Home > Citrix, Cloud, Hyper-V, Infrastructure, Networking, Nutanix, OpenStack, Storage, VMWare, XenDesktop, XenServer > How to pick virtualization (HW, NW, Storage) solution for your #VDI environment? – #Nutanix, @StevenPoitras

How to pick virtualization (HW, NW, Storage) solution for your #VDI environment? – #Nutanix, @StevenPoitras

Here we are again… a lot of companies and Solution Architects are scratching their heads thinking about how we’re going to do it “this time”.

Most of you out there have something today, probably running XenApp on your VMware or XenServer hypervisor with a FC SAN or something, perhaps provisioned using PVS or just managed individually. There is also most likely a “problem” with talking to the Storage team that manage the storage service for the IaaS service that isn’t built for the type of workloads that XenApp and XenDesktop (VDI) requires.

So how are you going to do it this time? Are you going to challenge the Storage and Server/IaaS service and be innovative and review the new cooler products and capabilities that now exists out there? They are totally changing the way that we build Virtual Cloud Computing solutions where; business agility, simplicity, cost savings, performance and simple scale out is important!

There is no one solution for everything… but I’m getting more and more impressed by some of the “new” players on the market when it comes to providing simple and yet so powerful and performing Virtual Cloud Computing products. One in particular is Nutanix that EnvokeIT has partnered with and they have a truly stunning product.

But as many have written in many great blog posts about choosing your storage solution for your VDI solution you truly need to understand what your service will require from the underlying dependency services. And is it really worth to do it the old way? You have your team that manages the IaaS service, and most of the times it just provides a way for ordering/provisioning VM’s, then the “VDI” team leverages that one using PVS or MCS. Some companies are not even where  they can order that VM as a service or provision it from the Image Provisioning (PVS/MCS) service, everything is manual and they call it a IaaS service… is it then a real IaaS service? My answer would be now… but let’s get back to the point I was trying to make!

This HW, Hypervisor, Network, Storage (and sometimes orchestrator) components are often managed by different teams. Each team are also most of the times not really up to date in terms of understanding what a Virtualization/VDI service will require from them and their components. They are very competent in understanding the traditional workload of running a web server VM or similar, but not really dealing with boot storms from hundreds to thousands of VDI’s booting up, people logging in at the same time and the whole pattern of IOPS that is generated in these VM’s “life-cycle”.

This is where I’d suggest everyone to challenge their traditional view on building Virtualization and Storage services for running Hosted Shared Desktop (XenApp/RDS) and Hosted Virtual Desktop (VDI/XenDesktop) on!

You can reduce the complexity, reduce your operational costs and integrate Nutanix as a real power compute part of your internal/private cloud service!

One thing that also is kind of cool is the integration possibilities of the Nutanix product with OpenStack and other cloud management products through its REST API’s.  And it supports running both Hyper-V, VMware ESXi and KVM as hypervisors in this lovely bundled product.

If you want the nitty gritty details about this product I highly recommend that you read the Nutanix Bible post by Steven Poitras here.

Nutanix_Bible640CVM_Dist-1024x384

There is also a good blog post by Brian Madden on the topic here where he has a great discussion about “How to pick a storage vendor for VDI. (Hint: Flash and single instance don’t matter!)”.

If you’re looking at how a VDI environment could be built using Nutanix you have a good PDF here from Nutanix: Citrix XenDesktop on vSphere – Reference Architecture.

And Nutanix also won the Best of VMworld 2013 Gold Award for Private Cloud Computing!

So now when you plan for something new, make sure that you don’t just copy what you’ve been unhappy with and  hasn’t really worked before. You may end up at the same answer as before and use what you have today, but make a NEW and fresh review of what’s out there today!

Don’t expect something great from the “higher” layer in the stack if you still have the same old bottlenecks etc. underneath.

Good luck on your journey and have a great weekend everyone!

//Richard

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