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October 07, 2013

Part 1: NetApp and Atlantis Computing Partner to Deliver High Performance VDI

Bharath Nagaraj - Atlantis

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We are excited to announce that NetApp and Atlantis Computing™ are partnering to deliver a set of cost efficient VDI architectures for power users (e.g. software developers, healthcare PACS imagery, CAD/CAM users, etc.) that are simple to deploy and manage, provides high IOPS with better-than-PC performance, and supports high availability and disaster recovery – with CAPEX and OPEX costs that are lower than a physical PC.  The two joint architectures are:

  1. High-Performance Persistent Virtual Desktops Architecture Powered by NetApp EF All-Flash Array and Atlantis ILIO (Available Today)
  2. NetApp FAS 2240 Hybrid Array with Atlantis ILIO (Coming Soon)

NetApp and Atlantis Computing Reference Architecture

NetApp and Atlantis Computing Architecture Highlights

  • Simplicity
    • Simple storage architecture, easy to deploy and manage
    • Automated deployment and configuration
  • User Experience
    • Better-than-PC user experience
    • Efficiently meets all data mobility storage needs
  • Economics
    • CAPEX: Lower total cost than a physical PC
    • OPEX: Reduce power, cooling and datacenter footprint
  • Complete  VDI Architecture
    • Proven architecture that scales beyond 10,000 users
    • Enables high availability and disaster recovery

High Performance Persistent VDI Powered by the NetApp EF All-Flash Array and Atlantis ILIO

Today, the first of two reference architectures featuring the NetApp EF 540 All-Flash Array and Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI 4.1 software was released.

The unique differentiation of the joint NetApp EF All Flash storage and Atlantis Computing Architecture are:

  • 2,000 Persistent Desktops with 2U All Flash Storage & Host side Atlantis ILIO IO optimization software, reducing CAPEX and OPEX costs
  • 50 IOPS & 30GB per desktop; less than 2ms response time  (even with a single storage controller)
  • Scale tested with Login VSI & Atlantis Computing Workbench Load Generation Tool to simulate 50 IOPS per desktop
  • Supported for both Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View based deployments.
  • With a Pod-based design of 2,000 users per Pod, the architecture scales linearly without increasing project risk or cost.

Performance and Validation Testing

NetApp and Atlantis Computing jointly designed a test plan to validate the performance, scalability and reliability of the joint architecture using a combination of industry standard benchmarking tools such as Login VSI, PassMark and Iometer combined with the internally developed Atlantis Computing Workbench load generation tool.

The environment was tested with the following configuration:

  • 1,000 concurrent persistent virtual desktops each generating 100 IOPS per desktop
  • 8 physical servers running VMware 5.1 hosting 125 virtual desktops per server
  • 1 Atlantis ILIO virtual machine per physical server
  • A single 12 SSD EF all flash array system with 8x8G FC ports
  • The same tests were ran against both dual and single controller configurations on the EF all flash array. The goal of the test was to demonstrate a resilient enterprise ready architecture that can support a 1,000 VDI user environment delivering 100+ IOPS and 30GB of capacity per VDI user with only twelve 800GB SSD drives (6.7TB Usable) in the NetApp EF540 All Flash Array.

1,000 User Test Configuration

 

Test Results

NetApp and Atlantis ILIO Test Results

LoginVSI 3.7 Heavy

LoginVSI 3.7 Heavy

LoginVSI 3.7 Heavy Test with 40 IOPS Additional Load Per Desktop - Excellent Performance

Shown above is the VSIMax graph from LoginVSI software. Response time of 3000 milliseconds to 4000 milliseconds is considered Good, 2000 to 3000 as very good, and 1000 to 2000 as excellent.

A Key highlight for this joint architecture is that the response time is within 1000 to 2000 range, which is excellent with no increase in response time as additional user being running the workload.

PassMark Performance Test 8.0 (Disk Mark)

PassMark Performance Test 8.0

PassMark Performance Test 8.0 – NetApp + Atlantis ILIO = 4x Performance of MacBook Air

In this test, the NetApp EF540 with Atlantis ILIO optimization had a Disk Mark score of 4,993. In comparison, a physical PC with a 7200 RPM Western Digital hard drive scored 580 while a MacBook Air with an Apple SSD scored 1191. This test show that a persistent virtual desktop with NetApp and Atlantis ILIO storage provides more than 8 times faster disk performance than a traditional physical PC and more than 4 times better disk performance than a MacBook Air with an SSD.

NetApp EF Performance Scalability

NetApp EF540 Scalability with Atlantis ILIO

NetApp EF540 Scalability with Atlantis ILIO

In the testing, the NetApp EF540 Flash Array storage system utilization percentage was measured while simulating the load of 2,000 persistent virtual desktops that were generating 50 IOPS per desktop. The system utilization reached a peak of 49% CPU utilization across two load balanced controllers with less than 2ms latency (as shown in the screenshot above). This means that even with a controller failure, the storage system can support the load of 2,000 users without degrading the user experience.

Based on the IOPS, capacity requirements per desktop, and storage system utilization discussed in the Performance Test Results section, Atlantis ILIO and NetApp EF540 All-Flash array storage scalability guidelines are listed below.

NetApp and Atlantis Computing Pod Scalability

To summarize, the NetApp EF All Flash Array and Atlantis ILIO storage architecture highlighted in this whitepaper can make VDI simple, scalable, and cost effective for the most demanding extreme IOPS VDI use cases including software developers, users with high end engineering or healthcare applications, etc.

The unique differentiation of the joint NetApp and Atlantis Architecture are:

  • 2,000 Persistent Desktops with 2U All Flash Storage & Host side IO optimization software
  • 50 IOPS & 30GB per desktop; less than 2ms storage latency (even with a single storage controller)
  • Scale tested with Login VSI & Atlantis Computing Workbench Load Generation Tool at 1000 users at 100 IOPS per desktop to simulate 2000 users at 50 IOPS per desktop
  • Supported for both Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View based deployments.

To read the entire reference architecture, visit http://www.atlantiscomputing.com/netappefra

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