Diskless VDI with Cisco UCS & Atlantis ILIO

Eliminating Storage from VDI Architectures

Executive Summary

Video: Diskless VDI with Cisco UCS and Atlantis ILIO

Video: Cisco Diskless VDI Architecture Case Study

For VDI to be successful, it must compete with physical PCs on both price and performance. There are two key technology bottlenecks that are driving the cost of virtual desktops upward and causing virtual desktop to underperform physical PCs:

The VDI Memory Bottleneck
VDI requires large amounts of high-speed memory to maximize the number of desktops that can run on a single server and lower the cost per desktop. However, existing server platforms lack the ability to deliver more than 128GB of high-speed memory per server, which lowers density and increases costs. The Cisco Extended Memory Architecture eliminates the VDI memory bottleneck by delivering up to 384GB of high speed memory on a dual socket server.

The VDI Storage Bottleneck
The unique nature of the VDI workloads requires customers to purchase massive amounts of shared storage or expensive SSD based storage to deploy VDI with acceptable desktop performance. IT organization routinely undersize storage to fit within the budget of a physical PC, which leads to not having enough storage per desktop to deliver the right level of desktop performance. This ultimately leads users to reject VDI in favor of more familiar PCs. Atlantis ILIO™ software optimizes VDI to deliver high performance virtual desktops with less storage.

If VDI cost more and is slower than a physical PC, how can we expect it to gain widespread adoption?

Cisco Systems and Atlantis Computing™ have partnered to deliver a revolutionary Diskless VDI architecture that eliminates the need for all disk-based storage. For the first time, Cisco Extended Memory Technology and Atlantis ILIO VDI Optimization software make it possible to replace shared storage or local SSDs with local memory for virtual desktop storage. With Atlantis ILIO, virtual desktops consume up to 90% less storage capacity, making it possible to run all virtual desktop on local server memory instead of disk.

What are the Benefits of Diskless VDI using Cisco Extend Memory and Atlantis ILIO?

Unmatched Performance – Memory outperforms even the fastest Local SSD storage and delivers virtually unlimited IOPS to desktops locally, which dramatically improves all aspects of desktop performance including boot time, login, application launch, patching and anti-virus scanning.

Lower Cost – Using Atlantis ILIO and Cisco UCS Extended Memory, it is possible to drive down the cost per desktop from both a CAPEX and OPEX perspective:

  • CAPEX – The upfront cost per desktop can be decreased below $200 per desktop including the server hardware and storage.
  • OPEX – Diskless VDI architectures mean that IT organizations can lower operating expenses by eliminating rack space for SAN/NAS storage, lower power and cooling requirements and eliminate the operational expenses of maintaining disk-based storage and replacing failed disks.

Increased Lifespan and Reliability – Memory does not suffer from the same lifespan issues for write-intensive VDI workloads as SSDs, meaning that Diskless VDI architecture will be more reliable and have lower operational costs because there will be no failed disks to replace.