How much IO, CPU and RAM? VMware Rapid Desktop Appliance

Last week I received multiple VDI/VMware View sizing questions: How many virtual desktops can I host per server? How much RAM do I need? How much disk IO do I need to size per VM?

These questions are very hard for me to answer, without knowing details. The questions are very valid, though: You want to size your environment correctly. Under-sizing the environment will lead to performance issues for your end users and over-sizing the environment will lead to a high cost price per virtual desktop. Both results you don’t want.

I will not discuss how you can size a VMware View environment (maybe in another article). However, I can mention there are tools available like LiquidWare Labs Stratusphere FIT for assessments. Also, VMware partner with Desktop Competency and VMware professional Service can help you. Besides measuring or simulating loads with, for example VMware View Planner, you can also look at sizing an environment the other way around: look at devices which can support an x amount of users, more or less guaranteed. Devices, or I should say solutions, which consist of hardware (CPU, RAM and disk) and software (vSphere and VMware View). When your amount of users grows, expand your environment with another device and thus, scale out.

In this article I would like to make you aware of the VMware Rapid Desktop Appliance:

“a fully VMware certified, converged and scalable solution. Each certified and validated appliance delivers predictable units of performance and user experience”

Isn’t that great?! No more guessing about how much RAM, CPU and IO you need. Before I forget, the appliance isn’t a VMware appliance. Vendors like Nutanix, Cisco, Dell and HP are producing these devices, test and become VMware certified. In the past, the Rapid Desktop Program was intended for Proof of Concepts only but has extended to full production environments as well.

A while ago, I have posted an article about 1 of the vendors: Nutanix. They published the specs of their nodes/blocks and mentions a block could run 200-300 virtual desktops. If you have more users, just add a node/block. It is very scalable.

Be aware that this program is out there. Certified solutions, which will give you the power to host an x amount of users. Easy as that. The Rapid Desktop Appliance should accelerate your VDI deployment for sure.

VMware View- VMware View & Fusion-IO VDI appliance

On the 11th of February, VMware and Fusion-io in The Netherlands launched the “VMware View & Fusion-io VDI Appliance”.  Simplicity is the main word to describe this out of the box VDI infrastructure.

The appliance consists of a server with enough CPU and memory for 50 or 100 users, VMware View Bundle (vSphere included) and a Fushion-io storage card. A VMware partner could preconfigure this for end customers so it’s almost a matter of powering up the server and start using your new Virtual Desktop environment.

In my opinion, this appliance is introduced to say VDI isn’t difficult with this appliance. Many of us heard the scary stories about storage and VDI. Also, VDI is “difficult”. With this appliance customers shouldn’t be afraid anymore; Storage isn’t an issue anymore. The Fusion-io card delivers so many IO’s (and I have tested the cards and I was blown away!) that you don’t have to focus on VM’s and storage IO’s.

See attached the brochure about the VMware View & Fusion-io appliance.

VMware View & Fusion-OI 2011