Cisco and Pure Storage are pleased to announce the availability of the first for a large scale, 5000 seat VMware Horizon View 6.2 deployment using our FlashStack Converged Infrastructure solution.  This validated design provides a tested, detailed, full stack blueprint, taking you step by step through the configuration and setup of each unique Cisco UCS, Nexus, VMware and Pure Storage component from start to finish.  The thoroughness of this guide ensures a repeatable and sound design you can count on to deliver a highly resilient and performant user experience for thousands of VDI users.  If you are starting smaller or looking to scale, the flexibility of FlashStack enables you to effortlessly and non-disruptively add resources to your VDI solution.

To prove the design, a realistic VDI workload was repeatedly run against the solution with Login VSI providing independent, 3rd party verification of performance and linear scalability.  The rigor and robustness of the benchmark process used by Cisco and Pure in this paper is truly unique within the industry and corroborates that the prescribed hardware stack is able to accommodate the scale and resource requirements of the 5000 seat VDI user population not only under simulated production use but also under a software upgrade scenario.  All results from the ESXi, network, Login VSI and Pure Storage layers are shared at length and discussed in order to provide full insight into the environment.

Perhaps most amazing of all is the entire 5000 Horizon all-flash deployment fits within a single rack as can be seen below.


A more detailed component-level view shows the extreme resiliency, as there is no single point of failure within the design:


Some additional highlights of the document include:

  • Single server scale testing: shows the recommended VM per host density so you can size your own VDI deployment accordingly using a pod-based methodology
  • Best practices: design considerations for both linked-clone and RDSH VMware Horizon View implementations are included
  • Cluster testing: with N+1 host availability to ensure non-disruptive operations at all times
  • TCO improvements: being able to host your entire enterprise desktop environment from within a single rack leads to power and cooling efficiencies along with data center footprint reduction.
  • Performance: Provide a virtual desktop experience that is more performant than a physical device – making your users want to migrate to your VMware View solution.
  • Resiliency: Independently proven resiliency (via Login VSI) of all hardware components, including performing an upgrade of the Pure Storage Purity Operating Environment while 5000 VDI users are actively using the Converged Infrastructure solution.

FlashStack significantly increases the capability to address the high demands of a Horizon deployment.  The combination of Pure Storage, Cisco UCS compute, Nexus network, and the VMware vSphere virtualization platform makes it efficient and easy to accelerate the deployment of VDI with VMware (even in “mini” sized deployments). This applies equally to Citrix or other solutions such as SQL Server, Oracle DB, Oracle RAC, Exchange,  and SAP for organizations of all sizes.  In fact, FlashStack is well-suited for consolidating and accelerating multiple mission critical applications. Check out this ESG Lab Validation white-paper on consolidating tier-1 applications including VDI, database, and email.