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Pure Storage demonstrates all-flash performance, scalability, and resilience for Citrix XenDesktop VDI tested with Login VSI

Pure Storage demonstrates all-flash performance, scalability, and resilience for Citrix XenDesktop VDI tested with Login VSI

Guest blog by Calvin Nieh, Pure Storage

Virtualizing desktops is no small undertaking as architects make decisions based on user requirements, use cases, platforms, devices and features to support, as well as what IT infrastructure is required to support their organization’s VDI needs.

Looking at an organization’s needs, task workers will perform work in ways that are different from office workers, sales people, or remote developers or contractors. Vertical industries also vary in requirements for VDI. In education, students and teachers work differently from businesses and K-12 schools will differ in needs from universities or technical schools. In healthcare, nurses and doctors require the ability to roam from patient to patient and access medical records quickly and securely. Other verticals that typically deploy VDI include state and local government, financial organizations, and manufacturing where security, mobility, and performance requirements can vary greatly.

Once VDI needs and strategy are nailed down, the IT infrastructure required to support VDI needs to be architected. The success of a VDI project hinges on the satisfaction of your end-users, and that often starts and ends with the performance of the infrastructure put in place. Successful VDI projects depend heavily on highly performant storage. There are many options out there to consider, from traditional disk systems, to hybrid, converged infrastructure, hyper-converged or all-flash solutions.

One way to help customers with making VDI infrastructure decisions is with the use of an industry-recognized load testing tool. Login VSI simulates virtualized desktop system and scales from a few virtual machines to thousands. By simulating scaling of VMs, desktops, servers, and storage, the tool is able to accurately show the absolute maximum number of VMs that can be deployed on a given host or cluster of hosts, using pre-defined classes of workloads that closely mimic real-world users. Using Login VSI enables customers to make educated decisions when evaluating various VDI architectures.

You may find the complete results of our white paper using Login VSI titled FlashStack Converged Infrastructure with Citrix XenDesktop. Here are a few of the top takeaways from the paper:

  • We deployed 2,000 Citrix XenDesktop MCS-based linked clone Windows 7 desktops and ran a realistic load generator with Login VSI that simulated 2,000 users performing common computing tasks, resulting in achievement of the best Login VSI Baseline Score in every single test that was performed, even where VSImax was reached. This score means the majority of the applications used in the Office workload performed with outstanding performance and response times.
  • Throughout the testing, FlashArray delivered up to 100,000 IOPS and maintained latency under 1 ms, demonstrating the FlashArray’s consistent latency and ability to deliver the best all-flash VDI end-user experience at all times. FlashArray delivers a better desktop experience for end-users than dedicated laptops with SSDs, and doesn’t risk end-user experience by relying on caching as hybrid flash/disk arrays do.
  • In total throughout the testing we deployed more than 2,000 desktops (each of 32 GB disk size), together only consuming about 510 GB of physical storage on the FlashArray. This massive data reduction (57.7-to-1) is the result of the high-performance inline data reduction (deduplication and compression) delivered by the FlashArray, which enables using any combination of linked clones or persistent full-clone desktops – both of which reduce to about the same amount of space on the array.

pure storage demonstrates all flash performance scalability and resilience for citrix xendesktop vdi tested with login vsi flashstack converged infrastructure solution box

This FlashStack Converged Infrastructure is a validated reference architecture for VDI using Cisco UCS servers, Nexus switches, Pure Storage all-flash arrays and Citrix XenDesktop.

pure storage demonstrates all flash performance scalability and resilience for citrix xendesktop vdi tested with login vsi flashstack converged infrastructure solution

Login VSI’s industry standard VDI test suite was used to show exceptional scaling of Citrix XenDesktop 7.6.1 from one hundred to thousands of users. While we did this testing, we showcased Pure Storage’s all-flash resilience as our engineer disconnected a fiber-channel cable during our 8 server, 1200 user simulation run and still experienced sub-ms latency throughout the simulation. As expected and shown below, an error message showed up on our Pure Dashboard and an automated email alert was sent out, all while the system continued to perform flawlessly.

pure storage demonstrates all flash performance scalability and resilience for citrix xendesktop vdi tested with login vsi cable failure

This resilience test is going to be tested to the extreme in a sponsored upcoming analyst paper, where multiple workloads will be consolidated on a VMware vSphere solution including VMware Horizon View, SQL Server and Oracle, while multiple parts will be pulled, and systems rebooted. Our goal there will be to show how the Pure Storage all-flash system enabled all workloads to continue to run and perform consistently through failure.

Here's a sneak peek @ what that will look like. Is that cool or what?

pure storage demonstrates all flash performance scalability and resilience for citrix xendesktop vdi tested with login vsi performance and resilience for multiple workloads through failure

Learn more about how Pure Storage helps customers with VDI at: www.purestorage.com/vdi

About Calvin Nieh

calvin niehCalvin Nieh is a solutions marketing manager with over 20 years of experience on enterprise software, hardware, and services solutions. At Pure Storage, he is responsible for the development and messaging of VDI and EUC solutions that solve customer business and technology problems. Follow him on Twitter with @calvinnieh

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