The Case for Local Server Storage

On 4 December 2012 by Pete Petersen

Server storage

In the previous VDIenterprise post on Storage: The Secret Critical Component, I mentioned that VDI loads are different than server loads in several ways. Getting the storage component of any VDI implementation will affect the user experience–for good or ill.

As also mentioned in the previous post, Ruben Spruijt points out why storage is important for your VDI implementation, makes a case for utilizing server local storage, and points out considerations to be aware of when deciding which architecture works for your environment and implementation.

To summarize, your local Windows 7 desktop or laptop makes heavy use of storage for page filing, loading up DLLs, applications, and other background tasks. None of those are needed in the same way on a file server, database server, or web server in the data center. So moving that kind of load to a server-based environment radically changes what components are important for user-perceived performance. While a web server can delay for a few seconds if things get busy, and the users will be okay with that, a delay of a few seconds on a virtual desktop session will drive users mad.

With very fast storage, your users will more likely have a great experience with their remote session. With slow storage, users are likely to have an unacceptable experience that sets up a VDI implementation to fail.

Now, with that in mind, storage can also break the budget. This is why Ruben makes the case for local storage. Done correctly, local storage can be a boon to facilitate a great and satisfying VDI implementation. Done incorrectly, it can lead to inevitable disaster, lost data, lost productivity, and lost opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of VDI in your organization.

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