3PAR introduces thin copy desktop for VMware VDI

3PAR, global provider of utility storage, announced 3PAR Thin Copy […]

August 13, 2008

3PAR, global provider of utility storage, announced 3PAR Thin Copy Desktop for VMware VDI, an integrated virtual desktop provisioning and management solution for VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).

3PAR Thin Copy Desktop for VMware VDI is designed to let customers automatically provision hundreds of high-performance virtual desktops that consume only a fraction of the bandwidth and storage capacity required with traditional storage. By leveraging the unique performance benefits of 3PAR Utility Storage, 3PAR Thin Copy Desktop for VMware VDI offers customers cost-effective and simple storage scaling for VMware VDI environments.

“Many of our customers already use 3PAR strategically for their VMware deployments to achieve greater I/O performance to disk, increased capacity utilisation, and reliable and affordable instant point-in-time copies of their data,” said David Scott, President and CEO of 3PAR. “With 3PAR Thin Copy Desktop for VMware VDI, organisations can now consider both server consolidation and centralised desktop management served from a single resilient utility storage platform.”

An increasing number of organisations are starting to replace their traditional desktop computers with “virtual desktops” that run on consolidated virtualised remote servers. These virtualised utility computing desktop environments give end users new levels of mobility, enable IT administrators to centrally manage thousands of desktops at once, and greatly reduce provisioning time for new desktops as well as updates.

Because they are centrally managed, virtual desktops also reduce total cost of desktop management while increasing the ability to respond to changing user and business demands. 3PAR Utility Storage enhances the benefits of implementing VDI on a traditional SAN by providing additional performance, simplified provisioning, and rapid recovery while reducing required capacity—benefits that are ideal for these next-generation virtualised environments.

3PAR Thin Copy Desktop for VMware VDI builds on 3PAR Virtual Copy—one of 3PAR’s thin copy technologies—to create a resilient utility computing infrastructure that maximises the benefit of centralised desktop management.

3PAR Thin Copy Desktop offers high performance desktop booting, automated provisioning, and rapid desktop recovery while consuming 90% less capacity for desktop images. 3PAR Virtual Copy is 3PAR’s scalable and efficient snapshot software that is designed to allow customers to more affordably protect and share data.

3PAR also announced today enhancements to 3PAR Virtual Copy to support up to 128 read/writable snapshots per base volume and the ability to promote a child Virtual Copy snapshot to any of its read/writable parent snapshots. Up to 500 read-only snapshots per base volume also remain supported with these enhancements.

“VMware VDI is an industry-leading desktop virtualisation solution that enables centralised control and manageability while still delivering a great PC user experience,” said Jeff Jennings, Vice President of Desktop Products and Solutions at VMware. “Through our collaboration with partners such as 3PAR, customers can further improve the cost-effectiveness and manageability of their VMware VDI deployments.”

3PAR Thin Copy Desktop for VMware VDI leverages unique Virtual Copy capabilities to enable the creation of up to 128 virtual desktops from a single “golden desktop” image using very little additional storage or bandwidth. Even when simultaneously booted, these virtual desktops consume only minimal additional bandwidth and storage resources than the golden image used to create them.

The process of creating virtual desktops from a golden image can be simply and rapidly repeated to create thousands of virtual desktops that together consume only a fraction of the bandwidth and storage resources that would otherwise be required with traditional storage.

“3PAR Thin Copy Desktop and VMware VDI blend the unique capabilities of each company for a complete and compelling virtualised desktop solution,” said Jeff Byrne, Senior Analyst & Consultant at Taneja Group, an analyst and consulting group focused on storage and storage-centric server technologies. “Customers who are moving to a centralised desktop management environment and want a high-performance, automated, easy-to-use product set that enables them to do more with less should evaluate this combination.”

3PAR Thin Copy Desktop for VMware VDI includes:

– Automated Desktop Image Creation and Management:
3PAR Thin Copy Desktop is designed to work with VMware VDI to allow simple and predictable creation and management of hundreds or even thousands of virtual desktops. Thin, capacity-efficient desktop snapshots are automatically created from “golden desktop” images and exported to the VMware ESX hypervisor, which then creates a new virtual desktop from each snapshot. The new virtual desktops are ready in seconds without manual provisioning or the burden of time-consuming host-based cloning.

– Greater Performance and Scalability:
With 3PAR Thin Copy Desktop, booting hundreds of desktops from a single VMware ESX cluster can be faster than it is for an individual desktop. 3PAR Thin Copy Desktop has significant performance advantages especially for the scenario where a large number of desktops are booting simultaneously—for example, following a power outage.
Thin Copy Desktop leverages 3PAR Virtual Copy snapshots, which can share the same cache pages for common data within a snapshot tree. In the case of booting, most of the data is common among the virtual desktop boot images, requiring only a single copy in cache to potentially support hundreds of booting clients. This approach is designed to eliminate the performance impact common with traditional SAN and NAS devices, which typically page to disk for each booting client.

– Highly Degree of Visibility:
3PAR Thin Copy Desktop supports virtual desktops mounted via virtual machine file system (VMFS) and raw device mapping (RDM). In both cases, one-to-one relationships are maintained between the virtual desktop and the underlying snapshots to give administrators precise insight into I/O and capacity utilisation for each virtual desktop.
No extra tools are required to monitor these usage statistics and visibility is even preserved while rebalancing virtual desktops using VMware VMotionTM technology, VMware’s unique live migration capability. In addition, an RDM volume can be mounted to either virtual or physical hosts.

– Fast and Granular Recovery of Desktop Images:
With 3PAR Thin Copy Desktop for VMware VDI, administrators have the ability to recover virtual desktop images in just seconds from granular recovery points. With the ability to schedule snapshots to complete automatically on a regular basis, recovery of virtual desktops for users who accidentally delete or corrupt data is fast and accurate.

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