How Much Can EMC Storage Save You on VDI?

20 12 2010

A while back I wrote about a Reference Architecture white paper that EMC released which highlights the benefits of FAST and Enterprise Flash Drives in a VDI environment, specifically with VMware View 4.5.

As many of you may remember, FAST stands for Fully Automated Storage Tiering, a suite of features which allows you to both beef up SP cache for reads and writes using SSD drives, as well as tier storage at a granular level across multiple types of drives. Sounds fancy right? Well, when you combine the benefits of FAST with a storage resource intensive workload such as virtual desktops the results are staggering.

If you want a recap of the solution specifics than feel free to review the white paper or read my previous blog, but what I’ll hone in on here is the bottom line. I built 2 comparable arrays based upon the specific configurations outlined in the white paper. The array which was configured with traditional FC and SATA drives with no FAST or EFD’s required 5 300GB 15K, 96 450GB 15K, and 15 1TB 7.2K drives to match the performance of the same model of array with FAST enabled and 5 300GB 15K, 15 450GB 15K, 1TB 7.2K, and 5 100GB EFD drives. That’s 76 less disks to achieve the same level of performance…which demonstrates the power and efficiency of leveraging EFD’s at an overall lower cost per I/O when performance is key.

When the rubber meets the road, that difference in drives equated to a savings of $165,000, based on list price, for the exact same model of array. This is the kind of direct and measurable reduction in TCO which makes virtual desktops a reality for most organizations.




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