Feeds

Flash-forward for virty desktops... Jeez, why didn't WE think of that?

Fusion-io rolls out me-too cache-me-if-you-can software

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Fusion-io appears to have noticed that competitors are using flash to accelerate virtual desktops and decided it wants a piece of that action too. It has tweaked its acquired ioTurbine flash caching software to produce ioVDI – and get those virtual desktop doggies rolling.

The ioTurbine software provides a cached area of flash for virtual machines (VMs) so that a host ESXi server can run more VMs. Similarly ioVDI software provides VDI-aware (virtual desktop infrastructure) flash capabilities so an ESXi host can run more virtual desktops and run them faster.

The main idea is to avoid data access IO to shared drive array storage where possible. Vikram Joshi, a Fusion-io VP and its chief technologist, provided some canned quotery about it: "Writing data creates a storage bottleneck in virtual desktop infrastructure that is … solved by ioVDI software. He added: "ioVDI fetches data from server-side flash … offloading most reads and up to 80 per cent of the writes from primary storage."

He claims ioVDI-aided VDI can be just as responsive as physical hardware and enables "hundreds of desktops to be hosted on a single server without compromising end-user experience". Fusion-io claims its software delivers "delivers persistent desktop performance at a cost similar to stateless desktops".

There are three sub-technologies mentioned:

  • Transparent File Sharing – Inline file deduplication to reduce VM disk reads over 95 per cent. It can reduce "boot times by 5x or more, enabling a fully loaded server with 200 running VMs to reboot in 8-12 seconds. Even if an entire server fails, all 200 users will be restarted automatically with no user intervention or scripting."
  • Write Vectoring – Stores non-critical transient data on server-side flash rather than on shared storage. "Unlike a write-back cache that sends all writes eventually to shared storage, write vectoring recognises the existence of transient desktop writes that never need persistence, including page file I/O, temporary files, and browser temp data." This can reduce write workloads on shared storage by up to 80 per cent, according to the vendor.
  • Dynamic Flash Allocation – If virtual desktops "are migrated across physical servers, ioVDI dynamically reallocates flash on both the primary and secondary server" to keep virtual desktops running at top speed.

The ioVDI software supports vMotion, vSphere High Availability, VMware Dynamic Resource Scheduler (DRS) and Site Recovery Manage (SRM). Virtual desktops are managed using Horizon View and vCenter Server, with event monitoring and customisable email alerts provided through vCenter.

There are several server VDI acceleration products using flash, including software from Greenbytes; hybrid arrays from Tintri and Tegile; all-flash arrays from Pure Storage, Violin Memory and others; as well as VMware's Virtual SAN, which will be available as a kind of VDI edition. Which is best for you?

Making this simple decision has now become a complicated comparison of features and benefits, limitations, scalability, ownership costs, etc.

ioVDI will be available as standalone software or from Fusion-io OEMs as an integrated VDI-running server set-up. Potential beta testers can contact Fusion-io online. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.