$37 per Desktop for storage: Citrix Ready VDI Capacity Program

Citrix Ready VDI Capacity Program 

Citrix Ready has created an opportunity for storage partners representing several different VDI storage options to plug their storage solutions into a turnkey “VDI Capacity” test environment located in our Santa Clara, CA solutions lab. This program was created with two goals in mind:

  •   Meet a defined VDI storage workload without reaching storage latency thresholds
  •   Do so with a cost- effective design

As part of this Citrix program, NetApp joined Citrix at their Solutions Lab in early 2014 to stress test a NetApp FAS2240-2 hybrid storage array. The stress testing took place against a 750 seat desktop virtualization environment based on Citrix XenDesktop 7.1. The end goal was to prove NetApp can deliver a storage solution at a very economical end user storage cost of $37 per desktop.

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 3.23.00 PM

What’s included?

–NetApp Storage HW (FAS2240-2)

–24 internal HDDs(600GB SAS, 10k RPM)

–NetApp SW licenses (iSCSI and CIFS)

–36 months, NetApp 24×7 premium support, w/ 4 hour parts replacement

 Storage ArchitectureScreen Shot 2014-04-15 at 3.46.03 PM

The NetApp FAS2240-2 was completely configured and setup in under two hours. Below is an outline of the entire NetApp storage solution configuration.

  • NetApp Clustered Data ONTAP® 8.2 operating system
  • Dual controllers with active/standby configuration. This configuration ensured high IOPS for boot, login, and steady state operations as well as consistent high performance for end users in case one storage controller fails
  • Each controller has 2 10GbE ports and x FC ports that can be used for data and cluster interconnect. For this test setup, each controller was configured with:
    • 1 x 10GbE Cluster inter-connect for HA
    • 1 x 10GbE iSCSI Data Logical Interface (LIF) per controller with LIF migration established for HA
    • Jumbo Frames were not used for the iSCSI Data LIFs in this test scenario
  • The 24 HDDs were configured as such:
    • Active Controller:
        • 16+2 RAID DP® configured for the main data Aggregate (16 data drives and 2 for parity) hosting the virtual machines
        • 1+1 RAID 4 for the root Data ONTAP® Aggregate
        • 1 Spare Drive
    • Standby Controller:
        • 1+2 RAID DP® for the root Data ONTAP® Aggregate
  • The storage was configured with a single iSCSI clustered Data ONTAP® storage virtual machine (SVM) for hosting the virtual desktops as well as a single SVM for CIFS shares to host user data.
      • iSCSI Virtual Server contained 1 x 11TB Volume
        • 11 x 1TB LUNs created for PVS Write Cache
        • Each LUN was attached to a unique Hyper-V host which contained 85 virtual desktops booting from Citrix PVS.
      • CIFS Virtual server contained 1 x 22TB Volume
        • 1 x 22TB share created for user data

Test results:

  • Boot and Login Storms
      • 935 users boot and login < than 20 minutes
  • Steady state
      • 750 users, VSI Max NOT  reached during test

The environment could have supported around 800 virtual desktops.

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 3.55.47 PM

For customers looking for an efficient, scalable, and resilient XenDesktop deployment under 1000 seats, the NetAppFAS2240-2 based storage solution excels at providing substantial performance, density and scalability at a very affordable $37/desktop. Through this Citrix Ready validation program, NetApp has demonstrated the ability to deliver a cost effective virtual desktop that provides a better user experience without impacting overall performance, scalability, or manageability. With the capability to run 750 desktops from a 2 rack unit hybrid storage array and the ability to scale without disruption to operations, this solution can be used by both small businesses and large enterprises. NetApp provides an outstanding solution for your desktop virtualization needs.


About zhurachel

I am a solution architect focus on virtualization and storage.
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