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vSphere Virtual Volumes for Horizon 6 & NetApp All-Flash FAS

Earlier this week, we announced a new release of Horizon 6 here highlighting several new key features, one of which is support of Virtual Volumes. As mentioned in the announcement, NetApp is the first partner to successfully validate VVOls with Horizon 6. Let’s elaborate more on this integration via this guest post from Abhinav Joshi – Sr. Product Manager for End User Computing Solutions, NetApp (@abhinav_josh)


It gives me a great pleasure to announce that NetApp All-Flash FAS (AFF) has emerged as the first storage array to successfully complete validation testing with VMware for Horizon 6 with vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVols). This joint integration will be available for production use with NetApp Data ONTAP 8.3 via the NetApp Virtual Service Console (VSC) supporting VVols very soon.

The joint solution will allow you to cost efficiently offload VM cloning operations to NetApp AFF flash storage array based cloning operations resulting in enhanced performance, best in class end user experience, scalability, and reduced flash storage requirements. NetApp and VMware have been strategically aligned for number of years around VVols development and we’ve been the reference partner for NFS.

VVols enables VM granular storage management so that the desktop and server admins no longer have to worry about characteristics of individual datastores, and can rely on advertised storage policies for optimal VM placement. VVol offloads key storage operations (e.g. VM cloning, dedupe, compression, QoS, snapshots, replication, etc.) to the storage arrays.

This validation is a result of deep engineering collaboration between the two companies over the last several months to prove that the joint solution can efficiently scale to 1000s of desktops for all the key Horizon 6 desktop lifecycle management operations i.e. VM provisioning, refresh, recompose, and rebalance. The validation was done over NFS protocol. There was lot of lessons learned from this collaboration that has helped ensure that the NetApp’s VVol integration is very robust and highly scalable. This will help ensure you get best out of the box experience, and scale seamlessly to 1000s of VMs (desktops or business apps) over VVols on a single NetApp AFF array. Now the team is heads down focused towards achieving the same validation over SAN protocols!

NetApp AFF is a cost efficient, enterprise class All-Flash array. It provides consistent high performance at ultra-low latency, advanced storage efficiency and data management, simplified deployment and management, always-on operations, and ability to scale to 24 nodes.  NetApp AFF removes storage cost as a barrier to Horizon deployments, at any scale, and any use case (Traditional virtual desktops, Graphics intensive virtual desktops enabled by NVIDIA GRID technology, DaaS, etc.). This was validated in our recently published joint Reference Architectures (here and here) on AFF 8060 All-Flash array, showcasing 4000 desktops at $55/desktop for storage (including 3 yr support and services w/ 4 hr parts replacements). We understand that lot of you have lower desktop count requirement and the good news is that similar low storage $/desktop numbers can be achieved for lower number of desktop requirements with the AFF8020 and AFF8040 flash arrays.

We are very excited about this new joint solution as it helps lower the storage cost per desktop (key barrier to the adoption of VDI) and ensuring best in class end user experience. Happy users, Happy CFO, Happy CIO, and Happy CEO!!! 

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Bhumik Patel

About Bhumik Patel

Bhumik Patel is a Partner Architect in VMware’s Technical Alliance team focusing on driving joint solutions with strategic partners. Bhumik has over 10 years of experience designing and implementing virtualization solutions for customers globally as a solutions architect and driving integrated solutions with key partners. Bhumik has presented at many leading industry conferences and partner events. Bhumik holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Computer Science. Follow @bhumikp

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  1. Pingback: Virtual Volumes Links » Welcome to vSphere-land!

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