Discussions are once again heating up around the possibility that this may, finally, be the year of desktop virtualization. What's different this year from last -- or the year before that, when similar predictions were made?
Software and hardware companies have been addressing many of the challenges associated with desktop virtualization technology. But one of the major hurdles in any virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment has been the issue of storage -- more specifically, the cost and storage-related IO bottleneck (or IOPS) problems. Let's be honest: Currently deployed enterprise storage wasn't designed to deal with the types of load coming from a VDI-equipped data center. This has caused many VDI initiatives to either stall or completely fail.
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One of the answers to this challenge has been to replace traditional spinning media with flash arrays. While that would certainly drive enough IOPS to address many storage issues currently found within a VDI deployment, it would also be fairly expensive to purchase this type of flash storage in the large quantities needed.
That's where a company like GreenBytes might come in handy. The company's IO Offload Engine is a dedicated solid-state disk array that was designed from the ground up as a desktop virtualization appliance. It integrates at the hypervisor level and manages specific data stores: the golden images (provisioning), replica datastore (boot), and linked clone area (swap).
The platform's secret sauce is the combination of massive bandwidth, patented low-latency high-IO inline deduplication (removing redundant data before or as it is being written to a storage device) and compression. It diverts OS and swap disk activity away from primary storage (SAN) to high-speed flash, solving the performance and latency problems and poor user experience that occur during peak usage.
Instead of throwing high-performance flash-based storage at the problem, GreenBytes says it zero latency inline deduplication process reduces the amount of flash storage space required by as much as 97 percent.