In a transition from physical PCs to virtual work spaces you can move 50,1000,20,000 people from an environment where everyone has their own hard drive in their own device, to a shared environment where there are (hopefully) no longer 50,1000,20,000 hard-drives. You do this to achieve cost savings. Still, in the majority of instances, the desktop file system and the apps that run on it weren’t designed to understand such consolidation. Many a desktop project fails because the storage infrastructure wasn’t architected with these mismatches in mind.
Yet, desktop virtualization solutions have have matured to accommodate such issues. A range of increasingly impressive VDI appliances: dedicated drive arrays. Way back in 2010 we were reporting that Atlantis Computing were looking to Transform Desktop Computing with their In Line Image and Optimization (ILIO) product. Atlantis Computing’s core ILIO product sought to address optimizing non-persistent VDI instances, then offered a RAM based solution with their ILIO DiskLess VDI, then presented a way to optimize Citrix XenApp instances. Atlantis’ offerings look to dramatically reduce the physical hardware required to support virtualized desktop infrastructures.
And now to their portfolio, Atlantis Computing add ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0. Some early stability issues aside, Atlantis have developed a strong and supportive market and expanded on it. What is in this release? If 2013 is to be the year of VDI – how does ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0 help? Importantly, will Atlantis Computing’s ILIO Persistent VDI change the game?
How good an idea is it to virtualize XenApp? Way back in 2010, when more of the poles were ice, we asked is virtualizing Citrix XenApp a waste of time and effort? There were a number of benefits identified: hardware abstraction allowing easier image management and OS upgrades; options for higher availability and faster recovery, even failover; virtualization-enabled silo consolidation; and importantly, better management of user capacity on servers.
Yet, with XenApp running on Windows 2008 R2 memory limitations are of far less issue. Introducing a hypervisor has an overhead which can impact user density and can change Microsoft server license costs per physical server. Do these considerations outweigh other benefits? Hypervisor technology and performance has moved on considerably – what is the impact of that? What other services can virtualized XenApp drive?
Atlantis rightly herald ILIO for XenApp, the first solution designed specifically to accelerate provisioning, boot time and application response time for virtualized Citrix XenApp deployments into a market that some would say is quite specific.
Atlantis have evidenced reducing provisioning time, improving the user experience and reducing the amount of storage required by up to 90% for Terminal Services/Microsoft RDS workloads.
Way back in the day the Atlantis ILIO offering had some difficulties, but recent releases for both ESX and Hyper-V have seen ILIO become a common component in VDI delivery. Yet, a Presentation Virtualisation (PV) solution like Citrix XenApp is a different environment, often managed and licensed in a different way: and there is ever the question – should you virtualize XenApp? The claims on performance and density when Atlantis ILIO for XenApp is used are compelling, so will this release give a fresh impetus to virtualising RDS workloads and help with the migration to Citrix XenApp 6.5?