Gartner analyst Richard Jones led a
really insightful presentation today at VMworld 2012 talking about
storage in virtual environments. He focused a lot on what he called
“Server Hosted Virtual Desktops,” or SHVD (a.k.a.: virtual desktop
infrastructure (VDI), hosted virtual desktop (HVD), etc.), which, he
rightly pointed out, have some significant impacts on storage
architecture. In fact, the write loads on virtual desktop deployments
can be significantly greater than those of even the most intensive
transactional databases. So, obviously, storage management is a major
concern in these environments.
A few major points worth noting:
predicts that, through 2016, storage costs will be a bottleneck in
virtualization and VDI in one-third of organizations.
issue one reason for the emergence of a group of niche virtualization
resource players like Nutanix, Pivot3, Simplivity, and many more that
build integrated server and storage appliances, some of which are tuned
for specific applications like VDI.
- Storage planning for SHVD
cannot be taken lightly, and storage budget should be about 40%-60% of
the budget for an SHVD project. In other words, don’t just guess – do
- Tying in with the first bullet above, CapEx is a
huge barrier to virtual desktop deployments. Most organizations do not
realize a straightforward positive ROI if they are simply comparing
virtual desktops to their physical deployments. Most VDI deployments are
at cost parity to 40% more expensive than their physical counterparts.
However, VDI brings advantages in security, compliance, and other areas
that often make them worth additional cost.
- VDI deployments are
the embodiment of the “Storage I/O Blender.” It’s important to
understand the implications of all of the different points of
- Most VDI deployments on existing storage solutions
fail. Gartner recommends new storage solutions to support VDI
deployments in the long term…unless you already have a “big honking
go into each of these topics and many more over the next few weeks, but
suffice it to say that a GREAT place, and possibly the MOST important
place, to start in assessing your organization’s readiness for VDI is to
consider your storage. So, looking at your environment through the lens
of a good SAN management tool or storage monitoring
solution is key. Starting this early in the consideration process will
give you some good insight into the load on your storage arrays and how
you’ll need to architect VDI storage for your organization.