As anyone who reads my blog knows I am a strong advocate for VDI techonlogies particulary Citrix VDI-in-a-Box which has the key advantage of being able to use local storage (which is great for SSDs!).

As part of this I’m now happy to report that Citrix has used my old workplace (a medium secondary school in Oxfordshire) as a case study site and that the case study can be seen here.

For the past few days I’ve been doing a little performance testing to see just how much an influence RAID cache makes when provisioning Virtual Desktops.

The test was to create 20 virtual desktops and see how long it takes to get the first one spun up and ready for use and then to see how long it took to get all of the desktops ready for use.

The tests were conducted using-

Citrix XenServer
Citrix VDI-in-a-Box
HP DL385 G7 Server
8 core 2.0ghz HE AMD Opteron Processor
4x15k SFF 72GB SAS 6Gbs HDDs
HP P410i RAID Controller (1Gb cache)

the results (all times in mins and seconds) were-

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We all love VDI – it makes things simple to look after desktops but sometimes the back end is a little complicated. That’s where Citrix VDI-in-a-box comes in use!

With many other VDI products you will find that the setup process is all about getting the SAN ready, getting various installations of Windows server ready and then getting the VDI management/provisioning/connection broker software running – all of which takes a very long time.

The magic of VDI-in-a-box is in its simplicity which can be summed up in a few key points-

  • No need for a SAN – your compute nodes just have local hard disks, the ‘golden image’ is then replicated and duplicated locally on each compute node. Continue reading