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Virtual desktop infrastructure performance suffers as number of desktop sessions rises

Virtualization helps solve many IT challenges of rapid application and data growth by enabling servers to perform more efficiently. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), in particular, concentrates many desktop sessions on one server, giving organizations greater control over end-user security.

Running desktops as virtual machines centralizes and simplifies application updates, virus control and other security measures. In large-scale environments, increasing the desktops per server can reduce capital and operating expenditures. However, maintaining quick application response, particularly when multiple users start their desktops or log in simultaneously, is a significant challenge.

The reason is that heavy workloads can diminish processor, memory, network and storage performance, constraining the number of virtual desktops that a server supports. The biggest performance choke point is typically storage, which often reduces system boot and application response times.

Accelerating VDI performance with flash

Adding flash storage to an existing hard disk drive (HDD) infrastructure is a cost-effective way to help increase VDI sessions while maintaining fast application response. Adding flash to HDD storage reduces latency and increases performance without sacrificing storage capacity.

The LSI Nytro™ WarpDrive® and the Nytro MegaRAID® Application Acceleration cards are designed to move data faster to decrease the cost per desktop. The Nytro MegaRAID card enables HDD storage to support up to double the desktops per server, while shortening response times for users. The card improves VDI performance by using intelligent flash caching technology to monitor and place frequently accessed data on its onboard flash storage for faster access.

The LSI Nytro MegaRAID card for VDI is designed to:

  • Reduce the boot time of 150 virtual desktops up to 33%, from 5:44 minutes on a system using only HDDs to 3:51 minutes on a system with Nytro MegaRAID cache*
  • Decrease the cost per desktop by up to 34%, allowing organizations to increase the number of desktop sessions while maintaining fast application response*

The following graph shows twice as many desktop sessions were supported using the Nytro MegaRAID card, during LSI internal testing.​​​​​​

Nytro MegaRAID VDI Chart​​​​​​

*Information based on LSI internal test results.