With the release of ILIO 2.0, a software virtual appliance that complements Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) deployments, Atlantis Computing says that it is cutting VDI capex costs by up to 75% while enabling the use of lower-cost storage options. Pricing starts at $150 per desktop, as opposed to the approximately $1,000 per desktop VDI users must pay for storage to achieve a level of performance comparable to a physical PC. While there are a variety of reasons why VDI has not taken off as fast as some have predicted, storage is a significant barrier, says Atlantis, adding between 5 to 10 times the cost of the actual VDI solution. The largest expense in VDI deployments is storage, which can consume up to 80% of the total VDI budget, say company officials.
By optimizing how the Windows OS interacts with storage, ILIO can eliminate up to 90% of the IO traffic and duplicate up to 90% of Windows image components before reaching storage. The company says the software works using inline deduplication and Windows protocol layer processing of I/O to use storage more efficiently and provide local input/output operations per second (IOPS) to desktops. This both reduces the amount of storage required for VDI and increases desktop performance.
Now delivered exclusively as a software virtual appliance, ILIO 2.0 features 20% better write IOPS offload for increased storage reduction and 20% faster desktop performance. In addition, the auto-configuration wizard configures the software and storage in 8 minutes. While support for the Microsoft HyperV environment will be added later this year, Atlantis believes it can provide the majority of the market--VMware and Citrix customers--with a solution that will work faster and better, or do more with their existing VDI installations.
Analyst Marc Staimer, president and CDS, Dragon Slayer Consulting, thinks ILIO 2.0 does for VDI what WAN optimization does for ROBO (remote office, branch office) in terms of performance improvement. "It actually reduces VDI costs where there is hard dollar cost justification or payback in a short period of time," he says, adding that it makes sense for Atlantis to use its limited resources to target VMware and XenServer first since they dominate the enterprise, where VDI is actually being deployed. Ultimately, it comes down to the issues Atlantis solves--price/performance and the cost of additional storage to make VDI work effectively, says Staimer. "ILIO makes VDI cost-effective; VDI without it is marginal at best."
See more on this topic by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports Research: Storage & File Virtualization (subscription required).