Accelerating Persistent VDI with RAM and Replication

(Excerpt from original post on the Taneja Group News Blog)

Atlantis Computing has won a bunch of awards for its ILIO Diskless VDI solution in which all the IO for stateless (i.e. transient/temporary) desktops are serviced completely out of de-duped server memory (RAM). This eliminates the IO bottleneck, increases density, lowers storage costs, and gives quite a performance boost.

But until now it has left persistent VDI, estimated at 70% of the market, still struggling with IO bottlenecks and expensive storage solutions. Today Atlantis has revealed its next generation VDI solution for persistent VDI that involves a new fast replication capability. Atlantis has added a new “Replication Host” that keeps a consistent copy of what is in each cluster server’s ILIO RAM down in persistent SAN or NAS storage. Desktops are persisted, and cluster servers and even the replication hosts can failover quickly to another.

Which means Atlantis ILIO is now an optimizing persistent VDI solution.  Desktops will still mainly be serviced out of RAM, but on the backside new data is permanently written and protected on disk.  Note that disk storage in this case may not need expensive SSD (although it certainly can) and only needs one 10GbE connection to the replication host, while each server effectively “fast replicates” over cost-effective 1GbE links.

VMware’s recent acquisition Virsto is also a technology that addresses the vm IO blender affect with under-the-hood intelligence, but it’s more of a storage accelerator as IO gets journaled into flash and then drained behind the scenes into slower spinning disk. Atlantis ILIO is in itself primary storage (in RAM) that tiers back into a cheaper capacity oriented storage. VDI IO in Atlantis for the most part will be completely served within the server itself.

Atlantis claims they can support 300+ IOPS per desktop, bursting to 5000, by serving them out of memory.  Persistent VDI won’t naturally be as dense as stateless on each server, but Atlantis will no doubt provide a significant improvement over the status quo. And persistent storage SAN requirements will be reduced to an estimated 3Gb per desktop.

Overall, Atlantis ILIO claims to have broken the storage limitations on persistent VDI, changing the cost equation to the point where most enterprises should re-evaluate the benefits of VDI if they haven’t gone down that road yet.  High density coupled with the impressive end-user performance is just what enterprises need out of VDI solutions.

…(read the full post)