GreenBytes rips code from virtual-desktop array's chest, serves to small biz
vIO is VDI for SMEs in 100-seat bundles
Thin-client accelerator GreenBytes has separated its software from its virtual desktop appliance hardware so customers can use anybody's flash to store machine images.
The company's IO Offload Engine is a dedicated solid-state disk array that stores virtual desktop images and feeds them to users' computers at blistering speed. The biz claims its patented inline deduplication technology can strip out up to 97 per cent of data in VDI files, and thus store them in much less space than otherwise needed and transmit them faster too. It makes a point of saying it supports persistent clones, the ones that change state as the user alters them, as well as the skinny linked clones that do not store a user's alterations from day to day.
So, as speculated, GreenBytes has split the engine's hardware from its software and made the code available as product called vIO.
This uses a PCIe, local SSD or flash-based storage controller as its data store with a VMware ESXi host. One vIO installation is designed to support up to 100 or so VDI seats. Deploy more instances for more seats. If you think you might need a thousand or more seats then the IO Offload Engine itself might be better value.
The vIO is GreenBytes' inline dedupe applied to VDI. For flash storage suppliers without good VDI software nor any deduplication this could be a useful application. The vIO software will be generally available on 1 March. ®
GreenBytes and VDI
So, there are quite a few questions to answer and things to think about from your comment - but I'll try to address as many as possible. The first thing to keep in mind is that there are three traditional things that IT admins have to keep in mind when thinking of deploying VDI - Cost / Performance / and Personalization. As it goes, generally, you can get two of the three. Linked clones will allow you to have low cost and pretty good performance as there won't be a whole lot of flash needed to host them, but your users will be unhappy when they lose their applications and personalization during every golden image refresh - sure you can add profile management to the mix, but the increase of management time adds to the cost. Traditional full clones allow you to have great performance and full personalization of the desktops, but at a cost - lots of fast storage is needed to hold all that data. With GreenBytes, you can have all three. By using GreenBytes' vIO (virtual storage appliance) or IO Offload Engine to deduplicate the desktops using our patented zero latency inline deduplication engine, you can take up the space of linked clones (low cost), provide fully persistent desktops (high personalization), and still allow your users' desktops to be ready in seconds (great performance).
Now, some vendors like Nimble, Tintri, and NetApp offer hybrid solutions (Spinning Disk + SSD) to try to get the price/performance ratio in line - but, frankly, the performance is still less than GreenBytes, and the price ends up being higher. The View VSA doesn't offer anything to you other than allowing you to use internal storage on your servers as a "NAS," and PVS is simply linked clones.
Good luck with your VDI deployment!
Sorry - missed those two. Virsto allows VMware (now) to place blocks across whatever internal/external storage exists in a vSphere environment - useful for sure, but not anything special for VDI - better for utilizing all the resources in your environment (at the cost of a lot of duplication of data around the environment to remove the possibility of downtime).
Atlantis is awesome for stateless VDI - when your users all don't care too much about their profile - think tellers/call center support people/etc. They just released a stateful version of ILIO, but at quite the hardware cost - an extra server for every 500 or so users (or if you're a SMB, an extra server for anything under 500 users), plus extra RAM necessary in each and every server to host their ILIO, plus a SSD/Flash card. We allow the same level of availability at similar speeds without all that extra cost by deduplicating straight to SSD/flash - no memory or extra servers needed.
Hope this helps!
please clarify how is this different than VSA or PVS?
We are a midsized shop and are looking at VDI, but there are so many options out there to make one's head spin. Can someone smarter than I explain how does Greenbytes differ from View VSA or Citrix PVS? Does they cache common blocks? Also how does that differ from Virsto and Atlantis?
There are also vendors like Tintri, NImble and Netapp that claim to have cloning and caching technology for VDI. How do they compare to the others?
I would be much obliged if someone can help lay this out for someone like the common IT admin.