Virtualization Technology News and Information
Liquidware Labs Unveils Groundbreaking FlexDisk? and Flex-IO? Technologies for Non-Persistent Virtual Desktops At VMworld 2013

Liquidware Labs, the leader in desktop transformation solutions, today announced that it will soon be offering two new significant feature enhancements in its award-winning User Management solution ProfileUnity.  The two enhancements expand the "Flex" line of features in the product that was launched with FlexApp.  Planned for availability for Q4 2013 are FlexDisk, new follow-me data and application disk technology for VMware Horizon View desktops, and Flex-IO, IOPS accelerator software that leverages ESXi host RAM to significantly boost IOPS performance. These features are being demonstrated at Liquidware Labs Booth #741 now at VMworld 2013 in San Francisco.


FlexDisk technology delivers better application I/O performance while significantly reducing storage, network, and CPU overhead. FlexDisk provisions flexible user VMware VMDKs (Virtual Machine Disks) on a VMFS (Virtual Machine File System) to eliminate the streaming of applications and data over the network. A single FlexDisk with an application or data can be shared among many users enabling an organization to reduce application and data storage space requirements by as much as 100:1.

"We specifically developed FlexDisk to help organizations lower the management costs of maintaining numerous desktop images for users. When used in tandem with our FlexApp follow-me application feature, users get the apps they need just in time at login," said Jason Mattox, CTO of Liquidware Labs. "FlexDisk avoids limited and congested network pathways and instead takes advantage of dedicated VMFS storage on a SAN network. End-users experience much faster logins, flexible storage for applications and data, and the ability to limit and steer I/O workloads."

FlexDisk connects applications and data directly to floating pool users instantly at login and avoids slow network streaming of applications and data because it is hot-added from the VMFS to virtual machines when provisioned by View. 

Recently FlexDisk was reviewed in an article by Bridgette Botelho, News Director at Search Virtual Desktop (TechTarget).   

Comments from this article included:

The technology is unique in how it is delivered -- the storage layer, rather than the Windows image layer -- which is the approach that Unidesk Corp. and other profile-layering companies use to deliver persistent desktops, said Gunnar Berger, a Gartner Inc. research director. It is also unique in that the data disk is implemented upon logon, he said.

"The login times are painful on traditional desktops, sometimes taking 10 minutes," said Vince Catanzaro, senior solutions architect at Alternative Information Systems, an IT services provider based in Buffalo, N.Y. "With ProfileUnity, we are down to 10 seconds, and with FlexDisk we can virtualize more apps [with FlexApp] without giving up login time."


Flex-IO leverages ESXi host RAM to accelerate common IOPS across your virtual desktops which significantly increases the number of available IOPS to approximately 25,000 or more per ESXi host. Flex-IO also reduces your storage footprint by up to 50% with disk compression. The combination of RAM to accelerate IOPS along with disk compression is what makes Flex-IO able to greatly simplify non-persistent VDI environments reducing high-speed storage arrays and expensive maintenance. Flex-IO efficiently uses host RAM, as little as 32GB per 100 users, to accomplish an average 40x increase per host.  Furthermore, RAM requirements for Flex-IO are approximately 25 percent the requirements of other IOPS accelerator solutions on the market, making Flex-IO implementation very cost effective.

"Getting maximum performance out of storage investments is key to making VDI pay off for customers," said Mattox.  "We continue to pursue a strategy of extracting all the functionality out of virtualization technologies in order to reduce the number of images that need to be managed and to optimize the performance of every layer of the virtual desktop infrastructure. Our goal is to easily enable non-persistent stateless architectures which are the most cost-effective, secure and manageable mode of desktop virtualization.  At the same time, end-users will continue to enjoy all the aspects of persistent desktops that they have come to value, including personalization and access to the applications they need."

Jason Mattox will be articulating Liquidware Labs position on the persistent vs. non-persistent question in a discussion led by Gunnar Berger of Gartner at VMworld on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 in the VMware Lounge.

These new features expand the functionality of the Liquidware Labs Desktop Transformation Suite, including Stratusphere? FIT, which allows users to plan VDI with high accuracy; ProfileUnity, which helps admins migrate users and manage their profiles, data and applications with precision and control, and Stratusphere? UX, which supports monitoring/diagnosis of the virtual desktop infrastructure to keep desktops up and running.

Published Tuesday, August 27, 2013 7:15 PM by David Marshall
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