End User Computing (Desktop)

Why Horizon 7 on FlexPod?

In recent times, we have seen a great deal of value proposition around how Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is becoming an ideal platform for hosting all types of workloads including desktop and application virtualization with Horizon 7. Certainly there are unique architectural HCI value propositions such as the collapsed stack providing an ease of initial deployment & ongoing management and policy-driven software-defined server-side storage. And there are a few others such as overall simplicity and pay as you grow options potentially reducing upfront CAPEX costs. And this certainly is driving the next wave of infrastructure platform decision making. As we know though, HCI is an evolution from Converged Infrastructure (CI) based architectures – where we started reaping the benefits of a validated and integrated stack for compute, storage and networking including management integrations. Added with the single vendor support and a modular architecture that fits the bill for all sizes and scale and workloads we have a common set of design principles between CI and HCI. So then specifically for a VDI deployment with Horizon 7, why deploy it on a CI stack such as FlexPod? Like a good consultant will tell you, the answer to this in most cases would be “it depends” on many factors. Let’s look at a few here:

  • FlexPod has a strong & mature ecosystem which you can leverage for your specific use cases with Horizon 7 – we looked at this here
  • Leveraging existing practices built around FlexPod where your teams are highly experienced in running your data center based on FlexPod design & implementation best practices
  • FlexPod provides desired scalability with a cost-performance balance for Horizon 7 for small to large size deployments linearly scaling the Horizon POD architecture to fit your future growth needs
  • Built on vSphere, FlexPod leverages storage, compute and management integrations allowing customers to protect existing investment for delivering VDI. These includes storage integrations such as VAAI, VASA and VVOLs and management integrations with vCenter and vRealize Operations
  • Scale-Out storage technologies with NetApp providing a similar notion to HCI where storage nodes are added as needed

In order to provide customers and partners with the continued best practices on FlexPod, NetApp team in partnership with Cisco & VMware have released two NetApp Validated Architectures (NVA) – Horizon 7 with FlexPod Design Guide and Horizon 7 with FlexPod Deployment Guide. Let’s look at some of the key highlights of this solution:

  • Deploy 2500 Horizon 7 desktops (1250 Linked Clones and 1250 Full clones) with NetApp All Flash FAS (AFF8080) and Cisco UCS B200 M4 and Nexus 9000 with proven performance results with Login VSI. In fact, systems resource utilizations are at 50% making storage and compute available for further expansion of your VDI environment
  • Impressive scalability & performance measured for delivering Windows 10 with Office 2016 with Horizon 7
  • Updated best practices for VMware, Cisco and NetApp products. For e.g. leveraging vCenter Appliance, iSCSI based boot from SAN and NFS datastore access protocol, networking with Nexus 9000s
  • Leverage vRealize Operations for integrated management of the environment leveraging management packs for Cisco UCS, NetApp storage and Horizon 7. With these management packs, customers can gain better visibility into the end to end FlexPod environment and perform key analytics on both virtual and physical infrastructures

In addition, FlexPod Datacenter design guide for vSphere 6 provides the foundational blueprint for running your virtualized infrastructure on a proven converged architecture. As vSphere continues to be the leading platform on FlexPod, and with VDI  being an ideal workload for a converged infrastructure, we continue to collaborate with FlexPod providing customers with a choice of building their VMware environments on a converged infrastructure of their choice.

Look forward to your comments & if visiting VMworld do visit NetApp for a deep-dive on these FlexPod with Horizon architectures.

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