Recently both NetApp and EMC published VDI whitepapers with our mutual partners VMware and Cisco. Both papers are very solid and should result in robust infrastructures; however, the solutions are far from equal and I’d like to take 5 minutes of your time to share with you some interesting points of comparison.
Sure the EMC paper focuses on UCS platform while the NetApp paper focuses on a Nexus infrastrucutre, but that’s not what I want to discuss. Yes, the EMC architecture running on Fibre Channel over Ethernet and the NetApp solution is leveraging NFS, but that’s not what I’d like you to consider either.
The level of differentiation I want to highlight is the cost per desktop in both of these solutions. Why cost? Simple, it is the number one hindrance to virtual desktop adoption.
I want to begin by sharing that I love the UCS and Nexus platforms. Cisco, you are top shelf!
For potential VDI customers looking for mission critical deployments I’d like to compare the differences in the NetApp and EMC solutions. Note these numbers come directly from the published documents of each vendor.
Note: Chart Revised since original post where I accidentally counted spare drives as storage drives
I Want my Intentions Clearly Stated
This review demonstrates the native capability of each storage controller to address the needs of a virtual desktop environment. I believe the V-Max has demonstrated that it can scale to significant capacity and scale.
By contrast, the NetApp array with integrated data deduplication, Intelligent Caching, and FlexClone and vCenter integrated tools like the Rapid Cloning Utility provides a more flexible, scalable and available architecture. For these reasons I believe the NetApp array is a better platform for Virtual Desktop Infrastructures.
If you have a V-Max in house, consider running it with Data ONTAP via our vSeries and you too can experience these savings (minus RAID-DP). You’ll transform a robust, yet traditional, storage architecture into a dynamic virtualized storage platform.
Making VDI a Reality
We are focusing on delivering storage for VDI at $75 per desktop. If you’re environment requires less than 8 IOPs it’s possible we can reduce that price. I expect big news around VDI next week at VMworld. If you are attending the show, stop by our booth. We’d love to share more details with you. The authors of this whitepaper will be in attendance.
Tip: Ask one of the technical staff for a hands on demo.
Remember, Virtualization Changes Everything… including storage!