NetApp storage simplifies provisioning, enables mass cloning, improves utilization, enables individual VM backup and restores, and delivers cost-effective business continuance for virtual infrastructures.
Intrigued by the possibilities of VDI?
Discuss real-world virtual desktop deployments with the architects who helped design and impliment them.
Another great post. I am sure every customer deploying VDI will have these questions in design/architecture phase of the project.
NetApp best practice is to store the user data and profile in a CIFS share on a NetApp NAS volume and served using Microsoft® roaming profiles and/or folder redirection. This allows better management and protection of the important user data. Also, this will make the virtual desktops persistent in terms of retaining the user data and profile settings. Also leverage GPO to manage the CIFS user data and profiles.
Configuration best practices would be the same as for physical desktops. We have a strong resource base of best practices for configuring CIFS home directories and profile data. Please contact the NetApp SE for getting the best practices documentation on design, deployment and management around CIFS home directories and user profile.
I essentially see this as a "take two" on the roaming profiles question -- same set of questions but better answers than we had 3-5 years ago.
And while I'm wandering outside the "user data" theme, the other large difference I see is what ThinApp brings to the table -- allows shrinking the base image that much more and app updates without even touching the base image (of course there's Citrix XenApp -- but that option has been out there for a while). ThinApp I think makes auto-provisioned desktops even more possible.
For home directory management, the best option I've seen (and used personally) is File System Factory (now Novell Storage Manager) -- works with AD and centers around home directory creation, management, deletion, moves, etc. I must admit I'm not sure about NetApp CIFS compatibility though.
I see user profile data as much more important in a VDI environment than a physical environment. It helps make the VDI environment more flexible and easier to deploy if the user data is more flexible and easily provisioned. VDI brings in new features (ThinApp, Linked Clones, hot provisioning, etc.) and along with these new challenges. Rethinking the way users are rolled onto these environments simply makes the whole thing more flexible, and ultimately more efficient.
Some great details, and some very interesting reading. Thank you all for your input!