Impact Report by 451 Research: Login VSI sets performance benchmarks for virtual desktop environments
Analyst: Karin Kelley, 27 March, 2013. Source
Industry experts have been using Login VSI to test and benchmark server-based computing and VDI environments for years. Now, the company aims to become the industry standard.
Login VSI is now in version 3.7, and supports Windows 8 and Server 2012. The company is in the process of moving its headquarters from Amsterdam to the Silicon Valley to grow its business in the US, while also continuing its European expansion through a new partnership with a distributor, Prianto. That deal should help Login VSI gain traction in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and the UK.
The 451 Take
We've known Login VSI for some time, and have always been impressed by how useful it is to determine how to design virtual desktop and server-based computing (SBC) environments. The company claims that it has become the industry standard for testing and benchmarking these environments, and we think that is a fair statement based on how its software is being used by a wide variety of established and upcoming software and hardware vendors alike. Login VSI points out that it gets to review the white papers that have been published based on the tests that have been performed by third parties for accuracy, which is reassuring. The fact that the tool is vendor-agnostic is a plus, too. Staying neutral in a commercial engagement might be a challenge, but it's definitely possible.
Born in European desktop consultancy Login Consultants as a free tool, Login VSI was spun off as an independent commercial entity last summer. The company now has 300 paying customers and a growing fan base. Like many consultancies, Login Consultants finds itself writing proprietary software to carry out its consulting engagements. These projects make for natural spinoffs, and Login VSI is not the only software born in the company's labs. Amsterdam-based Immidio and its Flex profile management software were also spun off of the parent consultancy.
Login VSI has offices in Amsterdam and Sunnyvale, California, and is in the process of moving its headquarters to the Silicon Valley. The company has 300 paying customers, with an average deal size of $10,000. Despite Login VSI's European background, 85% of its customers are in the US. The company has 14 employees and expects to have at least 20 by the end of the year. Login VSI has not taken any external funding to date, but is actively looking.
Login VSI started out as a free benchmarking tool for SBC and VDI. The commercial product, Login Virtual Session Indexer, has four main use cases. ISVs can use it to test the scalability and performance of software offerings. End-user organizations, IT consultancies and hosting providers can use it to size deployments in the planning stage, and then in production for load-testing and change-prediction analysis. In the pilot or proof-of-concept phase, a customer can determine things like which VDI or SBC product works best in that particular environment, as well as how much hardware, CPU, storage and networking capacity will be needed. Login VSI differs from performance-monitoring tools in that it provides a benchmark on how well their SBC and VDI environments should be performing, as opposed to how those environment are performing.
Customers request a license and download Login VSI from the Web. Next, IT administrators must build a testing lab. The environment requires at least two VMs in order for the software to work. There is no maximum. Login VSI is vendor-neutral, and the company claims that it works with all of the major SBC and VDI platforms. Through a series of wizards, IT administrators can then configure Active Directory and set up a VSI share, and then install VSI launcher agents. These are the machines that set up remoting connections. Next, a VSI workload must be installed in the virtual image. Once the images are updated, the tests are ready to run. Login VSI then calculates what the company calls a VSImax. This measures how many machines can run on a host server before performance begins to degrade. The VSImax provides a performance baseline.
Login VSI comes in two flavors: Login VSI Express, which is free, and Login VSI Pro, which is not. The Express version supports a maximum of 50 users, is limited to the English-language version of both Windows and Microsoft Office, and does not include support. Pricing for Login VSI Pro is based on the number of user sessions and duration of the license. It can be purchased for three-, six- or 12-month periods; there is also a perpetual licensing option. The Pro version works with all of the language variants of Windows and versions of Microsoft Office, and comes with support services.
Liquidware Labs has a VDI assessment tool called Stratusphere FIT and an end-user experience product called Stratusphere UX. These days, however, the company seems to be spending more energy on its other user-virtualization offering, ProfileUnity. Login VSI points out that it is a testing tool that can be brought into an environment after an assessment has already been made on whether the environment should be virtualized in the first place. Login VSI also claims that it is not a monitoring tool like Lakeside Software or eG Innovations, but a testing and benchmarking tool. In the application-testing space, Login VSI runs into Citrix's EdgeSight for Load Testing, Hewlett-Packard's HP Load Runner, VMware's View Planner and Scapa Technologies.
|Login VSI is widely known, used and respected in the industry.||The company is still very small, and its focus on SBC and VDI is relatively narrow. Organizations will also move to native mobile and Web applications to run their businesses.|
|Organizations will undoubtedly be adopting virtual infrastructure for their end-user environments to some extent, and will need visibility into the complexities involved.||Mobility and the consumerization of IT are driving organizations to look at alternative ways to manage environments in the post-Windows world that SBC and VDI were designed to accommodate. Large incumbents are retooling their stacks for this.|