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February 26, 2016

Simplify the Virtual Workspace

Patrick Brennan - Atlantis


The Virtual Workspace Today

The conversation and pressure to deliver a mobility and virtual workspace solution to end users is ever increasing in the enterprise space. This demand is being driven by the pressures of the next generation of users, requiring a solution that allows them to work anywhere on any device in this ever expanding global economy.  Unfortunately, these requirements can have an inverse relationship with the IT objectives to keep their intellectual property and data secure and minimize risk.  This has been a significant reason why the virtual workspace and VDI has been successful, solving these challenge for millions of users and so many IT organizations.

Register for the webinarThe end user computing industry loves to talk about the virtual workspace in the context of VDI as a dedicated desktop OS VM for every user.  However, hosted shared desktops and applications (HSD or HSA) still are used, relevant, and in many use cases are the more preferred delivery platform for a workspace or VDI model.  While it’s what the industry would consider as the more traditional style of deployment for workspace environments, HSD/HSA continues to provide easier management, highest scalability, and lowest cost for getting users access to their applications and data anywhere on any device.

Historically, the virtual workspace has been one of the more difficult solutions to architect, deploy, and manage due to the complexities of an end user workload running in the datacenter.  One of the difficulties with desktop and client applications is that they require a lot more compute and storage resources due to the performance demands that are atypical in server workloads.  These issues plague these deployments because the amount of expertise and planning these complex infrastructures are costly and can take a considerable amount of time to implement.

Discover HyperScale

Atlantis HyperScale is a market leading hyper converged solution available in 3 different models. The CX-4 (4TB) is great for remote office or branch office VDI or HSD/HSA deployments (ROBO), or the CX-12 (12TB) which fits well with non-persistent VDI or HSD/HSA, and CX-24 (24 TB) which is a perfect fit for easily scalable persistent VDI options.  Atlantis HyperScale further gives you the freedom of choice with multiple vendor offerings empowering your organization to choose the right solution for your environment, all with three years of 24x7 support and maintenance.  To make it easy to look at various configurations and receive a quote, you can visit the HyperScale Appliance Configurator

Specifications Specifications Specifications Specifications Specifications
Data Sheet Data Sheet Data Sheet Data Sheet Data Sheet

Atlantis HyperScale provides a simple deployment model that provides all of the performance, storage, and compute necessary to deliver up to 915 hosted shared desktops or applications.  This hyperconverged solution takes a turnkey approach that creates a platform for HSD or HSA environments to be deployed in under an hour.  This new architecture greatly simplifies deployment but most importantly provides a better user experience than traditional server and storage models.

As my colleague Ruben Spruijt has pointed out on his blog, user experience is extremely important to the success of virtual workspace solutions.  Atlantis HyperScale gives you performance that’s faster than flash, providing a user experience that is even better than a PC!  Virtual workspace environments login up to 12x faster on HyperScale with applications that can launch in under a second!  What’s remarkable is that all of this performance is provided at under $100 a user with a greater simplified infrastructure than traditional servers and SAN/NAS.

How HyperScale Performs

To validate and demonstrate the value of Atlantis HyperScale, a XenApp on Atlantis HyperScale Reference Architecture was created with a series of benchmark tests performed using LoginVSI and Iometer to determine scalability of hosted shared desktops running Citrix XenApp on the Atlantis HyperScale CX-12 hardware.  The Iometer tool demonstrates the expected number of IOPS you would see in an environment.  The LoginVSI tool simulates an end user workload to determine what type of user density you might expect in a customer’s production environment on the provided hardware configuration.  Two concepts to familiarize yourself with are the VSIbase and the VSImax numbers.  The VSImax in short helps determine the maximum amount of users or desktops the infrastructure can support, while the VSIbase number helps determine the overall performance of the system as a general guideline. A higher VSImax is better while a lower VSIbase is better.

The table below is a summary of the results that were achieved with LoginVSI and Iometer.  Something important to notice is aside from the impressive 915 desktops achieved without reaching the VSIMax, meaning the system could theoretically support more desktops or users.  Further, the VSIbase is 602 and is one of the lowest VSIbase scores I’ve personally ever witnessed indicating the system is optimized for excellent performance, even though we did not perform any VM, OS, or system optimizations.

LoginVSI Test Results Summary

VSImax –Max Not Reached VSIbase CPU Utilization  - Max Per Node Active Memory – Max Per Node Disk Latency – Average Per Node
915 602 75% 81GB 1.73ms

Iometer Test Results Summary

Total IOPS IOPS per Desktop Session Read/Write Ratio Random/Sequential Distribution
169,030 185 20% / 80% 80% / 20%

XenApp on HyperScale

To discover more about how these results were achieved and more about the XenApp reference architecture on HyperScale, please register for our webinar covering this topic on March 9th 2016 at 9AM PT to learn about:

  • The next evolution of a simpler and cost effective workspace
  • How Atlantis HyperScale is the right fit for any size environment while scaling as you grow
  • Architecture and overview for XenApp on HyperScale
  • XenApp scalability and benchmarking results with LoginVSI and IOmeter

Register Now

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