By Abhinav Joshi, Sr. Product Manager, Desktop Virtualization, NetApp
For NetApp, 2013 has been another “Year of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)” with deployments across all key verticals – Finance, Healthcare, Government, Education, etc. Citrix XenDesktop has been one of the key drivers for the accelerated adoption of Desktop Virtualization. Earlier this week, we announced another point in customer momentum with a major international airline using NetApp and Citrix solutions for their 11,000 desktops. This is part of the general shift to virtualization.
NetApp’s focus around offering a low cost, end to end storage solution to meet all the desktop data needs (OS, Apps, Profiles, and user data) has been a key driver for our success in desktop virtualization. Cost efficiency, performance acceleration, simplicity, intelligent backup/DR, and non-disruptive operations are the key elements of our solution.
Based on feedback from deployments for the last several years, we are continuing to develop/enhance the right set of partnerships, tools, reference architectures, deployment services, etc. to make your deployments successful. A recent example is our new Citrix XenDesktop on NetApp Clustered ONTAP solution. This solution offers a very compelling price/performance for real world desktop deployment; with the storage cost per desktop as low as $35/desktop. This compelling storage $/desktop number includes cost of NetApp hardware, software, installation, premium support & services.
Citrix Provisioning Server (PVS) is a very popular XenDesktop deployment model worldwide, especially for large scale deployments. Citrix and NetApp have categorized the PVS based deployments into six scenarios based on the use cases that we commonly see deployed in customer environments today. The new Citrix XenDesktop on NetApp Clustered ONTAP Solution Guide (TR-4138) highlights the details on these deployment scenarios.
IOPS and capacity assumptions per desktop used to generate the sample storage array scalability guidelines for the NetApp FAS2240-2 HA and FAS3250HA storage platforms are also covered in detail in the NetApp TR-4138:
Sample storage scalability guidelines for the entry level FAS2240-2 HA and mid-tier FAS3250HA storage systems for the six PVS based deployment scenarios are also highlighted in the TR-4138. The scalability guidelines range from a small 500 seats deployment to a large 4500 seats deployment. Using this cookie cutter approach, deployments can be easily scaled to 1000s of desktops. Similar scalability guidelines can be easily obtained for other FAS models by using the VDI module in the NetApp SPM sizing tool (accessible by NetApp field and partners).
These sample NetApp configurations offer a very compelling price/performance for the “all in one” NetApp storage solution to meet the data management needs of desktop OS, Apps, Profiles, and User Data from a single storage array. The storage cost per desktop for these sample configurations range from $35 to $92 (considering standard discounts).
Listed below are the design details of the persistent desktop deployment scenario offering a very compelling $35 storage cost per desktop (considering standard discounts). This storage configuration allows hosting 800 users in a 2 Rack Unit NetApp FAS2240-2 storage system. You can scale to 1000s of desktops at the same $35 storage cost per desktop by adding more 2U NetApp 2240-2 storage systems to the environment.
With all the storage $/desktop numbers floating around in the industry, its critical to understand the details on what’s included in these numbers.
The $35 storage cost per desktop includes:
Here are the key design assumptions for this storage configuration. For details on this and the other configurations, please read section 12 in the NetApp TR-4138.
· PVS vDisk = 25GB (shared by 100s-1000s of users)
· PVS write cache file = 2GB
· Personal vDisk = 10GB
· Personal vDisk dedupe savings assumption: 35% (savings might be higher or lower for your environment depending on the type and amount of data)
· PVS write cache file = 2 IOPS (95% writes) >>> lot of the IOPS moved to Personal vDisk
· Personal vDisk = 6 IOPS (95% writes)
· This system is capable of handling more than 10-15 storage IOPS per desktop (95% writes to storage array). PVS by design handles majority of the read IOPS from the host cache itself.
Please drop me a note at email@example.com if you are interested in discussing this further.
In closing, if you are looking at storage for your Desktop Virtualization deployment, always look for a complete storage solution that can help you cost efficiently meet the data management needs for desktop OS, Applications, Profiles, and user data.