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September 16, 2013

IBM and Atlantis Computing Join Forces to Deliver Cost-Effective, High-Performance and Scalable Persistent and Stateless Desktop Virtualization Solutions for Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp

Seth Knox - Atlantis

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We are excited to announce that IBM and Atlantis Computing have teamed up to deliver integrated desktop virtualization solutions for Citrix XenDesktop Persistent VDI (Dedicated), Stateless VDI (Pooled) and Citrix XenApp (Hosted Shared) deployments based on the IBM PureFlex, IBM Flex System, and IBM FlashSystems platforms optimized with Atlantis ILIO software.

This joint solution is in response to customers who have been asking for integrated solutions that simplify the deployment of desktop virtualization and reduce their deployment risks. After seeing the real-world impact of Atlantis ILIO at some of IBM’s largest customers, IBM decided to develop an integrated solution using IBM PureFlex and IBM Flex System with Atlantis ILIO for Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp. Together, the joint solution is able to deliver simplified VDI architectures that scale efficiently, reduce the cost per desktop and, most importantly, ensure the success of IBM customers.

IBM has identified five key challenges faced by their customer base in VDI deployments and teamed up with Atlantis Computing to address the most critical obstacles to successful desktop virtualization implementations:

  1. High cost and complexity of the storage and network infrastructure required to deploy desktop virtualization
  2. User experience requirements that need to be equal to or better-than a PC
  3. Deployment risks such as storage sizing and implementation mistakes that derail projects
  4. Management at scale for tens of thousands of users
  5. High availability and disaster recovery to protect from system failures and natural disasters

Together, IBM PureFlex, IBM Flex System and IBM Storwize® V7000, IBM Flex System V7000 Storage Node or IBM FlashSystem with Atlantis ILIO storage optimization software deliver a unique solution that addresses the challenges of deploying VDI. The integrated solution consistently delivers high desktop performance as projects scale, while reducing storage requirements by up to 95%.  Built on fully validated reference architectures tested at the IBM Innovation Center, this virtual desktop solution provides flexible deployment options that scale to tens of thousands of users.

  • Lower than PC cost – saves hundreds of dollars per desktop as storage capacity and performance requirements are reduced by up to 95% with Atlantis ILIO™ optimization software
  • Better-than-PC user experience – cost-effectively delivers better-than-PC performance including faster boot/login times, near-instant application launches and search speeds that will amaze users
  • Lower project risks – proven and flexible solutions that scale to tens of thousands of desktop without the risk of storage or network bottlenecks, while enabling high availability and disaster recovery
  • Management at scale – automated deployment and configuration that reduces mistakes.  Simplified architectures that lower the operational costs and performance risks of deploying persistent VDI

The IBM and Atlantis Computing for Citrix XenDesktop and XenAppFlex System for XenApp

Every organization has unique business and technology needs. IBM PureFlex, IBM Flex System and IBM FlashSystems with Atlantis ILIOoptimization software are designed to address a broad range of desktop virtualization requirements through smoother integration with Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp using integrated solutions built on, IBM PureFlex™ System, IBM Flex System, IBM Storwize® V7000, and IBM Flex System V7000 Storage Node or IBM FlashSystemTM with Atlantis ILIO storage optimization software. The solution provides the flexibility to meet the requirements of any customer, while simplifying deployment by using integrated building blocks to maximize resource efficiency. IBM and Atlantis Computing have developed three simplified and customizable reference configurations designed to provide unparalleled cost and performance, while addressing scalability and flexibility requirement of each desktop virtualization model:

 1.  IBM PureFlex and IBM FlashSystem with Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI

The following configuration is designed to support 1,000 persistent virtual desktops with Citrix XenDesktop. The configuration scales to tens of thousands of virtual desktops by adding additional nodes.

  • 1 IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis with IBM Flex System Manager
  • 11 IBM Flex Compute Nodes 2 x Intel Xeon processors (E5-2600s) and 384GB of RAM
  • 1 IBM Storewize v7000 storage controller with 8x 400GB SSD drives and 8 x 600GB SAS drives or a 10TB IBM FlashSystem 820 for virtual desktops (including user profiles & data) and infrastructure storage
  • Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI storage optimization software for 1,000 persistent VDI users

For more details on each solution, download the solution brief here:

IBM PureFlex and Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI Solution Brief

 2.   IBM PureFlex and IBM FlashSystem with Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI

The following configuration is designed to support 1,000 concurrent stateless virtual desktops with Citrix XenDesktop. The configuration scales to tens of thousands of virtual desktops by adding additional nodes.

  • 1 IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis with IBM Flex System Manager
  • 11 IBM Flex System Compute Nodes 2 x Intel Xeon processors (E5-2600s) and 256GB of RAM
  • 1 IBM Storewize v7000 storage controller with 12 x 600GB SAS drives or a 10TB IBM FlashSystem 820 for user profiles and infrastructure storage (no disk storage required for virtual desktop images)
  • Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI storage optimization software for 1,000 stateless VDI users

For more details on each solution, download the solution brief here:

IBM PureFlex and Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI Solution Brief

3.   IBM PureFlex and IBM FlashSystem with Atlantis ILIO for Citrix XenApp

The following configuration is designed to support 1,000 concurrent virtualized Citrix XenApp sessions. The configuration scales to tens of thousands of virtual desktops by adding additional nodes.

  • 1 IBM Flex System Enterprise Chassis with IBM Flex System Manager
  • 9 IBM Flex System Compute Nodes 2 x Intel Xeon processors (E5-2600s) and 256GB of RAM
  • 1 IBM Storewize v7000 storage controller with 8 x 600GB SAS drives or a 10TB IBM FlashSystem 820 user profiles & data (no disk storage for XenApp Server instances required)
  • Atlantis ILIO for Citrix storage optimization software for 1,000 Citrix Sessions

For more details on each solution, download the solution brief here:

IBM PureFlex and Atlantis ILIO for Citrix XenApp Solution Brief

Atlantis ILIO In-Memory Storage Technology

Atlantis ILIO In-Memory Storage™ technology optimizes the way storage-intensive applications use data center storage when virtualized – to reduce the amount of storage consumed, optimize use of shared storage, boost performance, and reduce operationalization risks. Today, Atlantis ILIO is the only solution on the market that enables the deployment of both Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Citrix XenApp with no physical storage for virtual desktop images. Deployments use server RAM as primary storage leading to better-than-PC user experience at a lower cost, while automating installation, storage sizing and datastore creation to reduce implementation risks and deliver working deployments faster.

IBM Innovation Center Benchmark Testing

The IBM Innovation Center conducted extensive performance, scalability and reliability testing. The testing included measuring:

  1. The storage density and optimization that could be achieved with Atlantis ILIO
  2. Reliability and high availability during server outages
  3. Desktop performance using industry standard benchmarking tools such as LoginVSI 3.7 (Medium workload), ioMeter and PassMark Performance Test 8.0.
  1. Picture1 *Percentage reduction measured from and equivalent system without Atlantis ILIO software.

 

Persistent VDI Test Results

The test results showed that Atlantis ILIO was able to increasing storage density per disk by up to 33 times, while maintaining a server density of 125 virtual desktops per server (2x Intel Xeon E5-2670 with 256GB RAM). When tested using ioMeter with an industry-standard VDI IO profile (80%write, 20% read, 80% random, 4K blocks), the Atlantis ILIO virtual machine was able to deliver 37,243 per server. With a server density of 125 virtual desktops, this means that each virtual desktop has access to a minimum of 297 available IOPS and the ability to burst up to thousands of IOPS per desktop when needed. High Availability (HA) testing using Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0 was able to show automated fail-over and recovery within 10 minutes. Performance testing using ioMeter, LoginVSI and PassMark showed desktop performance that was 3-4x faster than a typical physical PC user experience with 25% faster disk performance than a PC with a dedicated SSD

persistent chart

Persistent VDI storage capacity reduction with Atlantis ILIO Software (see table above) 

LOGINVsi

Persistent VDI response time in miliseconds (LoginVSI 3.7 Medium Workload)

Persistent PassMark 8.0

Persistent VDI PassMark Performance Test 8.0 benchmark: Atlantis ILIO persistent VDI disk performance compared to PC storage (SSD, SATA Hard Disks)

 

Diskless VDI Test Results

The test results showed that Atlantis ILIO was able to increasing storage density per disk by up to 55 times, while maintaining a server density of 125 virtual desktops per server (2x Intel Xeon E5-2670 with 256GB RAM). When tested using ioMeter with an industry-standard VDI IO profile (80%write, 20% read, 80% random, 4K blocks), the Atlantis ILIO virtual machine was able to deliver 45,209 per server. With a server density of 125 virtual desktops, this means that each virtual desktop has access to a minimum of 361 available IOPS and the ability to burst up to thousands of IOPS per desktop when needed. Performance testing using ioMeter, LoginVSI and PassMark showed desktop performance that was 3-4x faster than a typical physical PC user experience with 32% faster disk performance than a PC with a dedicated Intel SSD.

Stateless chart_916

Stateless VDI storage capacity reduction with Atlantis ILIO software (see table above)

Stateless LoginVSI

Stateless VDI response time in miliseconds (LoginVSI 3.7 Medium Workload)

stateless results 

Stateless VDI PassMark performance test 8.0 benchmark: Atlantis ILIO stateless VDI disk performance compared to PC storage (SSD, SATA hard disk)

Citrix XenApp Test Results

In order to validate the IBM PureFlex with Atlantis ILIO for Citrix XenApp solution, the IBM Innovation Center conducted extensive performance, scalability and reliability testing. The testing included measuring the density that could be achieved with Atlantis ILIO and desktop performance using industry standard benchmarking tools such as LoginVSI 3.7 (Medium workload) and ioMeter. The results showed that Atlantis ILIO was able to achieve a server density of 200 XenApp user sessions per server (2 x Intel Xeon X5650 with 256GB RAM). Performance testing using ioMeter and LoginVSI showed desktop performance that was 4.5x faster than the LoginVSI acceptable XenApp response time with 242 IOPS per XenApp user session at peak (ioMeter).

XenApp Storage Capacity

Virtualized XenApp Server Instance storage capacity reduction with Atlantis ILIO Software (see table above)

Virtualized XenApp

Virtualized XenApp response time in miliseconds (LoginVSI 3.7 Medium Workload)

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