Fusion-io's VDI Reference Architecture Promises to Change the VDI Game

Virtual desktop environments can present one of the most challenging workloads an infrastructure must deal with. Random, shifting I/O and bottlenecks in the storage domain will have a significant impact on performance. Delivering an exceptional user experience is essential to the success of desktop virtualization deployments because users are becoming conditioned to the performance of flash drives in their business and personal computers. Users demand performance equal to or better than what they already have.

As a result, fast, consistent performance and scalability are critical concerns for organizations considering desktop virtualization. The solution has traditionally been to either deploy more shared storage to provide more disk spindles, or to deploy fast all-flash or hybrid storage arrays. Both of these solutions come with additional cost and complexity that can quickly erase much of the benefit of desktop virtualization.

Fusion-io has developed ioVDI, a combined hardware and software solution designed to accelerate performance for both stateless and persistent virtual desktops. The intelligent, transparent use of Fusion ioMemory server-side flash by ioVDI software is the key to this solution’s simplicity and power. Most I/O is offloaded from primary storage, enabling the use of cost-efficient storage and networks. Another benefit is increased desktop density per server. Since the server is doing less work managing storage I/O, more resources are available to host desktops.

ESG recently completed testing where we looked at Fusion ioVDI and its ability to optimize VDI performance using low-cost infrastructure. We used an entry-level NAS array and a legacy 1GbE network and the results were impressive: The same infrastructure was able to support 3.5x to 4.5x more desktops with consistently faster response times and 10x faster boot times, all while leveraging the HA and mobility features of the networked storage.

OK, no more spoilers, if you want to learn more, you can check out the full ESG Lab Validation report here: Fusion ioVDI and VMware Horizon View.

Topics: Storage End-User Computing Endpoint & Application Virtualization IT Infrastructure Compute ESG Lab