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Over the last year, we have seen how Hyper-converged architectures are fueling VDI as a use case. The value proposition for deploying VDI with an HCI based architecture is compelling – ease of initial deployment, improved storage cost economics, simplified and integrated infrastructure management are a few to name. At the same time, VMware Horizon is also driving newer architectures that enables customers to successfully implement their flavor of digital workspace solutions – see recent announcements here.

Both these advancements, in VMware Horizon & the underlying HCI platforms hosting virtual desktop and application workloads, requires providing customers with a new set of guidance. On the traditional on-prem side, this includes looking at various deployment options available with Horizon such as Linked Clones, Instant Clones and Just-in-time desktops, Full-clones and RDSH based desktops and its impact on underlying platform scalability and ultimately the end user experience it delivers.

Working with Cisco UCS based HCI architectures, last year we shared with you scalability and performance results for VMware Horizon 6 with Cisco UCS Ready Nodes for VMware Virtual SAN. Today, I would like to highlight key findings from the recently published Cisco Validated Design guide (CVD) for designing and  deploying a Horizon 7 solution with Cisco HyperFlex platform:

  • Windows 10 desktops tested for scale and performance – 1000 VDI sessions for Linked clones, Instant clones and Full clones and 1200 RDSH sessions on 8 nodes tested with Login VSI results guaranteeing excellent end user performance. This includes end-to-end scalability measuring CPU, Memory and Network utilizations and average and peak storage IO latency values. Calculating a VSIMax score (as part of Login VSI test methodology) provides an accurate guidance of maximum scalability possible without compromising on the end-user performance. This scalability testing also provides a building block for achieving further linear scalability for a larger deployment
  • Provisioning 1000 Instant Clones took 22 minutes – Instant cloning technology is the basis for delivering just-in-time desktops with Horizon and rapidly clones and deploys a virtual machine leveraging the vmFork technology within vSphere. Without this enhancement, it would have taken 3x time to provision a similar environment. In addition, boot storms were tackled in less than 5 minutes for 1000 desktops proving that the infrastructure can handle extreme workload scenarios
  • Integrated Management with vCenter – Leveraging vCenter plugins for HyperFlex and Cisco UCS Manager providing ease of managing your virtual and physical infrastructure hosting Horizon

Here’s a snapshot of the platform BOM:

HyperFlex_Horizon

Please refer to the guide for complete design and deployment guidance. For more details about the new HyperFlex release read cisco’s announcement [https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1827930] and register for the March 22 broadcast of a live TechWiseTV episode on HyperFlex [https://engage2demand.cisco.com/210-hyperflex?keycode=001473308&dtid=001473308

I look forward to engaging with customers and partners deploying this architecture. Follow @bhumikp