Breaking through Performance Barriers: Desktop Virtualization at Cisco Live
We’re halfway into Cisco Live! Each year I find more and more attendees are coming to talk to us about running various desktop delivery models on UCS. Some observations from folks I’ve chatted with:
More and more of you are asking about NVIDIA GRID solutions for graphics intensive use-cases. I had several in fact, from the oil and gas industry who were especially interested in our C240 M3 solution with GRID – which conveniently we’ve been demo-ing here, remoted out of our San Jose lab. If you’re not familiar with it, check out our solutions for both Citrix and VMware.
CAPEX-friendliness with great performance, for small seat count environments is key. Lot’s of folks asking about solutions that are optimized for 100-200 seats of Horizon or XenDesktop, that are completely self-contained, including compute, storage, broker and the infrastructure assets. I’ve shared this brand new whitepaper on our C240 200 seat config with everyone I talk to – just a single rack footprint that includes the LSI Nytro MegaRAID Controller with 200 GB of flash for write-caching, plus 12 x 600GB SAS drives. Here’s what’s been tested:
- Cisco UCS C240-M3 Rack Server (2 X Intel Xeon processor E5-2697 v2 @ 2.70 GHz) with 384GB of memory (16 GB X 24 DIMMS @ 1866 MHz), hypervisor host
- Cisco UCS VIC1225 Converged Network Adapter/Rack Server (Optional for 10GB Connectivity)
- 2 x Cisco Nexus 5548UP Access Switches
- 12 x 600GB SAS disks @ 10000 RPM
- LSI Nytro MegaRAID Controller 8110-4i
The infrastructure/user file volumes are on the 1st 4 drives set up in a RAID 5 config, and the 2nd and 3rd groups of 4 drives (combined in RAID 10) are for XenDesktop MCS (Citrix) or Floating Assignment / Linked Clones (VMware). Extremely cost-effective for 200 seats with great performance that doesn’t max out the system and has plenty of room to breathe. Check out the Citrix and VMware configs of this “in-a-box” solution.
Flash – Flash and more Flash. It’s hard to move around SF without seeing a Cisco UCS / Flash-Forward advertisement promoting UCS Invicta Solid State Systems. Invicta is changing the economics of desktop virtualization with industry-leading wear life rating, expansive write-IOPS capacity, and superior manageability within the UCS fabric with UCS Director. We’ve got a nice demo of 600 XenDesktop seats booting off an Invicta appliance, in under 9 minutes.
There you have it – great performance that goes beyond the traditional barriers associated with cost-effectively delivering desktop virtualization. Definitely check out these three solutions if you have some time remaining at Cisco Live this week.