As a solution architect in a storage company, I am often asked by customers and sales engineers how many IOPS per desktop. My answer is always it depends. Virtual desktop IOPS is a myth. It varies by application, the stage of the workload, provisioning methods, and hypervisors. VDI IOPS is like different size nails, some are small like 2-3 IOPS per desktop, some are big like 20-30 IOPS. The easiest way is to have a big hammer to be able to hit nails in all size. NetApp finally revealed all flash FAS ( AFF), the big hammer.
NetApp offers All-Flash with advanced data management delivering high performance, advanced data management, and low cost per desktop. The NetApp All-Flash FAS solution shares the same unified storage architecture, Data ONTAP OS, management interface, rich data services and advanced feature sets as the Hybrid-FAS solution. This unique combination of All-flash media with Data ONTAP delivers the consistent ultra-low latency and high IOPS of all-flash storage, with the industry-leading clustered Data ONTAP OS. In addition, it offers proven enterprise availability, reliability and scalability; storage efficiency proven in thousands of VDI deployments; unified storage with multiprotocol access; advanced data services; and operational agility through tight application integrations.
We recommend to use AFF when the IOPS is > 20IOPS per desktop or ultra low latency like < 1ms is required.
Check our new reference architecture on All flash FAS with VMWare View. AFF with XenDesktop is coming in a couple of months. Yes, I am doing the work. 🙂