By Momchil Michailov, VP, Storage Technologies, Citrix
Modern datacenter architecture allows us to utilize hardware to empower software. This shift, which has been called the software-defined datacenter (SDDC), allows us to create a more fluid, dynamic, and responsive infrastructure. Such an infrastructure provides the flexibility to quickly adjust to meet rapidly changing workloads, data streams, and computing demands."We need to focus on and deliver a consistent and responsive workload user experience across many end-user devices, including workstations, laptops, smartphones, and tablets" Virtual workspace delivery through virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and application delivery, where end users access applications running in the cloud or in the datacenter, greatly benefits from this type of flexibility. By delivering the workspace virtually, we enable organizations to improve productivity, and workload efficiency empowering the workforce to access their applications and data from anywhere, on any device. Yet, to do that, we also need to focus on and deliver a consistent and responsive workload user experience across many end-user devices, including workstations, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. The Unique Storage Challenges Involved in VDI and Workspace Delivery The lowest common denominator in most IT deployments is storage. Since VDI first emerged, storage performance has been a key factor in delivering a quality end-user experience. Yet for a long time, storage has been a black voodoo box for IT. It has been very expensive to procure and manage, and it is frequently one of the most complex, yet poorly performing infrastructure elements in the customer’s datacenter. However, storage holds one of the most precious resources in the organization—user and application data, which are the keys to productivity and output when delivering virtual workspaces. VDI and workspace deployments have been significantly hindered by the cost, complexity, and performance of storage. For virtual workspace delivery to provide the full value businesses need, the industry must not only address performance challenges, but must also reduce the per-session cost and deliver a better user experience. Redefining the Storage Architecture to Reduce the Workspace Delivery Cost and Complexity For a long time, storage has been a monolithic and expensive piece of infrastructure lagging behind more modular server, networking, and application architectures. In addition, server virtualization and application delivery have added fluidity and dynamic expansion and migration to these layers. This cannot be matched by conventional storage infrastructures.