What Data Virtualization can do for your Virtual Desktops

Recently, SimpliVity announced some pretty amazing numbers we found while testing VMware Horizon View 6 on our OmniStack 3.0 software. These numbers were tested utilizing the industry standard Login VSI desktop benchmarking tool. In fact, these numbers were so amazing, we brought in both Login VSI and ESG to obtain official validation of these test results from both, asvdi check mark evidenced by the lab validation preview ESG produced, and the “Validated by Login VSI” logo.

By Brian Knudtson

The Login VSI validation program is a fairly new program, and one we’re proud to have obtained. ESG has a long reputation of validating VDI test results, so they are also very familiar with the Login VSI tool. Having both involved in this process has given two solid third party validations of our test results and has been an absolute pleasure.

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The Evidence

This week, we are releasing a performance whitepaper, published on SimpliVity’s site and on the Login VSI Benchmark Reports site, which documents nine of the most interesting tests we ran. These tests are standard Login VSI tests, so they should be easily comparable to other Login VSI based tests. The numbers that SimpliVity can deliver in a VMware Horizon environment blew me away the first time I saw them.

The performance capabilities documented in these tests include:

  • 1000 desktops deployed in 70 minutes
  • 1000 users logged-in in only 1000 seconds
  • 250 end users per node with no end user performance issues
  • Full High Availability (HA) failover for 1000 task workers on 4 nodes

These statistics are significant on their own. If you look closely at the below graph (1000 knowledge workers running on 4 nodes), you’ll also notice that the end user experience remains very consistent until the very end of the tests. This is evidenced by the fact that the maximum latency (red line) doesn’t spike or deviate from the average latency (blue line) until around the point when 900 users have logged in. Most importantly, the average latency doesn’t even come close to the VSI threshold, which would indicate a poor end user experience. This means that the end user experience doesn’t vary even as the system becomes heavily loaded.

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VDI Performance with Data Virtualization

SimpliVity is able to deliver these unprecedented results because of the accelerated data efficiency of our OmniStack 3.0 Data Virtualization Platform. The Data Virtualization Platform enhances VDI environments by deduplicating data, which results in a dramatic reduction in the amount of I/O to the hard disk drives.

When a user login occurs on a virtual desktop, there is a significant amount of I/O that occurs. The writes are staged in DRAM on our OmniStack Accelerator Card and only destaged down to the hard disk drives if the block is unique. For read I/O, SimpliVity utilizes both flash and memory based caching, and since all data remains deduplicated when it is brought up into cache, these tiers of cache can hold a much larger logical amount of data than is physically allocated. With this approach to data efficiency, hard disk drive performance is no longer the primary bottleneck affecting the end user experience, especially when you consider how high the amount of duplicate data is in a virtual desktop environment.

The consistency of the end user performance can be attributed to the OmniStack Accelerator Card. This SimpliVity-developed PCIe device is used to offload data efficiency operations, which results in very predictable performance characteristics for I/O intensive workloads.

Of course, all the other benefits of the Data Virtualization Platform are available to virtual desktop environments as well. Global unified management means that no additional management interfaces need to be introduced or trained on, because it’s all based within the familiar vSphere client. It also means that as additional modes are introduced to expand the size of the virtual desktop infrastructure, they will also still be managed from a single vSphere client, making VM-level policy-based management and data mobility very simple.

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Built-in data protection is also available to help protect all the components of the VMware Horizon View infrastructure and the critical data the users generate. All this happens automatically based on policies, with RPOs as low as 10 minutes and with backup and restore functions that can happen in less than 60 seconds.

The end result is a platform that can host an unprecedented 250 knowledge worker desktop VMs per hyperconverged node with performance that will delight both end users and IT staff. You truly achieve the best of both worlds when you can combine performance that supports end users logging in every second with the economics of starting with only 2 nodes and linearly scaling one node at a time. That’s VDI without compromise.