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Announcing FlashStack™ Mini with Hyper-V and XenDesktop

Commercial segment customers often have different sets of requirements and challenges than those of larger enterprises.  To support this reality, today we are excited to share the availability of a new Cisco Validated Design that specifically addresses two very common architecture requests from customers with hundreds to just over 1000 VDI users:  Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenDesktop. Start with as few as three servers to host the essential infrastructure and up to 150 Windows 10 users. From there, grow to over 1000 users simply by adding up to five additional UCS servers with no changes to the storage layer needed.

When you bundle a leading hypervisor and VDI technology together and run them on top of our Converged FlashStack Mini solution you get extreme simplicity, verified performance and flexibility for future growth.  Let’s look at each of these three in a bit more detail.

Extreme Simplicity

Except for power cables and any upstream network cables, this diagram shows everything needed to setup your FlashStack Mini.  Competing converged infrastructure solutions can take days and require professional services to build while our joint solution can be completely racked and wired in mere minutes.  Once ports are connected, the Cisco Validated Design document provides every configuration detail, line of code and screenshot – from UCS Service Profile association to datastore creation to XenDesktop environment setup and everything in-between which will enable customers to bring their users online faster with our world-class support available for any unforeseen issues or questions.

 

Verified Performance

Once the environment has been built, every Cisco Validated Design for VDI must pass what we believe are the most stringent test requirements in the industry before publication.  Using Login VSI (the industry standard VDI benchmarking tool), all published results must be repeated at least 3 times, and have a VDI stuck session rate of less than 5% in each test to be considered as passing.  Furthermore, Login VSI also measures the overall user experience (much more on that here) and sizing guidelines are based upon keeping the user experience in the best Login VSI performance category.  An example of the Login VSI performance chart can be seen below for 1250 concurrent users and we can see that user performance was confirmed as being outstanding from start to finish.

While this document goes up to 1250 concurrent VDI users, single server and smaller cluster scalability testing is also performed and documented to show what quantities of servers and storage are needed for initial or smaller-scale XenDesktop projects.

Investment Protection for the Future

This environment uses the latest and greatest software (Hyper-V 2016, XenDesktop 7.15) and hardware (Cisco UCS B-200 M5, Pure Storage FlashArray//M10) available when testing was performed.  However, it is inevitable that all components are going to be improved upon as enhancements being developed now are released to the market.  The beauty of this solution is that the UCS stateless server profile architecture enables upgrading compute resources without losing server personality, the UCS FI-6324 fabric interconnect supports connecting up to another full UCS 5108 chassis (or 4 additional C240M5 rack servers) via the QSFP cable for even more compute power and the Pure Storage//M10 can be upgraded both in terms of performance (new controllers or a firmware upgrade) and have additional capacity added without any downtime for your end-users.

The daily job of a VDI administrator is full of challenges across multiple disciplines and no two days are the same.  Having a performant, resilient and self-driving infrastructure not only gives your VDI users the best experience with minimum downtime; it also frees up the administrator to focus on initiatives to add both new scope to the project and improve the end-user experience even further.  To read more about this design, please click on the below link.