Measuring Windows Performance impact for VDI Planning

Here is a link to a recent guest post that I was invited to do over at The Vitalization Practice (TVP) pertaining to measuring the impact of Windows Boot performance and what that means for planning for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) initiatives.

With Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) initiatives adoption being a popular theme associated with cloud and dynamic infrastructure environments a related discussion point is the impact on networks, servers and storage during boot or startup activity to avoid bottlenecks. VDI solution vendors include Citrix, Microsoft and VMware along with various server, storage, networking and management tools vendors.

A common storage and network related topic involving VDI are boot storms when many workstations or desktops all startup at the same time. However any discussion around VDI and its impact on networks, servers and storage should also be expanded from read centric boots to write intensive shutdown or maintenance activity as well.

Having an understanding of what your performance requirements are is important to adequately design a configuration that will meet your Quality of Service (QoS) and service level objectives (SLOs) for VDI deployment in addition to knowing what to look for in candidate server, storage and networking technologies. For example, knowing how your different desktop applications and workloads perform on a normal basis provides a baseline to compare with during busy periods or times of trouble. Another benefit is that when shopping for example storage systems and reviewing various benchmarks, knowing what your actual performance and application characteristics are helps to align the applicable technology to your QoS and SLO needs while avoiding apples to oranges benchmark comparisons.

Check out the entire piece including some test results using the hIOmon tool from hyperIO to gather actual workstation performance numbers.

Keep in mind that the best benchmark is your actual applications running as close to possible to their typical workload and usage scenarios.

Also keep in mind that fast workstations need fast networks, fast servers and fast storage.

[Cross-posted at StorageIO Blog]

About Greg Schulz

Greg Schulz is founder of the Server and StorageIO, an IT industry advisory and consultancy firm. Mr Schulz has worked as a programmer, systems administrator, disaster recovery consultant, server/storage architect and capacity planner for various IT organizations. He has worked for various vendors before joining an industry analyst firm and later forming StorageIO. In addition to his analyst research and advisory consulting duties, Schulz has published over a thousand articles, tips, reports and white papers and is a sought after speaker at events around the world. Greg is also author of the books Resilient Storage Network (Elsevier) and The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC). His blog is at www.storageioblog.com and he can be found on twitter @storageio.