HCI Fueling VDI Growth: Customer Achieves 7x Performance

Better security. Simplified management. Improved user experience. Lower-cost client devices. These are just some of the reasons why more organizations are considering virtual desktop and application environments every day.

For anyone who has been tracking the evolution of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), then you know that expensive, shared storage has been one of the biggest hurdles to delivering a cost-effective VDI deployment. Those reasons have been well documented.

Today I want to look at a few specific examples of how hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) can help deliver a better solution for the next wave of VDI deployments. In addition, I want to share a story from ATS Automation, a large manufacturing company in Canada with over 30 data centers, who recently deployed VMware Virtual SAN and Horizon to improve their VDI performance by a factor of 7—and at a fifth of the cost of competitor offerings!


Creating Carefree Admins and Happy CFO’s

HCI solutions—like those built on VMware Hyper-Converged Software (HCS)—enable admins to shift away from purpose-built hardware and the complexity of siloed storage, storage networking and compute. This shift delivers two critical advantages that are helping fuel the growth of successful VDI projects:

  1. HCI eliminates many operational processes, like the siloed management of storage and compute as well as the storage networking layer. As a result, I see more relaxed and productive administrators when talking to customers deploying VMware HCS.
  1. HCI also eliminates purpose-built hardware as it uses commodity, x86 hardware. This means more and more IT departments are able to meet their tight budget requirements, and in turn make their CFO’s much happier.

The combination of vSphere, vCenter and Virtual SAN—which we refer to as VMware HCS—is one of the most popular platforms for Horizon-based VDI deployments. Some of the top reasons include:

  • Virtual SAN is hypervisor-embedded. The tight integration of compute and storage leads to greater resource efficiency for better desktop and app consolidation, which translates directly into lower cost per desktop.
  • Scale up and out. Granular scaling is key to delivering the right level of performance without over-provisioning your infrastructure – add individual components (like an extra flash device to the caching tier) or new nodes to predictably support another N users.
  • More performance for less money. With falling all-flash prices, Virtual SAN can now deliver all-flash storage for less than $40 per desktop—and that price seems to be falling every day. And most Horizon users won’t find a cheaper storage solution since Virtual SAN Advanced is included with all Horizon ADV and ENT licenses.
  • Simplified management and troubleshooting. The bottomline is if you know vSphere you know Virtual SAN. Compute, storage and networking are managed through common workflows in the familiar vCenter Server, meaning operational costs do not need to take a big chunk out of your VDI budget every year.


Virtual SAN and VDI Case Study: ATS Automation

These advantages of VMware-powered HCI solutions are helping companies of all types improve their VDI environments. Take for example ATS Automation, a leading manufacturer in Canada who has over 30 data centers. ATS shared how they were able modernize their virtual desktop infrastructure with a HCI solution powered by vSphere, Virtual SAN, and Horizon.

When ATS Automation started their work on updating their VDI deployment, they had a few key goals they wanted to accomplish:

  • Expand and improve VDI cost-effectively to better support remote workforce
  • Deliver workstation-level performance for 3D CAD programs
  • Integrate remote sites with nonstandard hardware and systems

And here’s a direct quote from the case study on what they were able to accomplish:

“ATS Automation wanted to expand their virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) but found that doing so with their existing SAN would be cost prohibitive. By implementing VMware Virtual SAN to support their VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure, ATS was able to improve VDI performance by 7x, enabling remote workers to use demanding 3D CAD programs for the first time. Moreover, the cost for the solution was only one-fifth the cost of competitor offerings.”

To read more about what ATS was able to accomplish with VMware, read the full case study here: ATS full case study


EUC Insights: Horizon with Virtual SAN Sessions

And to learn more about Horizon with Virtual SAN check out EUC Insights coming up on Tuesday, June 7th. You can find more information on the VMware End User Computing (EUC) blog.

Tuesday, June 7, at 9 a.m. PST (noon EST).

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM PT – Keynote Sessions
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM PT – Breakout Sessions
10:00 AM – 2:00 PM PT – Hands-On Labs



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