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300 Seat VDI hardware solution

Hello I have been tasked with setting up a 300 Seat VDI hardware solution trying to line up some hardware got any suggestions ? 

This is a complete build from the ground up and will only be used for VDI nothing else.

1. Stateful desktops for 300 users.

2. HA I would like to be able to sustain one failed host if possible.

3. Windows 7 64bit clients with 4GB of memory and 2VCPU per client.

4. Standard load on the desktops not power users.

5. Storage to be able to handle the load of all these users 100IOPs or more per desktop.

6. Prefer Fiber channel shared storage.

What do you guys think as for budget it's up in the air wanted to get an idea on the ammount of hardware needed

and go from there on pricing.

Any help would be apprciated.

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4 Replies
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

The first two metrics to look at are CPU and RAM because they are the easy ones.

With 4GB of RAM and 2 vCPU per desktop you're looking at 1.2TB of RAM. Since we get about 8 vCPUs/physical core on average with VDI you can assume you will need ~75 cores to handle this workload.

With dual socket 8 core CPUs (16 cores/server) you would need 5 hosts to handle the load with a 6th for failover. With those CPU numbers you would then need ~256GB of memory per host to handle the load plus one server for redundancy.

So basically:

2x8 core CPUs


As for storage, if you're looking at standard office/task workers and not power users 100 IOPS will be overkill, unless you have an app that is going to drive that. 30,000 IOPS is going to cost quite a lot. Smiley Happy

I would recommend taking a look at this guide for general sizing but specifically the section on page 7 about storage sizing:


20 IOPS per desktop is likely a good starting point. This will put you at 6,000 IOPS instead of 30,000 which will cost a lot less. For added room for bootups/peaking you could go as high as 8,000-10,000. You can take those numbers back to your storage vendor and get some pricing based on those numbers.

Hopefully this is helpful.


Twitter: @MikeBarnett_

You should definitely look into Nutanix.  This appliance when combined with VMware View could create an unparalleled virtual desktop infrastructure  tailored to any environment.  In a nutshell it's an appliance which includes the hypervisor (vSphere) and eliminates the need of shared storage.

Checkout the solution at the below link.

The Nutanix Solution | Nutanix



VCP 4/5, VSTP 4/5, VSP 4/5 @fjpesante

So my thinking was that I can use an all SSD array to provide a much better experience to the end user I would say like 40GB per desktop 20GB for windows and 20GB for user data.

I can use mapped network drives for the users to store data on the network that's mapped when they login to there desktop.

Ok so looking at the guide it seems that 2 VCPU is an overkill for just standard users but there is no getting around the memory barrier.

5 host's total with 256GB per host and 1 host for redundancy.

How about the vcenter, view connection server , view composer and domain controller/DNS servers going to need two more host's

for this in it's own datacenter/cluster?

Just noticed 140 VMs per LUN with VAAI support and 64 VM for no VAAI Fiber Channel and an unlimited number of VMs for NFS and iSCSI.

So I couldn't just carve out 1 big FC SSD LUN for the pool and share it amongst all the hosts for the desktops ?

Looks like NFS seems to be a better choice in storage for this solution since I can just share the SSD array to all the host's or

can this be accomplished with FC I suppose I could make desktop pools 100VM per LUN but how would HA work in this solution is it


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Also how would licensing work I see there is a complete package called horizon view bundle which is $250/concurrent connection which includes.

- Horizon View Manager

- Horizon View Composter

- Persona Management

- ThinApp

- vSphere Desktop

- vCenter Desktop

Then there is an option for vsphere desktop which is $65/concurrent connection couldn't I just add an essentials plus package and use this ?

What would I be missing? do you have to have view manager?  I would think this is a necessity

Also another question if I were to go with let's say some Samsung SM843T SATA ssd for the array with interposers does anyone

see a problem with that ? connected to 4 host's over fiber channel?

Or do you think I can accomplish 300 concurrent stateful desktops with 24 1.2TB hitachi 10K disks?

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