architectures are almost tailor made to address the challenges that VDI creates.

What is Hyperconvergence?

A hyperconverged architecture is an architecture that combines compute, storage and networking into a single tier. The systems typically leverage an existing hypervisor like VMware, Xen or Hyper-V. They then add a software defined storage solution designed for a virtual infrastructure. The storage software is installed on each node in the virtual cluster and it aggregates the internal storage resources of each node into a single volume. As the environment needs more compute performance, storage performance or storage capacity additional nodes are integrated into the cluster and the storage software aggregates the new nodes storage into the existing volume.

Why Hyperconvergence and VDI?

Ideally hyperconverged architectures work best when compute and storage resource demands scale at roughly the same pace and this is exactly what happens in a VDI environment. As IT needs new virtual desktops, IT adds new nodes to the cluster and those nodes bring the CPU and storage resources that new virtual desktops need.

Why Atlantis?

While there are plenty of hyperconverged solutions on the market, most stumbled into the VDI opportunity. Atlantis has had a focus on VDI since day one. Its software is specifically designed to work with not only the hypervisors that host virtual desktops but also the broker software that orchestrates its implementation and use. The Atlantis solution is available as software only (USX) and as a turnkey all-flash appliance (HyperScale), enabling organizations to choose to implement the solution as they see fit.

At the heart of the Atlantis solution is the storage software Atlantis USX. It provides automated tiering including leveraging RAM, making sure VDI users get the performance they demand, which ensures adoption. Tiering also enables organizations to keep costs down, destaging less active data sets to flash or hard disk drives. The software also provides data efficiency features like compression, deduplication, thin provisioning and writable snapshots.

Most hyperconverged solutions focus management and integration around the hardware, the storage and the hypervisor. They provide little integration to the other components of a VDI deployment of the virtual workspace like the desktops, apps and its data. Customers can manage Atlantis USX SDS and Atlantis HyperScale appliances together, increasing data center agility with a single platform across any new or existing infrastructure.

StorageSwiss Take

Every hyperconverged vendor is interested in the VDI opportunity but few are investing in it like Atlantis. While the company has an excellent hyperconverged offering for a variety of workloads, its integration with the various components of the virtual workspace should allow organizations to complete the VDI rollout faster and with greater success while enabling greater long-term scale.

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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Posted in Briefing Note

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