Late yesterday afternoon, Dell unveiled a new line of VMware-friendly virtual desktop clients based on technology from its acquisition of Wyse, alongside new reference architectures and SSD-hybrid storage solutions to support them.
The new clients – members of the P class family of PCoIP zero (zero meaning “dumb”) clients designed specifically for the VMware View virtual desktop client, or so Dell says – come in two flavors. The Dell Wyse P25 is dual-display capable, and the P45 is for up to four displays. VMware is, of course, hyping these Wyse clients’ low energy footprint, high graphics performance, ease of setup and so on and so forth.
But for my money, the really interesting things about this announcement are the new Dell EqualLogic PS6510ES (10GbE) and PS6500ES (1GbE) storage arrays, using a combination of solid state drives (SSD) and traditional spinning drives. By combining the two technologies, Dell says that it can serve the 85 terabytes per array and 2 petabytes per group the new offerings can store with “360 percent improved IOPS performance with 75 percent reduced latency on tiered workloads as compared to the high performance PS6510X,” or so the marketing hype goes.
Dell positions these new arrays as perfect for any application that requires high I/O rates, including VDI workloads, data warehousing and online transactional databases. They also include automated tiering, which ostensibly prevents the so-called “boot storm” performance drop problem multiple hundreds of virtual desktops online at once can cause. It also comes with tools to manage Dell EqualLogic storage arrays from VMware vCenter Server, as well as storage recovery replica capabilities. And administrators can also deploy VDI images directly from vCenter Server as well.
Moreover, Dell and VMware jointly released reference architectures for using these Wyse clients in situations including running the VMware View client on the Dell vStart stack, integrating Dell’s enterprise controls and deployment methodologies with VMware’s VDI software solution. Other reference architectures include secure mobile and clinical point-of-care virtual desktop solutions.
We’re seeing a huge uptick on the infrastructure side in storage vendors turning to SSD to solve the cloud I/O latency problem. With Dell finally moving on its Wyse Technology acquisition, and the VDI market starting to show some signs of life, these Dell releases could be a sign of things to come, even as Dell itself moves deeper into the cloud market.