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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, SSDs and VDI in Technical; Originally Posted by mac_shinobi 35 computers would only be one large room or one room and a few spares ? ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    35 computers would only be one large room or one room and a few spares ?
    Yup, that'd be a single one of our ICT suites. So, my rough plan would be to move to VDI for tha majority of machines, maybe keeping one full-fat suite around for the super intensive stuff.

    I'm also now going to look at rough ideas of cost to do it with the RemoteFX stuff too. To see how that figures into things.

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    Ok. RemoteFX = Stupidly expensive. Basically, if you throw in the desire to have RemoteFX, you end up with needing a 2k graphics card for every 20 machines. And as servers can only support 1 or 2 of them, you end up needing racks of servers to go with it. So, to support about 160 clients, you'd need 8 HP DL370 G6's with FX5800 cards. Coming to around 120k or so.

    Or without RemoteFX, you can drop that down to about 10k. Hmm!!

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    How much writing are you going to be doing on these disks? afaik consumer drives are not really up to the sort of write amounts a server would put on it. Have you looked at the costs of the enterprise class SSDs? Although if you are happy replacing them every 3 years you may end up being fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    How much writing are you going to be doing on these disks? afaik consumer drives are not really up to the sort of write amounts a server would put on it. Have you looked at the costs of the enterprise class SSDs? Although if you are happy replacing them every 3 years you may end up being fine.
    As I said, the replacement cycle would be about 3 years anyway. So, it wouldn't be a huge issue. Also, the write demands of them would not be as high as you'd think, due to it being spread across 6 of them etc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok. RemoteFX = Stupidly expensive. Basically, if you throw in the desire to have RemoteFX, you end up with needing a 2k graphics card for every 20 machines. And as servers can only support 1 or 2 of them, you end up needing racks of servers to go with it. So, to support about 160 clients, you'd need 8 HP DL370 G6's with FX5800 cards. Coming to around 120k or so.

    Or without RemoteFX, you can drop that down to about 10k. Hmm!!
    But have naff graphics performance on the clients? Or is there some other way of getting around it?

    Have to say I was very impressed with the Citrix HDX graphics performance at the last demo I saw, can RemoteFX work that well as software-only given sufficient CPU horsepower?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    But have naff graphics performance on the clients? Or is there some other way of getting around it?

    Have to say I was very impressed with the Citrix HDX graphics performance at the last demo I saw, can RemoteFX work that well as software-only given sufficient CPU horsepower?
    Well, that works out at 700 a machine, so the other option is... using full machines. The idea of VDI is supposed to reduce TCO, but with RemoteFX it increases it dramatically.

    The other option is the HDX stuff, yes, but that is also expensive in terms of licensing.

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    Indeed, this is where VDI seems to fall down a bit still... you either drop the client experience or take the hit in the pocket

    In a multimedia-rich world I don't think I could do the first one (might as well stick with Terminal Services for anyone who doesn't need multimedia?) and the 2nd one isn't great either. There's some great advantages management-wise to VDI but I'm not sure if that's enough to make up for the other issues...

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    I think it all needs work doing before it can become feasible for many places to look at.

    I may see what the cost of Citrix XenDesktop is lately to compare things. And maybe VMWare's offering.

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    Ok, bringing this topic back up again. If I were to go down the XenDesktop VDI route, I wouldn't need so many SSDs would I?

    What sort of storage capacities would I be looking at for 160 desktops running at once?

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok, bringing this topic back up again. If I were to go down the XenDesktop VDI route, I wouldn't need so many SSDs would I?

    What sort of storage capacities would I be looking at for 160 desktops running at once?
    With most VDI setups you just need enough storage to store the 'master/golden image' and then each desktop from there on in links back to that master image and only records the differances in a seprate file - this way instead of having 20 Windows XP VMs consuming 20GB each you would have one single 20Gb image shared out between the 20 desktops with a small ammount of storage (say another 20Gb) used to storage the differances in each VM (things like local profiles/computer account names ect).

    Our VDI setup only uses 4x 72GB SAS drives and thats for 20 VMs - we could easily expand up to 80 with the way storage is being used at the moment but the only bottle neck is the speed of the drives.

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    localzuk (7th June 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Capacity wise that would be fine - the only thing is will the servers mobo support it and also you need to think about does XenServer support it?

    Personally I would love to get something like this for our next VDI project the only thing until someone does it and posts a blog post about it I'm a little too reluctant to deploy something like this in a production environment.

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    localzuk (7th June 2011)

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    Yeah, I don't know if I'd go down the PCIe route actually. SATA 6G looks more appetising.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Yeah, I don't know if I'd go down the PCIe route actually. SATA 6G looks more appetising.
    It sure does - you can get OCZ drives with SAS 6G as well now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    With most VDI setups you just need enough storage to store the 'master/golden image' and then each desktop from there on in links back to that master image and only records the differances in a seprate file - this way instead of having 20 Windows XP VMs consuming 20GB each you would have one single 20Gb image shared out between the 20 desktops with a small ammount of storage (say another 20Gb) used to storage the differances in each VM (things like local profiles/computer account names ect).

    Our VDI setup only uses 4x 72GB SAS drives and thats for 20 VMs - we could easily expand up to 80 with the way storage is being used at the moment but the only bottle neck is the speed of the drives.
    Indeed, XenDesktop is clever with the provisioning but as you say the storage becomes the bottleneck. You're then either at the point of SANs with flash acceleration or a single server with local storage, not something I'd like take a chance on if all my clients were depending on it...

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