Turning VDI up to 11!

11It’s an exciting time in the world of HCI.  More and more people are starting to realize the benefits of consolidating their environments down to a smaller footprint.  Today, SimpliVity is taking that a step further and cranking up VDI density to 11!  Building on the momentum of the OmniStack 3.0 release, a new software update greatly improves the time to deployment and performance of VDI workloads while maintaining predictable results as you scale.  While you can read the full announcement here, I want to highlight a few of the results:

  • 1000 linked clones in 4 nodes
  • 1000 desktops in 70 minutes
  • 1000 logins in 1000 seconds

These are some pretty bold claims, and to back that up, they are all validated by LoginVSI benchmarks!

1000 linked clones in 4 nodes

So before I dive into these claims, a little background information about the environment.  These tests were performed on the all new OmniCube CN-2400 platform.  This platform give a 15%-20% boost over the CN-2200 and brings the Intel Haswell chipset to a lower cost solution.  As with all the OmniCube offerings, RAM and CPU are adjustable to fit your needs.  CN-24004 of the CN-2400s were placed in a cluster and each were given 384 gigs of ram.  As for the different type of VMs used, they were based on the industry standards for Task Worker, Office Worker, and Knowledge Worker.  Using Windows 7 64 bit, they were given 1 gig of ram, 1.5, and 2 gigs respectively.  So lets take a look at the first claim.  Loading 1000 desktops into this size of an environment delivers unheard of density in the HCI space.

1000 desktops in 70 minutes

One of the major stresses on a VDI environment is the amount of time it takes to provision desktops.  Whether you are deploying a new OS, refreshing the existing image after an update, or bringing up your environment after a disaster, users don’t want to have to wait around to get access to their work, and likewise administrators don’t want to spend all night doing maintenance (IT admins need sleep too!).

1000 linked clones in 70 minutes

As you can see from the graph above, the number of linked clone desktops scaled up linearly as they registered a desktop check-in in the Horizon View logs.  Performance of the virtual desktops did not take a hit either as the number of instances increase as seen in the graph below.

1000 linked clones performance

1000 logins in 1000 seconds

Login storms, love them or hate them, it’s a part of doing business.  Every morning, users all login around the same time, and infrastructure needs to be able to handle that.  For this test, SimpliVity wanted to see just how much load could be put on the system during a scenario such as this, so the login time was adjusted to occur every second (a 2.8x increase over the industry standard for testing) which means that by 1000 seconds, all 1000 desktops will have performed a login.

1000 logins 1000 secondsI think the results here speak for themselves.  As the number of active sessions increases, performance remains steady and well below the threshold where users would see problems.

The full results of all the testing is posted here.  I’m really excited by this development and can’t wait to see what can be achieved in the future.

EMC World 2011: Day 3 and Final Thoughts

First off, my apologies for not having this final EMC World post out sooner. Traveling and lack of sleep has pretty much kept me away from writing until now. Day 3 was the last full day of EMC World and it was just as packed as before.

Today was EMC Proven day at EMC World. Attendees that had received a proven certification were given an orange shirt and asked to wear it to show their support. After hearing news that Matt took 3 different exams yesterday, I decided it would be a good idea to take one as well. Being that it has been over a year since I started in NAS support, I should have retained enough knowledge to pass the NAS Specialist exam. Apparently I wasn’t the only one to have this idea because the line to register was out the door and it took over a half hour to get signed up for my exam. This also meant that all the timeslots were taken and it was standby only. The people at the proven center were well aware of this surge to pass exams, so a second testing room was opened up and my wait time was only a few minutes. This whole experience was well worth it as I passed my NAS Specialist exam.

We also had our #nerdherd today and it was a great experience. While several people joined us on camera, even more joined to watch, or participated via twitter and the live chat. All sorts of topics were discussed like the keynotes at EMC World, the vLabs, the VNXe, local #nerdherd meetings, and many other things. One of the comments that were brought up was the notion that “EMC eats its own dog food”. Taken out of context, this sounds like it has a negative connotation, but it really doesn’t. What was meant by this statement was that we use internally the same thing we are trying to sell to customers. We have a very large VDI deployment that works very well.

The day closed out with the final keynote, Chad’s World Live. Hopefully most of you already know the Chad’s World videos, but if you don’t, you should check them out. The venue was full of beer and laughs and it was a great time. The tech demos on stage were great.  They powered on 100 Wyse thin clients only to reveal that it was powered by the new Iomega PX6 (I want one of these). My only concern with this was the time. The performance was right after the sessions and show floor ended, so people were being pumped full of beer on an empty stomach. This did cause a lot of noise to be coming from the back of the room.

Las Vegas is a great place for a conference. Everything is within walking distance and there are plenty of things to do when you’re not on the show floor. You can take in an after party, a club, some great food, or a performance. When you are ready to unwind, the view can be incredible. I had an incredible time at EMC World. Len Devanna made a great place for a blogger like myself to get work done while at the show.  Thanks to everyone who made this an event to remember and I can’t wait to go to EMC World next year.