Virtual Desktop Infrastructure with All-Flash

Posted by VIOLIN SYSTEMS on Jul 13, 2020 7:43:53 AM

As a value-added reseller, your business model relies on providing your customers and clients with a product that works anytime they need it. If you are using a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to deliver this product to your customers, you already know that this kind of platform has been all-too problematic in the past.

Early virtual desktops didn’t live up to the hype; they would work great on a small, demonstration-level scale, but when these virtual desktops were rolled out for large groups, they would function at a snail’s pace, especially first thing in the morning when users were trying to log on all at once.

New virtual desktop infrastructure engineering has made considerable improvements to solve these problems, but in truth, if you’re looking to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure, the best thing you can do is utilize the power of an All-Flash system.

What is a virtual desktop infrastructure exactly? And should you build yours with an all-flash system? Let’s take a look.

What is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

When we talk about a virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, what does this actually mean? Chances are you’ve interacted with VDI even if you didn’t realize it. Any time you are using a kiosk or a computer at a public library, you are most likely using a desktop that’s being accessed using VDI.

A virtual desktop infrastructure creates a virtual version of your desktop or operating system. It may also be a server or a storage solution. Your users can access this information remotely using their personal devices.

These desktops are hosted in a data center where they can be centrally managed and protected. Users can access virtual desktops from anywhere they have network connectivity. To interact with the virtual desktop, users run software from their personal devices, but everything from the desktop to the applications and data storage happens and resides within the data center.

Persistent Versus Non-Persistent Desktops

Essentially, there are two kinds of virtual desktop infrastructures to use which fulfill different functions. Your enterprise can choose to operate persistent or non-persistent virtual desktops.

Persistent desktops enable users to customize their desktop and save it for future use. Each user has their own personal virtual desktop that they can access so that any changes they make are saved within their persistent desktop image. Even after they log out and log back in again, their desktop remains the same. This is perfect for engineers and teams that have constantly-changing needs that are computer-intensive who need all their information stored in their personal computers.

Non-persistent desktops provide a pool of uniform desktops to all users. Users can access these desktops whenever they need them, but their customizations aren’t saved, and information isn’t stored. Users are all accessing a single, curated desktop image, so when a user logs out and logs back in again, the initial virtual desktop image has been restored to the original uniform desktop.

Non-persistent desktops are used frequently in places like call centers, where team members have a limited number of functions and don’t need to continue to access the same personalized information over and over again. Non-persistent desktops are also a great space saver; they use less disk space, which can save an enterprise quite a bit in network storage costs.

The Benefits of Using a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure for Value-Added Resellers

Virtual desktop infrastructures have been around for quite some time, but they are starting to gain momentum, and during a present-day work-from-home economy, they can provide an attractive option for organizations looking to make their data both accessible and secure.

What are the benefits of using VDI? First and foremost, your users are accessing information via a secure portal. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of using VDI:

  • It’s highly manageable, which gives you total control over the quality of your clients’ desktops
  • It allows your users to access your product and work from anywhere
  • It adds enterprise-wide security when your users are accessing the desktop from their personal device by keeping personal apps and information separate from company apps and information. Protecting you from malware
  • It enables high-level security with multi-factor authentication, data encryption, password protections, and vulnerability detection and prevention systems
  • It saves you money on IT staff and IT maintenance costs, as well as software update costs

There’s no doubt that using VDI has distinct perks as a value-added reseller. If you’re considering implementing VDI, you should also consider an all-flash offering to go with it. Here’s what you need to know about the perfect pairing of an all-flash offering and a virtual desktop infrastructure.

Why You Need an All-Flash System for Your VDI as Value-Added Reseller

As a value-added reseller, your job is already to add value to the products and services you are offering for your clients and customers. The core hardware or software you offer to your users has to work without lags or latencies, and it needs to be reliable and accessible– no matter when or where your users are accessing the information.

What does this mean for your VDI? Why do you need an all-flash system?

All-Flash Arrays Were Built to Tackle the Demands of VDI

VDI comes with a lot of write-heavy code, which combines so many users and desktops into one solitary, unpredictable, and random input/output (I/O) stream. Desktops might not require much in the way of inputs and outputs, but when there are spikes during the day, this can provide issues for disk-based systems or hybrid arrays.

All-flash arrays, however, “eat random I/O for breakfast.” Array management software can queue the long stream of I/O requests with no problem at all. Flash storage is well-suited to the random stream of I/O requests because there is no mechanical latency involved. This means that data can be read at the same speed to eliminate latencies.

All-Flash Arrays Can Manage All Kinds of Desktop Configurations

VDI can offer the same virtual desktop regardless of the location or the access device, which is great for users but can create problems for your IT department. Why is this?

Persistent or stateful desktops are all different, based on the user, location, and device. This means you need even more storage than ever before to match requirements for resilience and remote or multi-site access.

This means that VDI needs storage that can stand up to the needs for capacity, performance, and high availability. Linked clone solutions and read-oriented caching don’t hold up. Multiple disk-based primary storage can’t bear the heavy load of data deduplication and shared operating system and application files.

The only real solution? An all-flash array. Flash has low-latency, which supports in-line deduplication. It’s essential to the success of your value-added reseller.

The commonality of VDI files means you need data reduction capabilities at a ratio of somewhere between 5:1 and even as much as 20:1. What does this mean? A gigabyte of flash can do the work of at least 5 gigabytes of disk space. An all-flash array can bear the weight of your VDI; whereas a disk-based storage system will be bulky, expensive, and hard to maintain, and won’t work as well on top of everything else.

All-Flash Means Fast Deployment

There’s no question that an all-flash array will provide you with high-availability VDI, but it will also help deploy new desktops or pools of desktops quickly.

All-flash arrays are in effect one single tier of data. You can patch new and existing desktops more quickly with the aid of an all-flash array, providing faster service for new clients and less work for your team.

The bottom line is that all-flash arrays will help your virtual desktop infrastructure work the way VDI has been predicted to work. You need an all-flash array that will help you provide your clients without interrupted service with support along the way and an affordable price.

At Violin Systems, we’re committed to helping value-added resellers just like you create systems that work exactly the way you need them to. Want to learn more about what we can do for you? Contact us today!

Topics: flash, VDI