Optimize Storage Fast with VMware Virtual SAN!

Jul 24, 2014
Jessica Flohr


Jessica Chapin (Flohr) is a contract technical writer and editor in End-User Computing at VMware in Palo Alto, California. She graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a bachelor of arts degree in English Writing and has a certificate in editing from Poynter News University. Currently, she is working on the Professional Sequence in Editing through the UC Berkeley Extension program. In addition to editing technical papers and formatting blog posts for the End-User Computing blog, Jessica writes for her local community newspaper.

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By Jessica Chapin, Technical Writer and Editor, End-User Computing, VMware; Donal Geary, Reference Architecture Engineer, Desktop Virtualization, VMware; and Wade Holmes, Senior Technical Marketing Architect, Software-Defined Storage, VMware

VMware vSphere5.5 Update 1 introduced VMware Virtual SAN. This new software-defined storage tier is the industry’s only vSphere-based hypervisor-converged storage solution. Virtual SAN allows compute and storage resources to be served by server platforms, combining local flash and magnetic disk to create a resilient, high-performance shared storage solution.

VMware Horizon with View can now leverage the power of VMware Virtual SAN to allow VDI deployments to scale linearly while maintaining great performance and user experience.

In the recently published technical white paper, VMware Horizon with View and Virtual SAN Reference Architecture, Virtual SAN is put to the test. Under medium-workload and heavy-workload testing, View desktop performance was exceptional, with low latency response times from Virtual SAN and minimal impact on ESX.

This test of 400 linked-clone desktops was performed on four Dell R720 PowerEdge rack mount servers with VMware Horizon with View and VMware vSphere 5.5. The results are summed up in this chart.


In less than an hour, 400 linked-clone desktops were deployed. Just five minutes were needed for startup.

This VDI environment was load-tested using Login Virtual Session Indexer (Login VSI 4.1), an industry-standard tool for evaluating VDI performance. Login VSI creates a simulated workload environment, with simulated users accessing commonly used applications. The purpose of the simulation is to saturate the environment with virtual end users to test the application response time, memory usage, CPU usage, and the maximum user capacity.

Under the medium-workload test, the VSImax was not reached. CPU usage may have been elevated, but memory usage was less than 75 percent.

In addition to the high performance of View and Virtual SAN, the integration of Virtual SAN into vSphere makes it incredibly easy to use. Virtual SAN utilizes a policy-based management framework. These storage policies guarantee that each virtual machine has access to appropriate storage resources. The policy association process of matching storage policies with desktop pools is automated through vSphere, depending on what type of virtual desktop pool is chosen when creating desktop pools. This capability is new with Horizon 6 with View. You can customize the storage policies to direct resources as needed from a single user interface. Storage policies can be changed with no interruption of service for end users.

This reference architecture describes the components of the tested environment, the nature of the workload testing, and the capabilities of VMware Horizon with View and Virtual SAN. Download VMware Horizon with View and Virtual SAN Reference Architecture today to learn more about how Virtual SAN can help meet your virtual storage needs!

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