Toward the beginning of last month, I compared the costs of DaaS and VDI, suggesting that the difference was too small to declare a winner. The three-year cost of a bare-bones DaaS service, like Amazon WorkSpaces, comes in at about $315,000, not so far off from the $380,000 list price of a VMware EVO:RAIL–based VDI platform with plenty of room to lower the cost of VDI to something far more attractive. I had intended to follow up with an article on how to deliver a VDI solution for less than the cost of an equivalent number of enterprise-class desktop PCs. Well, I needn’t have bothered, because Dell has announced the Dell Appliance for Wyse, a turnkey VDI solution that brings the cost of VDI down to half the cost of a desktop PC.
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Dell FluidFS is a scalable NAS software storage solution sold as an independent front end to Dell’s storage offerings (Compellent and EqualLogic). FluidFS provides file-level access to Dell Compellent and EqualLogic traditional block-based arrays, using protocols like SMB and NFS. FluidFS is also where Dell has chosen to implement technologies like deduplication and compression (which it calls “Fluid Data Reduction”), as well as more complicated security protocols and models.
The Dell PowerEdge FX2 is a 2U rackmount blade chassis with a common infrastructure allowing servers and storage to share power, cooling, network switching, and chassis management. When it was announced last fall, there were two options: the FC630 two-socket, half-width Xeon blade, and the FM120x4, an Intel Atom–based microserver option. Dell quietly started shipping two additional modules this week. The FC430 is a two-socket, quarter-width Xeon blade, allowing up to eight servers in the FX2, for a total of 224 cores. The FD332 is a direct-attached disk module that contains up to two RAID controllers and sixteen 2.5-inch drives, assignable to the compute nodes inside the FX2.
It’s hard to believe, but this week’s NVIDIA showcase, the GPU Technology Conference (GTU), might be the biggest VDI conference of the year. This year, there are forty-nine sessions covering GPU virtualization for desktop workloads. Yes, that’s right: VDI is as big at GTC as it was at both Citrix Synergy and VMworld last year.
In part one of this article, I lamented the state of our enterprise storage arrays and talked about the features we absolutely need on any new arrays bought this year. Why the lament? Because this is 2015, and we’re tired of the 1995 technology we’ve been using. When you send out your RFPs this year, the following are things you should score vendors on.
It’s 2015, but you would think it was 1995 based on what we’re still using in our data centers for enterprise storage. We still have gobs and gobs of spinning disks, sucking power and boring us to death while they find our data. Convergence is largely unconverged—we still have separate Fibre Channel and IP data networks, and the only things that got converged were our bills of materials and the sides of our wallets. And for some inexplicable reason, we’re still debating how and when to use flash.