Alliance Technology Group did a pilot test of Pure Storage all-flash arrays in a VDI environment with a customer who subsequently purchased two arrays for VDI and has been using them for over a year, Alliance's Queen said.
"VDI requires a lot more back-end disk I/O than most people realize," he said. "They think they can throw a couple hundred virtual desktops on the storage and get away with a few disks more than needed for physical desktops. But you need a centralized storage array where 200 users can log in at 8:00 in the morning and start downloading files. Our customer started out moving a few users to Pure Storage, found they liked it, and then migrated all its users. And, they stopped getting calls about the desktop performance."
Having a reference architecture for all-flash storage is important for helping customers get the kind of performance they expect from their arrays, Queen said.
Customers with virtual desktops want to know how to make better use of their compute resources, and while all storage vendors have flash tiering backed by disk for increased performance, customers need to know these flash arrays fit their requirements, Queen said.
"It's still early for flash storage," he said. "But everyone is thinking about it. It's not a hard conversation. All the storage guys know flash is coming."
Pure Storage's all-flash storage arrays start at a street price of under $75,000 for a raw capacity of 2.75 TB, which after deduplication offers the equivalent capacity 10 TB, Pure Storage's Kixmoeller said.
As customers' VDI implementations go into production, solution providers can upgrade the solution with more capacity as well as with a second controller for high availability. "There's no price penalty for not buying more capacity at the beginning," he said. "We're small. We don't need to play those loopholes with customers."
PUBLISHED JAN. 9, 2013