In my time with ESG Lab, I have seen and tested numerous virtual desktop solutions and reference architectures. It’s common knowledge that virtualizing end-user computing environments can present the most challenging workloads an infrastructure must support. Users have become accustomed to the performance of flash drives in their business and personal computers, making delivery of an exceptional user experience–essential to the success of desktop virtualization–even more challenging. If you can’t deliver performance equal to or better than what users already have, you’ve already lost.
As a result, consistent, repeatable performance and scalability are critical to any desktop virtualization deployment. ESG Lab testing in 2013 validated that VSPEX with Brocade networking was easy to set up and manage and provided a robust and highly available platform that performed consistently with hundreds of users.
ESG Lab is in the process of testing EMC VSPEX end-user computing with XtremIO all-flash enterprise storage, Brocade networking, and VMware Horizon View 6.0 in a 3,500 seat virtual desktop environment. We’re focusing on performance density and scale as well as the operational efficiency of the overall solution. While the environment is still under construction, we had a chance to run XtremIO through its paces. One storage brick was able to provide significantly more IOPS and capacity than are required to support 3,500 linked clone desktops, at sub-millisecond response times at the host. It will be interesting to see how many desktoips this solution can really push. Watch this space for an ESG Lab Spotlight exploring the solution in more detail soon.