VDI-in-a-Box Appliance

VDI is coming to a workplace near you! More and more companies are looking to VDI when considering large-scale desktop refresh projects. The cost per seat has never been more compelling and if you can deliver a hardware desktop-like user experience with the management and security benefits of VDI, why wouldn’t an organization consider virtualizing its desktops? I’ll be talking more about VDI and the work I’m doing in upcoming posts.

My team at Dell has just released the industry’s first VDI appliance based on the Citrix VDI-in-a-Box solution called DVS Simplified. The goal of this solution is to provide a cheap, simple, and robust way to get up and running with VDI in minutes flat. This product is targeted at smaller VDI deployments so has no complicated or expensive infrastructure requirements. All of the management components as well as VDI sessions execute on a single R710 server virtualized with Citrix XenServer. The solution is completely virtualized with all components baked in so setup is a very simple process. Horizontal scaling and N+1 HA are possible using the VDI-in-a-Box grid architecture which allows additional appliances to be added to the stack to support additional users.

DVS Simplified leverages linked clone technology so all VDI desktop VMs are created from a gold master image. This technique provides a tremendous reduction in required storage as well as sizable per appliance user density. Each linked clone created is a read-only copy of a snapshot of the master (replica). All changes that occur in the VM are stored separately in a write cache/ delta disk file that is discarded at user logoff or reboot. The linked clones as a result only consume a fraction of the space consumed by the gold master and are much faster to provision. 

Setup literally takes minutes out of the box, not including the time required to setup the gold master desktop image. Everything you need is literally in a single box. This is a very cool solution that is already getting a lot of attention.

Giving credit where credit is due, this solution architecture is the brain child of my colleague Daniel De Araujo. I merely gave input and reviewed docs/ test data. Smile





1 comment:

  1. I've got a call scheduled with Dell for next week to discuss this. Our current VDI is terrible. Really need a more simple solution, and this looks promising.


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