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Boost VDI with a winning combo: VMware + Intel Optane PMem

Peter Krass's picture

by Peter Krass on 09/03/2020
Blog Category: cloud-and-data-centers

For today’s virtual desktops, there’s a new winning combination: VMware plus Intel Optane persistent memory (PMem).

By adding Intel Optane PMem to your VMware VDI setup, you and your customers can support nearly 90% more virtual desktops, lower memory costs by almost a third, and lower your total cost of ownership (TCO) by more than 15%.

This is a big deal. Sales of VDI products and services will grow an average of 10% a year through 2024, when they’ll top $3.8 billion worldwide, predicts market watcher Research and Markets.

Your customers may also know about VMware’s Horizon 7 VDI client software, which is often run atop VMware vSAN. It’s a leading package because Horizon 7 provides a streamlined approach to delivering, protecting and managing virtual desktops and apps.

vSAN is an industry-leading HCI solution that can eliminate the high costs, complexity and performance limitations of traditional storage. That makes it a great fit for VDI.

Make IT better

You can make all that even better with Intel Optane technology.

Intel Optane PMem is ideal for the memory capacity tier because it offers high capacities (up to 512GB), hardware-level encryption, and an up to 8x improvement over DRAM when performing I/O-intensive queries.

Intel Optane SSDs is ideal as the caching tier for its high endurance, low latency and high QoS qualities.

The combination of Intel Optane PMem and Intel Optane SSDs is ideal for a VMware’s VDI software solution; it delivers consistent performance under heavy write VDI workloads, maximizing productivity.

Testing, testing

How well does this combo actually work? To find out, testing firm Principled Technologies recently conducted a study, commissioned by Intel.

To conduct this test, Principled compared 3 configurations. All were based on a four-node, dual-socket VMware vSphere vSAN cluster. All were powered by Intel Xeon Gold 6258R processors and equipped with Intel Optane SSDs and Intel 3D NAND SSDs. Network resources were kept identical, too. The only differences among the test configurations were the amount and type of memory they had.

First, Principled Technologies added Intel Optane PMem alongside a small amount of traditional DRAM. This increased VMware Horizon’s virtual desktop count by 25%. In this test, that meant moving from a base of 160 desktop users up to 200.

Next, Principled’s testers added a larger amount of Intel Optane PMem to the same VMware setup. Now the system could handle 300 users, an increase over the base configuration of 87%.

TCO too

But wait, there’s more. Other tests have found that combining Intel Optane PMem with VMware Horizon 7 can lower TCO by 16%.

It can also provide a 30% lower price than DRAM, depending on the density. Put that all together, and you get more VDI users … at a better price … and for a lower TCO.

So if your customers are looking into VDI, they should consider VMware Horizon 7 with Intel Optane PMem. It’s a winning combo for today’s virtual desktops.

Get more from VMware VDI:

> Support more users on VMware Horizon virtual desktops (Principled Tech report)

> Intel Select Solutions for VMware vSAN (Intel solution brief)

> Anouncing Intel Select Solution for VMware Horizon VDI on vSAN (VMware blog)


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