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What is VDI?


How does VDI work? 

Is All-Flash required, or can it work on other storage arrays?

ITCS user
88 Answers

author avatar
Top 5Real User

If a customer needs to eliminate physical desktops and their maintenance with a requirement of not less than 40-50 desktops then Virtual desktops would be a good option collectively.

VDI is also being used where clients need to access their "application any where" or "application mobility" or "work from home" is required.

The infrastructure that provisions, manages and maintains Virtual desktops is known as VDI or Virtual desktop infrastructure. VDI is basically desktop based virtualization.


Compute&Storage Layer

Virtualization&Networking Layer

Desktop Layer/Session Manager (VDI software)

Security Layer

End-client/Thin/Thik Clients/Software based clients

If a customer needs VDI and Database(Oracle/SQL/MS-Exchange) as VM(s) then All-Flash based VDI solutions should be selected.This would called VDI with server based virtualization.

For VDI and Server based virtualization there are solutions available specifically made for this need. HCI(Hyper Converged infrastructure) solutions would be a better choice for both VDI and server based virtualization. All-flash back-end storage will be required if very high storage I/O or Databases are involved.

author avatar
Top 5Real User

VDI uses a server solution for virtual desktops. This way the horsepower needed to run applications comes from the server-side and not the client-side.

This enables a couple of main things: a similar desktop experience for the end-user no matter where they are and what hardware they are using, and cost savings on the hardware required for the end-user. It enables patching and security benefits as well. The drawbacks are bandwidth requirements and server infrastructure cost. Using an all-flash storage array would help in the IO limitations of the server because any storage requests would be fulfilled quickly.

Pros: consistency in all desktops (they are all the same), speed and performance, patching and security, easier upgrades, lower desktop machine cost, server maintenance.

Cons: high server hardware requirements, server storage cost is higher, need a higher bandwidth between server and desktop, server maintenance.
Any kind of decision to use VDI needs to consider the cost benefit. Would using a virtual desktop be worth it? You decide.

author avatar
Top 10Real User

VDI is a server farm for virtualizing dedicated user desktops. Detailed information can be found at this link, for example, VMware https://www.vmware.com/topics/glossary/content/virtual-desktop-infrastructure-vdi

How does VDI work?
In the case of my organization for 2 thousand. 20 TB data has been reserved. VDI solutions have a large data reduction (deduplication and compression, up to 20: 1). If the data is reproducible, this factor may be even higher.

Is All-Flash required or can it work on other memory arrays?
VDI can work on hybrid arrays, but they are not so efficient in boot storm, non-Vistist, VDI, reboot of the whole farm, low response times below 1ms, requirements of similar experiments as on PC.

author avatar
Real User

Very good question, but a world is opened when speaking about VDI. I think that flexibility and ready to use are the most importat aspects. All-Flash in not required but it depends on the answer you get to "what should VDI use for"?

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Do you mean Virtual Desktop Infrastructure? If so, then it has no relation to flash storage. VDI can work on any storage. But it will be faster using flash storage.

author avatar
Top 5Real User

I don´t think that the answer for this - very general question - what vdi is, is that simple! Of course you can always give answers by definition makes on Wikipedia, or from companies which are selling vdi-solutions. But the mainpoint, in my opinion, is always the perspective of the asking person. vdi can be the simple virtualization of clientsystems - but vdi can also be the "hardcore" virtualization of extreme workstation, clientsystems, or just something between, something with application streaming etc. etc.
So it is not that simple to answer the first question. And … than out of this the result for the second question is not that simple either. Of course all of us can say - nothing is better for displacement then get more displacement. So of course you can slay al kinds of workloads with the power of all-flash - but is it every time necassery? I don´t think so. Is it every time economic? I don´t think so. So first of all - talk much more precise to your customer and try to reach his painpoints, so you can decide if VDI is really necessary, and how you have to design a new storage implementation to fit the conditions of the customer best.

author avatar

Regarding VDI solution, Yes you have to get a full flash storage solution because you will have high IO, need high bandwidth, for a small capacity. Only flash storage responses time has the right solution.

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