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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, SSDs and VDI in Technical; ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    SSDs and VDI

    I'm still thinking about getting more out of our servers and potential VDI use in the future. As everyone probably already knows, storage is the most expensive part of a VDI setup in the initial stage due to the high IOPS requirement.

    Now, this got me thinking about SSDs locally on the servers instead of having to splash out on a central SAN filled with SAS 15k disks or something like that.

    The OCZ Vertex 3 range has a top capability of about 60k IOPS which is phenomenal. Ok sure, this is a very specific use case and real world behaviours will likely drop that down to half or less but that is still a lot of IOPS.

    Would using servers with a couple of these in work as a VDI solution? What do people think? You can get 240GB versions for about £350 exc VAT - which is pretty good.

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    SSD for VDI is great, providing your VDI solution and/or your SAN solution can utilise it . If you're using something like XenDesktop with either PVS or their new Machine Creation Services with a SAN that does dedupe/thin provisioning then you'll get some amazing speeds. Or if you wait for the new intellicache feature to work with XenServer/XenDesktop that would also allow you to use local disk (or SSD) to cache the VDI images on each server and once again SSD would be great there

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I'm talking specifically about eliminating the need for a SAN. SANs are expensive, SSDs in servers are cheap.

    So, looking at using purely MS technology (HyperV based etc...) rather than expensive licensed addons (citrix is expensive, basically).

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    You would get speedups, but the issue I see if getting the virtual hard disk images deduplicated otherwise your going to need more space than the SSDs are going to provide. Without the fancy tech that Citrix/VMware provide with their VDI solutions you generally have to create lots of virtual hard disk files for each VM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Ok. 6 x 240GB SSDs would cost around £2,000. That'd give a good amount of space to work with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post

    The OCZ Vertex 3 range has a top capability of about 60k IOPS which is phenomenal. Ok sure, this is a very specific use case and real world behaviours will likely drop that down to half or less but that is still a lot of IOPS.
    Have you looked at their RevoDrive PCI range?

    The performance is even better, and the price points not outrageous either.

    OCZ RevoDrive X2 PCI-Express SSD - OCZ

    We've got a few servers running products that thrive on high storage speeds - these made a huge difference.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok. 6 x 240GB SSDs would cost around £2,000. That'd give a good amount of space to work with.
    Maybe PCI Express solution might be viable now because if you are saying you would need 6 SSD's for storage. You could get 6 PCI Express cards for redundancy and still get the speed / better IOPS / throughput ??

    They do larger capacity PCI Express models ( 480 Gb plus per card etc )

    If you go with the 240gb or 480 Gb PCI Express Revo Drive X2 cards ( as posted by Domino ) you get 120,000 IOPS instead of the 60,000 Per SATA 3 Drive

    If you need more storage they do 960 Gb PCI Cards ( 2 of them ) but then for redundancy and if you had the PCI Express slots then wasnt sure if you were going for 2, 3 or 4 cards ?
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 2nd June 2011 at 10:40 AM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We run 1U servers. So, we can stick 2 devices in them each - so they're not really viable.

    We wouldn't need 120k IOPS, lol. A business running 3500 clients would need about 75k IOPS for normal daily usage...

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok. 6 x 240GB SSDs would cost around £2,000. That'd give a good amount of space to work with.
    That should work and give you an amazing system . Lightning fast!!

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok. 6 x 240GB SSDs would cost around £2,000. That'd give a good amount of space to work with.

    On the savings maybe you could buy me 6 SSD's lol

    Don't think the PCI Express based solutions - not many of them anyway are OS X compatable ( wouldn't need it bootable )

    On a realistic note - maybe you could do a video once you have it built so we can so how fast it is

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfish View Post
    That should work and give you an amazing system . Lightning fast!!
    Great stuff. It seems like it'd be very cheap for the end result. I may see if I can get hold of a single SSD and do some trials this summer. My goal is to eliminate having to maintain 3 separate systems effectively (ie. thin clients, fat clients and teacher laptops). Moving to a VDI model with application virtualisation - so everyone is using the same things, and I have to fiddle with things less, and I don't have to worry about client speeds so much.

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    With six (or more) 6Gb/s SSDs, you may need to get a faster RAID card such as the LSI MegaRAID 9265-8i or Adaptec 6805. Both cards are designed with the latest 6GB/s SSDs in mind. The Adaptec card, even lets you combine SSDs + HDDs.

    Maybe it's just me, but I would never put anything made by OCZ into a server.

  13. Thanks to Arthur from:

    mac_shinobi (2nd June 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    With six (or more) 6Gb/s SSDs, you may need to get a faster RAID card such as the LSI MegaRAID 9265-8i or Adaptec 6805. Both cards are designed with the latest 6GB/s SSDs in mind. The Adaptec card, even lets you combine SSDs + HDDs.

    Maybe it's just me, but I would never put anything made by OCZ into a server.
    That counts the OCZ Vertex 3 and OCZ Revo Drives out lol

    Which SSD's are you thinking of then Arthur ?

    Wait for OWC to bring out a raid version of there SATA 6G models or use the RAID Version of there SATA 2 Drives ?

    Maybe as suggested before get the 6G OWC Drive ( and partition it so that it 80% of the space is usable and the rest sits there in an empty partition not being used so if it needs to use that space it can do ) ??
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 2nd June 2011 at 11:05 AM.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Maybe it's just me, but I would never put anything made by OCZ into a server.
    Why not?

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Why not?
    Why not ( touche on that comment )

    At least with the revo drive on the spec tab it states :

    Compatible with Windows XP 32/64, Vista 32/64, Windows 7 32/64

    No mention of server O/S'es

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