A couple of months ago I blogged about the then-just-published NetApp TR-4307 NetApp All-Flash FAS Solution for VMware Horizon View, a reference architecture for EUC debuting on NetApp All-Flash FAS. The solution delivers the price/performance customers are expecting - as low as $55 per desktop for 4,000 Horizon View desktops – along with advanced data management capabilities that enterprises require. At the time I was stoked that NetApp and VMware were able to validate and deliver such a compelling solution for VMware Horizon View customers. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better NetApp announced today the FlexPod Datacenter with VMware Horizon View and All-Flash FAS8000, along with VCAI Certification for All-Flash FAS! This new FlexPod solution is a NetApp Verified Architecture (NVA) and incorporates the same hardware components referenced in TR-4307 (NetApp FAS 8060, Cisco UCS and Nexus switches). The Solution Design Guide will be available the end of September.
Simplify Deployment, Mitigate Risk
So what does this new VMware Horizon View on an All-Flash FAS FlexPod NVA mean for customers? It means customers can take advantage of the cost/performance benefits of NetApp flash technology, and confidently deploy on a validated architecture built on the #1 Integrated Infrastructure, to deliver VMware Horizon virtual or remote desktops and application through a single platform. With many organizations taking a phased approach to implementing virtual desktops FlexPod with Horizon View provides an ideal building block approach to deploy and scale as needed. A proven architecture, predictable performance, known scalability, and low cost per seat.
NetApp All-Flash FAS Certified for VCAI
VMware has certified NetApp All-Flash FAS for Horizon View Composer API for Array Integration (VCAI). VMware VCAI integration for All-Flash FAS allows customers to reduce storage cost per desktop and achieve faster ROI. VCAI allows rapid, space efficient deployment of 1000s of linked clones using proven NetApp sis-clone technology and at the same time reducing the overall IOPS requirements. The end result for our customers is higher VM consolidation ratio per storage array and reduced cost per desktop.
Flash is an extremely compelling technology for VDI, and it has probably had the most profound impact on the biggest obstacle for VDI adoption – cost. In my last blog I referenced the proliferation of flash vendors all vying for a piece of the pie in a hyper-competitive market. With that competitiveness comes aggressive marketing tactics and media blitzes design to capture the attention of prospects and influence their buying decision. And with flash for VDI, the focus tends to be on cost per seat. With so much of the focus on cost it is easy to establish a confirmation bias towards cost/performance as the only requisite for VDI storage. In their book “Decisive" Chip Heath and Dan Heath reference the “spotlight effect", a metaphor used to describe how many of us tend to look for evidence that simply confirms our preconceptions. Right now the spotlight for VDI solutions is on flash cost/performance metrics. But we need to move the mental spotlight to shine on other things that we should be considering. Even though the NetApp announcement today includes an All-Flash FAS FlexPod, the benefits of NetApp flash technology are only a part of the overall value proposition for the solution. There is inherent value in the integration work we have done with VMware to simplify management, the advanced data management capabilities of Data ONTAP (e.g., backup, DR, HA, non disruptive operations…), the value of a proven, integrated infrastructure you get with FlexPod, and the functionality and flexibility you get with VMware Horizon. There's no denying the benefits of flash for end-user computing, but when you're consider your next desktop virtual solution remember to look outside of the spotlight and consider other things, pertinent to your particular environment, that should be factored into the solution decision.
If you are at VMworld in San Francisco this week, stop by and see us in booth #1205. Talk with our technical experts about our desktop virtualization, FlexPod, and cloud solutions for VMware environments.