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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.