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#Nutanix – the ultimate Virtual Computing Platform for VDI – CBRC-like Functionality For Any #VDI Solution with #Nutanix – #IaaS – via @andreleibovici

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s really great to see the capabilities of the Nutanix platform! Just read this great blog post by @andreleibovici around Content Based Read Cache (CBRC) and how this isn’t necessary at all on a platform like Nutanix!

Conclusion

Overtime I will discuss more about the technology behind Content and Extent Caches. For now what is important to know is that Nutanix provides a better in-memory microsecond latency benefits provided by CBRC for any VDI solution on any of the aforementioned hypervizors, for both Linked and Full-Clones. In fact, Nutanix engineers even recommend Horizon View administrators to disable CBRC because the Nutanix approach is less costly to the overall infrastructure.

It is amazing when your world turns upside down and a technology that used to be awesome becomes mostly irrelevant. It amazes me how fast technology evolves and help organizations to achieve better performance and lower OPEX.
 
For a long time I have discussed the benefits of CBRC (Content Based Read Cache) available with Horizon View 5.1 onwards, allowing Administrators to drastically cut-down on read IO operations, offloading the storage infrastructure and providing greater end-user experience.
 
Here are few of the blog posts I wrote on CBRC technology: Understanding CBRC (Content Based Read Cache)Understanding CBRC – RecomputeDigest MethodSizing for VMware View Storage Accelerator (CBRC)View Storage Accelerator Performance BenchmarkCBRC and Local Mode in VMware View 5.1View Storage Accelerator (CBRC) Hashing Function.
 
CBRC helps to address some of the performance bottlenecks and the increase of storage cost for VDI. CBRC is a 100% host-based RAM-Based caching solution that helps to reduce read IOs issued to the storage subsystem and thus improves scalability of the storage subsystem while being completely transparent to the guest OS. However, CBRC comes at a cost.
 
When the View Storage Accelerator feature (CBRC) is enabled, a per-VMDK digest file is created to store hash information about the VMDK blocks. The estimated size of each digest file is roughly:

  • 5 MB per GB of the VMDK size [hash-collision detection turned-off (Default)]
  • 12 MB per GB of the VMDK size [hash-collision detection turned-on]

The digest file creation for a large replica disk can take a large amount of time and a bulky quantity of IOPS, therefore it’s is recommendable not to run the operation, create new desktop pools, or recompose existing pools during production hours.

CBRC also uses a RAM to manage the cached disk blocks. The per-VMDK digest file is also loaded into memory. That is the reason why CBRC should not be enabled under memory-overcommit environments. If a host is memory over-committed and CBRC is enabled – the memory pressure is increased as CBRC also uses memory for the cache. In such cases, the host could experience increased swapping and the overall host performance could be impacted.

Whilst I wrote about CBRC benefits, I also received numerous negative comments about the technology, including lack of support for full-clone desktops, being unsupported for layering tools like Unidesk, and taking too long to generate new hashes for every replica.

CBRC is a platform feature (vSphere), however it is only enabled and available via Horizon View. Other VDI products such as XenDesktop or vWorkspace cannot utilize the feature.

Nutanix suppress the need for CBCR, providing similar functionality to any VDI solution running on top of vSphere, Hyper-V or KVM. Nutanix has a de-duplication engine built into the solution that works real-time for data stored in DRAM and Flash.

 

CC_Pools

Content Cache (Dynamic Read cache) Read more…

GREAT VIDEO – #Citrix #XenDesktop vs. #VMware #Horizon #View installation video

January 23, 2014 Leave a comment

This is really funny! Have a look at this video to see how you can compare a XenDesktop and a Horizon View installation side-by-side!

And another thing that is kind of funny is that VMware still compares Horizon View with XenDesktop 5.6: https://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMware-View-vs-Citrix-XenDesktop-Datasheet.pdf

//Richard

VMware acquires AirWatch! – #EMM, #MDM, #BYOD, #VMware, #AirWatch

January 22, 2014 Leave a comment

This is really interesting! I’m not that surprised though, it was about time VMware did something!

I must agree with a lot of people who have written about this, they are really going for a leader! So they mean business! Will be fun to see how well the can integrate this into their offerings and how that will look like.

VMware buys AirWatch for $1.54 billion, acquires mobility strategy

VMware will acquire AirWatch, a mobile device management company, in a $1.17 billion cash deal that will give the virtualization software provider a play in mobility. VMware will also pay $365 million in installment payments and unvested stock options.

airwatch stack

 

Mobile device management has been a hot sector desperately in need of consolidation given there are more than 100 vendors. Large enterprises increasingly want mobile device management put together with content management and collaboration. VMware’s acquisition follows IBM’s purchase of FiberLink and Citrix’s acquisition of Xenprise in 2013.

VMware’s spin is that AirWatch will give it a foothold in mobility as well as its end-user computing strategy, which revolves around desktop virtualization and delivering enterprise apps to tablets and smartphones.

Here’s Gartner’s Magic Quadrant on the sector.

mdm-magic-quadrant-559x593

According to VMware, AirWatch will continue to be led by CEO John Marshall. AirWatch will be lumped into VMware’s end-user computing group, which… continue reading here!

VMWare Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire AirWatch

Acquisition will Provide Customers with the Most Complete Solution to Manage Users, Devices and Applications across Desktop and Mobile Environments.

PALO ALTO, Calif., January 22, 2014 – VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, and AirWatch today announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which VMware will acquire AirWatch, the leading provider of enterprise mobile management and security solutions. VMware will acquire AirWatch for approximately $1.175B in cash and approximately $365M of installment payments and assumed unvested equity. The AirWatch team will continue to report to founder and chief executive officer John Marshall as part of VMware’s End-User Computing group, led by Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM. Alan Dabbiere, AirWatch’s cofounder and chairman, will be overseeing a new AirWatch operating board which will report to Pat Gelsinger, VMware chief executive officer.

“AirWatch provides best-in-class, secure, enterprise-mobile management to thousands of businesses around the world,” said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. “With this acquisition VMware will add a foundational element to our end-user computing portfolio that will… continue reading here!

//Richard

#Gartner report – How to Choose Between #Hyper-V and #vSphere – #IaaS

November 19, 2013 Leave a comment

The constant battle between the hypervisor and orchestration of  IaaS etc. is of course continuing! But it is really fun I must say that Microsoft is getting more and more mature with it’s offerings in this space, great job!

One of the things that I tend to think most of is the cost, scalability and flexibility of the infrastructure that we build and how we build it, I often see that we tend to do what we’ve done for so many years now. We buy our SAN/NAS storage, we buy our servers but lean towards Blade servers though we think that’s the latest and coolest, and then we try to squeeze that into some sort of POD/FlexPods/UCS or whatever we like to call it to find our optimal “volume of Compute, Network and Storage” that we can scale. But is this scalable like the bigger cloud players like Google, Amazon etc.? Is this 2013 state of the art? I think that we’re just fooling ourselves a bit and build whatever we’ve done for all these years and don’t really provide the business with anything new… but that’s my view… I know what I’d look at and most of you that have read my earlier blog posts know that I love the way of scaling out and doing more like the big players using something like Nutanix and ensure that you choose the right IaaS components as a part of that stack, as well as the orchestration layer (OpenStack, System Center, CloudStack, Cloud Platform or whatever you prefer after you’ve done your homework).

Back to the topic a bit, I’d say that the hypervisor is of no importance anymore, that’s why everyone if giving it away for free or to the open source community! Vendors are after the more IaaS/PaaS orchestration layer and get into that because if they get that business then they have nested their way into your business processes, that’s where ultimately that will deliver the value as IT services in an automated way once you’ve got your business services and processes in place, and then it’s harder to make a change and they will live fat and happy on you for some years to come! 😉

Read more…

Solving the Compute and Storage scalability dilemma – #Nutanix, via @josh_odgers

October 24, 2013 Leave a comment

The topic of Compute, Network and STORAGE is a hot topic as I’ve written in blog posts before this one (How to pick virtualization (HW, NW, Storage) solution for your #VDI environment? – #Nutanix, @StevenPoitras) … and still a lot of colleagues and customers are struggling with finding better solutions and architecture.

How can we ensure that we get the same or better performance of our new architecture? How can we scale in a more simple and linear manner? How can we ensure that we don’t have a single point of failure for all of our VM’s etc..? How are others scaling and doing this in a better way?

I’m not a storage expert, but I do know and read that many companies out there are working on finding the optimal solution for Compute and Storage, and how they can get the cost down and be left with a more simple architecture to manage…

This is a topic that most need to address as well now when more and more organisations are starting to build their private clouds, because how are you going to scale it and how can you get closer to the delivery that the big players provide? Gartner even had Software-Defined-Storage (SDS) as the number 2 trend going forward: #Gartner Outlines 10 IT Trends To Watch – via @MichealRoth, #Nutanix, #VMWare

Right now I see Nutanix as the leader here! They rock! Just have a look at this linear scalability:

If you want to learn more how Nutanix can bring great value please contact us at EnvokeIT!

For an intro of Nutanix in 2 minutes have a look at these videos:

Overview:

Read more…

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

September 13, 2013 Leave a comment

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

Read more…

#Citrix #XenDesktop 7 on #vSphere Validated Design Guide is available now!

Really good design guide by Citrix and blog post by Carisa Powell:

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Citrix Solutions Lab 5000-user XenDesktop 7 on vSphere Validated Design Guide.

Yes, you read that right, XenDesktop on vSphere.  XenDesktop is also known to many vSphere customers as the best VDI solution for vSphere, and this design guide showcases the latest release of XenDesktop features and functionality all being hosted on a vSphere hypervisor.  XenDesktop is the best of both virtual apps and desktops from a single platform, so XenDesktop is VDI, XenDesktop is app virtualization, XenDesktop is server-hosted apps and desktops, XenDesktop is secure remote access, XenDesktop is mobility…and with XenDesktop 7 you get all of this functionality from a single platform.

This design guide combines everything that is XenDesktop 7 and delivers it from vSphere to showcase how you can provide an app, desktop, remote access, and more solution for any type of user:

  • VDI – XenDesktop offers a variety of VDI use cases, whether the user needs a standardized, corporate desktop that remains consistent and routine, or the user needs a personalized virtual desktop that he or she can customize to meet their business needs.  This design guide validates XenDesktop Provisioning Services central image management technology for Pooled VDI on vSphere and XenDesktop Personal vDisk technology for delivering Personal VDI on vSphere.
  • Server-hosted Apps and Desktops – XenDesktop also offers server-hosted apps and desktops by leveraging Microsoft Remote Desktop Shared Hosted (RDSH) technology to enable multiple users to connect and share resources from a single server.  This design guide showcases XenDesktop server-hosted resources from Windows Servers on vSphere.
  • Remote Access – XenDesktop leverages Citrix NetScaler appliances to provide secure, remote access from any location.  NetScaler can be a virtual or physical appliance, and this design guide highlights the implementation and configurations of NetScaler Gateway virtual appliances on vSphere.

So why showcase all the features and functionality of XenDesktop 7 on vSphere?  Staying true to the Citrix vision, XenDesktop continues to remain the only hypervisor agnostic app and desktop virtualization solution – including VDI, virtual apps and more.  This means XenDesktop 7 seamlessly integrates with any hypervisor including Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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