Standing up a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a great move for organizations looking to consolidate their systems or provide a simpler solution to standardizing how to support and provision users. However, one grand misconception we encounter when discussing the prospect of implementing VDI is that it will cost less.
In the long run, yes, maybe your TCO will look better, but in the short run your VDI deployment will fall flat on its face if you don’t invest properly in the hardware and systems that support the backend.
Unique Challenges with VDI
Because you’re consolidating your user experience onto one infrastructure instead of the typical end point like laptops or desktops, the way you size your supporting hardware is critical. And because VDI touches all your end users so drastically, performance is critical. Nothing tanks an IT project faster than hundreds of end users complaining.
Much like with other systems, it’s important to know the peaks and valleys in utilization and then size accordingly. Many organizations experience boot storms on their VDI in the morning when everyone is signing in for work – your infrastructure needs to keep up to get everyone on and ready to work in a timely fashion. Virus scans could kill your network if you’re not set up properly. Be ready for the intense workloads VDI introduces.
Storage to Meet the VDI Workload
Typically when you spec out enterprise storage, you do so carefully considering your workloads: are they read-intensive, write-intensive, or a combination? VDI is a very read AND write heavy workload, and therefore requires robust storage on the backend to manage it.
Your storage has to be able to accommodate massive boot storms, as well as sustained performance throughout the day. Dedupe can be both your friend and enemy. Make sure there is enough performance and longevity in the drives to support the workload. Drives have gotten VERY large (15 TB are common now) and with dedupe, just a couple drives can take the capacity needs of your environment. Make sure they can live up to the long-term demand of the environment and won’t wear out in just a year.
All Your Eggs Are in One Basket. You Might Need Another Basket.
Additionally, you’re introducing what may be serious single points of failure with VDI. If something happens to your hardware, it could very easily cause an organization-wide outage. It’s important to take measures to introduce redundancy or high availability into your solution. Consider your options with RAID, your connectivity, metro clusters.
If you have questions about whether VDI is right for you or how to architect a performant, resilient virtual desktop infrastructure, we can help. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 502-240-0404!
Mirazon is an elite VIOLIN partner with years of experience in the storage and virtualization space. Mirazon has included VIOLIN storage in many successful VDI deployments and understands the ins and outs of making VDI work. To learn more about Mirazon, visit www.mirazon.com.