Despite what your existing vendor says, you don’t need dedicated storage for Citrix XenDesktop.


At the onset of the modernization of virtualized desktops (aka Hosted Virtual Desktops) the recommended storage configuration was dedicated storage. Why default to this path? More than anything, it had to do with an inability of existing storage architectures to handle the challenges of VDI within a shared storage infrastructure.


Challenges like this:

  • Discovering how to integrate into existing infrastructure is very difficult
  • Unpredictable and volatile VDI workloads (boot storm, patches)
  • Inability to guarantee acceptable user experience
  • Difficulty scaling existing storage assets from pilot/POC to production
  • Scale-up storage model does not enable elastic scaling
  • Desktop management and scheduled maintenance requirements for VDI are complex

When you combine that with the wrangling of I/O in a multi-tenant environment and the compounding effects of noisy neighbors, traditional storage struggles to handle mixed workloads, especially at scale. Unable to ensure a user experience at least as good as a physical desktop, IT departments had no choice but to deploy VDI with dedicated storage.


Unfortunately the cost of dedicated storage has held back the adoption of VDI. Hardware and software, rackspace, power, cooling and additional administration efforts push the cost per desktop beyond physical desktop and, with no quality of service (QoS) controls, there’s no guarantee the user experience will be better.


We discussed these points at depth in a recent webinar: Don’t believe the hype, you don’t need dedicated storage for VDI. Watch it now, or keep reading for more on how to address these challenges.



Shared storage for all … even VDI

There’s a new level of user experience and operational scale for Citrix XenDesktop with direct benefits for VDI environments, including adaptive infrastructure, elimination of storage sprawl, granular scalability, simple VDI administration and low cost per desktop.


Desktop-as-a-Service with Citrix CloudPlatform and SolidFire
You don’t need a separate SAN for VDI. Organizations can advance their operations to providing Desktops as a Service with Citrix XenDesktop 7.5 and CloudPlatform. CloudPlatform is an application-centric software platform that provides orchestration of mixed workloads, including virtual desktops. This automates the operations and speed of business for IT-as-a-Service and the consumption of IT. SolidFire provides unique multi-tenancy, QoS and scale out for this DaaS environment.


Bring on the age of DaaS: at-scale VDI running with mixed workloads. We can run all of it on SolidFire and deliver guaranteed performance at scale. Citrix and SolidFire are ready.


For more information watch the webinar to learn about each, and about how you can work them into your storage infrastructure to handle the challenges of VDI.


Prefer to read? Download “Enabling Large-Scale VDI Deployments with Citrix XenDesktop” or view the presentation on SlideShare.


Keith Norbie

As a Sr. Manager of Business and Alliances Development for NetApp Next Generation Data Center (NGDC) BU, Keith works with NetApp Alliances to drive NGDC’s key objectives. Keith works on incubation of and alignment to strategic technology partnerships to deliver compelling solutions brought to market through direct, indirect and service provider sales channels. Keith has successfully lead and been part of launching NetApp HCI, FlexPod SF, and ongoing advanced projects to advance SolidFire via VMware Private Cloud, EUC, OpenStack, Docker/Containers, Service Provider, and DevOps.

Keith was part of SolidFire pre-acquisition helping establish Alliances and Business Development success. He also is a long time VMware vExpert and has spent the past 20 plus years in Solution Provider (VAR) channels most recently helping grow TIG in 1 year in both revenue but also development in major accounts, reps, solution architects, and multi-practice portfolio. He started out building practices in storage, networking, virtualization, and cloud. During that time he also specialized in demand gen by creating mobile vPods, VDI showcase, events like VDI Kung Fu, Cloud Skydiving, the MonsterVM shirts, the Flash Storage Forum, and the SDDC Rocks theme.