Analyst: Virtual desktops put "huge" pressure on storage

Taneja Group analysts have told VMworld that storage administrators must be involved in the early planning of virtual desktop projects, or storage will become a bottleneck that hampers their effectiveness.

Adopting virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) "puts huge pressure on storage" and would-be adopters must therefore ensure their storage administrators are involved early in the planning process for the technology, Taneja Group's Jeff Byrne and David Bartoletti today told the VMWorld conference in San Francisco.

Byrne and Bartoletti, respectively a Senior Analyst & Consultant and Senior Anayst with the firm said that adopting VDI creates four challenges:

  • Finding sufficient storage capacity, as each VDI typically requires at least 12 gigabytes of storage. In a typical 250-desktop implementation, this means 300 terabytes of networked storage needs to be found;
  • Provisioning at this scale is very time consuming
  • Virtual desktops boot up slowly and sometimes frustrate users
  • Backup of large VDI implementations becomes costly and complex

The pair said careful planning of VDI projects can avert or reduce the severity of these issues, with numerous technical decisions

"The first step is to assess desktops and determine their readiness for VDI," the pair said in their session, titled Optimizing VDI Storage with VMware View: Strategies for Success..

Would-be VDI users should also ensure they ask their storage vendors about their readiness for the technique and source best practises and advice before commencing projects.

Storage administrators should also ensure they are not isolated in the VDI planning process.

"Larger organisations considering VMI should get all of the relevant administrators together and decide on the tools and the team they will use for VDI," the pair said. Organisations should also ensure they make a clear decision about which team will be responsible for the storage component of a VDI implementation, as without a focus on storage it will likely hamper these projects.

Simon Sharwood travelled to VMworld as a guest of VMware.

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