Many people don’t realize that Nexenta offers a second product beyond its world-class open Solaris based storage platform, but we do. This product, dubbed Nexenta’s VSA for VMware Horizon View, or NV4V for short, optimizes the VMware View experience well beyond what has become its standard implementation with so many qualified features that it may just prove to be an enormous game-changer.
When we created this product, our goal was to fix a problem that had plagued most View implementations as they’d moved from proof of concept to either secondary test rollout of View, or even full deployment. That problem had been that the IO requirements of VDI are often so demanding that existing storage platforms already implemented in these existing storage environments either, would need to be so drastically re-architected, or completely replaced in order to accommodate for the requirements of these projects. Many of these projects simply didn’t get implemented because of the high I/O requirements. So, we undertook an approach that changed the dynamic entirely to allow for existing infrastructures to coexist with the newly-created IO loads.
What we did was move these deployment methods off of the storage environment, and over to each server in the vSphere/View cluster environment. It may seem revolutionary, but in much the same way that Storage vMotion caused the storage related process to alleviate the workload off of where it should never have been (the ESX server) this process leverages ZFS technology and the raw horsepower of the ESX servers to deploy desktops; from the server architecture in a much more efficient manner. In so doing, we’ve made this most significant change to the difficulties faced by the VDI deployment far more efficient and put that load where it really should have been in the first place.
We didn’t stop there. We made a new overlay methodology into the view interface, which streamlines the process for the administrator, making their choices easier and fewer so that when a series of desktops are to be provisioned, the process to do so is so very simple that it takes just a few simple steps, and a few simple choices to do so.
We weren’t done, though. If your administrator attempts to deploy too many desktops for your environment, the provisioning tool will actually let them know that the environment will not be able to handle it and why. This predictive analysis is simply built into the tool, and takes away so much of the guesswork from the job of the administrator.
And yes, you’ve guessed it. We weren’t yet done. We included another very cool feature from our storage environment that adds some massive functionality. In this we’ve built in on-line real-time analytics into processor, network and storage insight using tools like IOMeter. And, these are easily viewable from within our dashboard at a glance.
And while this works best with our own storage infrastructure, another key detail is that we can work very well with existing back-end storage in play as well. So, the customer may not need to perform a rip and replace when moving on to a full deployment.
This is a huge product for us, and I am thrilled to be moving from my role as a dedicated storage SE to a newly created role at Nexenta to one of an SE dedicated to this product and its future iterations. Expect to see more capital on this ingenious product in the future.
I look forward to working with you, and to the VMware End User Computing team to deliver these solutions to you moving forward.