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Three key VDI storage challenges

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Challenge 3: Complex deployment and management

A third VDI storage problem area stems from complexity of deployment and management. Many vendors simply repurpose existing management tools and interfaces, rather than adapting them to the particular needs of a virtual desktop infrastructure. In our conversations with VDI and storage administrators, we hear many of the same complaints, such as slow and manual provisioning, limited visibility and difficulty in troubleshooting storage inefficiencies.

While these issues are often addressed as an afterthought, a few vendors have designed their products with the VDI user experience in mind. Nimble focuses on ease of evaluation and deployment, providing pre-configured and tested proof-of-concept solutions, including profiles that can be customized for whatever set of virtual desktop applications a user plans to run. The result is a single SKU purchase and a wizard-based installation process. The environment can be managed from the Nimble control console or using the VMware vCenter plug-in.

HP’s VirtualSystem CV2 is designed to streamline VDI deployment and management in Citrix, Microsoft and VMware environments. For example, HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server enables a single administrator to manage storage, server and network infrastructure, with visibility into all virtual desktop storage volumes; a storage wizard helps with tasks such as creating and cloning new VMs, and adding or

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expanding datastores.

Both vendors provide converged primary, backup and DR storage for VDIs in a single array solution, reducing Capex and simplifying management.

What this means for you

The latest generation of VDI storage products will help unlock some of the benefits that have eluded users so far. Look for solutions that have been designed to meet the specific requirements of VDI storage.  And remember that the VDI market is still in its early stages, so tread carefully by evaluating and qualifying a full VDI solution -- including compute, virtualization, networking, storage and management -- before you buy.

BIO: Jeff Byrne is a senior analyst and consultant at Taneja Group.

This was first published in February 2012

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