VMworld 2014: Re-imaging VDI for Next-Gen Desktops

Session EUC2551

VDI 1.0 challenges: Storage cost and performance; 3D Graphics; Application management; Provisioning: All adds up to a frustrating experience

Broad Goals for Next Gen VDI

  • Efficient use of infrastructure – just in time desktops w/ zero copy architecture – Building at the point of demand
  • Improved flexibility- user installed apps – Dynamically assemble of JIT desktops
  • Best user experience – Low latency I/O – advanced vSAN and RAM desktops
  • Simplified implementation – adaptive designs, easy deployment

Next-Gen Solutions

  • vSAN storage: simple, affordable
  • 3D Graphics: SVGA shared GPU and DGPU for power users
  • Application management: Layering for real-time desktops – fast & flexible
  • Provisioning: Rapid hot cloning of VMs – 10x improvements (Project Fargo)
  • Decision free VDI: Simpler path to success than ever before

New Desktop Opportunity

  • VMware is poised to disrupt assumptions about VDI
  • Great user experience
  • Easier to manage
  • Build VMs on demand
  • Layering with CloudVolumes


  • Reliable, scalable performance
  • Lowest cost in the industry
  • Planning is easy
  • Uptime
  • Autonomy

Next-Gen VDI: Leaner, greener and much faster

  • Protect only what matters
  • Consider file-sync service for user documents
  • Leveraging new flash technologies: UltraDIMM (flash on DIMM) for microsecond writes

VSAN Design Topology for VDI

  • Full PC in the datacenter – Inefficient design yet affordable with VSAN – Developers and some users
  • Non-persistent task worker – Composer based clones – replication optional. Limited flexibility
  • Non-persistent knowledge worker – Layering plus VSAN – Full user state preserved, no replication of OS VMDK

VSAN Design – Non-persistent designs – gives persistent experience with a non-persistent VDI

VSAN Futures

  • All flash VSAN designs – High grade enterprise flash for cache tier, but high capacity low cost TLC SSD for data tier
  • Cache tier: $4/GB data tier flash in 40c/GB range
  • Key technologies: SanDisk ultraDIMM,

Layering 101:

  • Types of layering: Offline composition (Mirage) vs. Real Time (CloudVolumes)
  • Real-time composition leverages vSphere VMDK to mount and near instant application insertions
  • The OS doesn’t realize the CloudVolumes are even mounted. It is very transparent.

CloudVolumes Key benefits

  • Live delivery of applications
  • Image diversity solved
  • Exponential infrastructure efficiency

Project Fargo

  • Uses a VM hot cloning technology to create child VMs that share all memory pages w/ parent. Think linked clones for memory and disk.
  • A running VM is put into a zombie state and hot-cloned to create replicas. Avoid the whole boot cycle, including the associated I/Os.
  • Pre-emptive memory sharing, lower CPU, I/O reduction
  • 30x improvement in provisioning

Just in time desktop revolution

  • Build to order VDI
  • Very little CPU and modest disk IO to fork a new VM
  • Operational flexibility
  • Combine Project Fargo and CloudVolumes for near instant VDI provisioning

Zero Copy Architecture

  • Transfer bits on demand, no more tax before consumption
  • Examples are Project Fargo and CloudVolumes

Project Meteor

  • Brining together Project Fargo and CloudVolumes
  • Provision new customized desktops in 5 seconds
  • This is VDI simplified
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