Hi, I work for an IT consultant firm, we deal with allot of small business's and work allot with vmware on the server side. We have been looking allot into VDI for some of our clients. For some of the clients there would be allot of benifits with going with virtual desktops.
Problem is no one in our company has ever worked with VMware View. Im confident I can learn it, but im worried about storage in terms of performance as i have no experience in it yet
Ive been reading up allot on this, but allot of the forums and articles ive read deal allot with large environements, not small ones. So everyone is talking about SANs with SSD Hybrid drives and stuff like that which is really expensive. These expensive SAN's make it to pricey to justify it to the client.
But like i said the articles all seem geared towards larger env.
Most of clients would be around 30 to 50 desktops, nothing crazy, just typicall programs like Office, Web browsing and such. So what can i get away with in terms of storage?
Can I get a low end SAN with 7200k speed drives, or will that kill performance? Do i need 15k drives? Three is a big differnece in price between the 2.
Is it possible to use VSA (vmware storage appliance)?
Thanks for any input
May I also recommend the bootcamp series which consist of videos producted by VMware to educate users on certain aspects of View such as planning, troubleshooting, best practices. You can find the videos in the bootcamp forum located here, http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/desktop/view/bootcamp.
As far as designing it's extremely hard to put a generic number as each environment and each use case is different. If you want an example of the types of information to come to this decision I suggest reviewing Andre's View calculator here, http://myvirtualcloud.net/?page_id=1076.
In the end you can use whatever you want VSA, local storage, iSCSI SAN, etc as long as it fits your requirements and delivers the performance you need.
Problem is I dont have experince yet with View and storage, so i dont really have a good idea of what will meet my performance needs. Ill take a look at the calculator to see if that helps.
But if i got a low end SAN with 8 15k rpm drives in it, raid 5 or 10. Would that typically be good enough to run 30 to 50 Virtual Desktops?
You don't need View experience to know what your performance needs are. You need experience/monitoring of the desktop image that will be used to determine what kind of IO they will use.
As far as the low end SAN, I assume it will be iSCSI and what kind of drives and is it a 10GB or 1GB network?
Are the users task workers, power workers, etc?
What is the average and max IOPS the desktop will need? Do they generate more read IO or write IO?
What is the size of each desktop?
As you can see it is a lot of information that would vary for each environment so it's extremely tough to generalize. I would suggest setting up a lab or demo environment and just play around to get ideas.
To your question "Is it possible to use VSA (vmware storage appliance)?" I cant speak much for the VSA but StorMagic's SvSAN is being used by several customers at the moment. most have approximately 30-40 desktops.
You could run more than 40 desktops with SVAs (dependent on solution) but the performance is typically down to the underlying hardware and disks. in some cases SVAs can offer higher performance than SAN solutions where the speed of the network is the limitation (noticably more with reads than writes).
Take a look at this document: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/view/VMware-stateless-virtual-desktops-ref-arch.pdf
This doc describes a View design that uses local SSD, and it works really, really well. I'm hosting about 70 destops on two Dell R710 hosts with less than $3,000 of redundant local SSD, and disk performance (and performance in general) is a non-issue.
I suspect a lot of SAN vendors wish this had never been published.
That sounds like VSA could be an option then, the hardest part is we dont really have the equipment to test things out first, so its hard to figure out whats right for the customers, but hopefully we will get some experience with it and see what works and what doesnt