EMC Unveils Storage Solution To Mitigate Citrix 'Boot Storms'


EMC on Tuesday unveiled a solution built around its new VNX midrange storage systems that supports the simultaneous booting of up to 1,000 virtual desktops in Citrix XenDesktop environments.

The new solution combines EMC's new VNX unified storage appliance, unveiled in January, with the company's FAST Cache technology. The solution is debuting at the Citrix Synergy conference being held this week in San Francisco,

FAST (Fully Automated Storage Tiering) Cache technology uses enterprise Flash drives to extend existing cache capacities up to 2 terabytes, making it available for automatic tiering of storage depending on how frequently it is accessed.

Eric Herzog, vice-president of product marketing and management for unified storage at EMC, said the solution was designed to help customers get around the "boot storm," that time in the morning when hundreds or thousands of users boot their desktops at the same.

The new EMC Proven solution for Citrix XenDesktop allows up to 1,000 virtual desktops to power up, become steady, and register with Citrix XenDesktop controllers within eight minutes using only two SSDs and 20 SAS hard drives, Herzog said. That capability could require up to 100 SAS hard drives from competing systems, he said.

This is EMC's first VNX solution for Citrix environments. The company already has similar solutions for VMware virtual desktop environments using the vendors VNX, Clariion, and Celerra storage appliances, he said.

EMC is the majority owner of VMware, while Citrix is one of two primary competitors to VMware.

"For us, we believe the virtualization environment is not just wrapped around one vendor even though we own most of VMware," Herzog said. "Regardless of whether its virtual servers or desktops, EMC is committed to working with all the major virtualization environments. Whichever environment you have from a virtualization perspective, EMC will optimize a solution for you."