No doubt, workplaces are going through a digital disruption, thanks to the rapid pace of innovation. With advances in compute technology and progress in flash storage, we’re seeing a swift move toward virtualization, from the adoption of server-based computing to virtual desktop infrastructure.
This offers competitive advantages, but it’s not without its challenges. Virtualization administrators must keep up with business growth while at the same time ensure there’s no disruption to the business.
That’s not easy, due to the rapid pace of innovation. The Windows 10 desktop OS, for example, is updated at a pace that has caused Microsoft to label it Windows-as-a-Service. It also means administrators are forced to update their base desktop OS more frequently — and to do so without interrupting business productivity or degrading the end-user experience.
Ultimately, they’re expected to make sure end-users are productive and have the tools they need to do their job. That’s where hyper-converged architectures, which offer flexibility, simplicity and speed, can make a big difference.
Nutanix is one such hyper-converged infrastructure solution, purpose-built for virtualization and cloud environments. It’s designed to bring the performance and economic benefits of web-scale architecture to the enterprise through the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform (comprised of two product families: Nutanix Acropolis and Nutanix Prism).
Login VSI, the industry-standard performance validation tool for load testing, benchmarking and capacity planning, worked with Nutanix on a validated reference architecture to demonstrate the performance benefits provided by Nutanix. In this reference architecture, Login VSI makes recommendations for designing, optimizing and scaling Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp deployments on Nutanix AHV.
“If business growth is a factor, then an architecture that scales simply in a few clicks without the need to spend a bunch of time managing the storage, compute and networking layer is paramount,” said Brian Martynowicz, Senior Technical Consultant at Login VSI, in a white paper that outlines the reference architecture.
“From what we have seen, the Nutanix Prism management framework delivers just that, and with integration to popular desktop provisioning systems like Citrix MCS, administrators can save a lot of time and effort. This lets administrators spend more time testing Windows 10 updates, and performance tuning, which will ultimately make for an extraordinary end-user experience.”
As evidenced by extremely low-performance latency, end-users will receive a responsive desktop experience, which is also seen in storage latency — with single-digit response times in milliseconds.
During testing, the system still had plenty of headroom, even when all desktops were under load. This means that at no point did the end-user experience degrade to an unacceptable level. Login VSI found that one of the main contributors to this performance was something unique to Nutanix, which is AHV — its Acropolis hypervisor.
The testing concluded that Nutanix offers the performance and low latency necessary for an uncompromised end-user experience — even during boot storms, patch and update operations, and application and OS upgrades.
Running XenDesktop on Nutanix allows virtualization administrators to get started quickly without onerous upfront expenditures, and then scale as the business grows — not to mention simplify management and significantly lower acquisition and ongoing costs.