With the announcement of the FlashArray//m10 and the FlashStack Mini Converged Infrastructure at Pure//Accelerate 2016, I was excited to have the opportunity to further push the envelope for maximizing VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) density and performance while at the same time minimizing the entry cost for small-to-medium sized enterprises looking for high-performance, cost-effective VDI storage. While we have repeatedly proven our ability to deliver and scale enterprise-class VDI time and time again; being able to provide all of the features, data reduction and resiliency of the Pure Storage Array and Cisco UCS at a much lower price point and in only 9 rack units (we think this is an industry best!) is truly game-changing. Couple this with Pure Storage’s newly expanded Evergreen Storage model where storage is purchased once and can be expanded and improved for 10 years or more, without downtime, performance impact, or data migration, and you’ve got unbeatable value for customers of all sizes.
The first true differentiation for the FlashStack Mini is its simplicity. The Cisco FI 6324 plugs directly into the back of the UCS 5108 chassis and acts as both the SAN (iSCSI or FC) as well as the network for VDI communication. A dozen cables (not including power) are all that is needed to get up and running as we can see in the below diagram:
As with all other FlashStack CIs, this is a highly resilient infrastructure that has no single point of failure; enabling maintenance operations to be completed in the middle of the workday without impacting your end-users.
To prove this new FlashStack Mini Converged Infrastructure is the real deal and the ultimate platform to run VMware Horizon on top of, we are excited to announce the availability of this new design guide which provides a blueprint and independently verified outstanding performance results from Login VSI.
Some of the highlights include:
- We provide both recommended as well as maximum Knowledge worker desktop sizing for 1, 4 and 8 ESXi hosts. ‘Recommended’ sizing provides enough compute and memory headroom to survive a host failure or putting a host into maintenance mode without adversely impacting active VDI users. ‘Maximum’ sizing shows what we believe to be the most desktops you can run on a host or cluster of hosts and still provide an exceptional end-user experience. Losing a host when running the maximum amount of desktops will result in a performance impact, however.
- With the release of VMware Horizon 7 a new technology called Instant Clones has been added as an additional offering to Linked and Full clone desktops. A performance and management comparison between Instant Clones and Linked-Clones is performed with 800 and 1000 desktops and advice is provided as to when to use each one.
- Easy to implement best-practices to optimize your deployment from day one across network, compute, hypervisor and Horizon components layers. Take the guesswork out of your project with scalable building-blocks and verified sizing recommendations.
- Resiliency proven: We perform an upgrade of our Purity Operating Environment to the Pure Storage FlashArray//m10 while 1000 Knowledge worker desktops are being actively simulated by Login VSI, proving that the FlashStack Mini Converged Infrastructure solution delivers on the promise of non-disruptive operations that can be accomplished in the middle of the workday. How would you like to NOT have to work late or on the weekends for HW/SW upgrades?
Pure Storage all-flash storage significantly increases the capability to address the high demands of a Horizon deployment, from small to very large. Coupled with the Cisco UCS compute, Nexus network, and the VMware vSphere virtualization platform, FlashStack CI makes it simple to accelerate the deployment of VDI with entry level to large scale VMware or Citrix, as well as other solutions such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Oracle, and SAP for organizations of all sizes. In fact, Pure Storage is excellent for the consolidation of multiple mission critical applications. Check out this ESG Lab Validation white-paper on consolidating tier-1 applications including VDI, database, and email.
Finally, if you’re looking for a detailed larger scale VMware Horizon deployment blueprint, make sure to read our recently published 5,000 seat Cisco Validated Design here (much more to come on this).
Please click on the below link to download the FlashStack Mini Design Guide and learn more.