How to Pick the Right Storage for VDI Environments

adding in a hard drive to expand VDI storage

Setting up a successful virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment for your organization can be challenging. If you want to upgrade your current computing system to a VDI base, you first need to make a few decisions. As well as working out how much VDI storage you need, you also need to select the right drive type.

Here are some tips that can help you pick the right storage for your VDI environment.

How to Determine Storage Requirements

The best way to accurately determine how much storage your users need, you need to gather usage data from the users whose desktops you intend to virtualize. You need to start collecting this data well in advance of when you want to make the switch to a VDI environment, as the more information you have the more accurately you can determine storage requirements.

Related: 4 Signs You’re Ready For Virtual Desktops

The key metric you need to measure is IOPS (input/output operations per second). Different types of drives are capable of allowing different numbers of input and output operations. In general, knowledge workers have an IOPS range of between 7 and 59, with an average of 22.

Task and productivity workers have lower IOPS needs on average. Although these average figures are useful as a starting point, the best approach is to gather real data from the users whose desktops you need to virtualize.

Designing your VDI environment to handle average IOPS loads will not give you good performance. Your virtual environment needs to be able to deal with peak loads if it is going to provide a good user experience at all times. To deliver a good user experience, you need to consider more than just pure storage capacity. Performance is also important to deliver a good user experience.

Related: Keep IT CAPEX costs down with virtual desktops

How to Choose a Drive Type Based on Needs

Various types of drives are available to help you set up your virtual server environment. One option is a fiber Channel (FC) SAN. While expensive, fiber Channel technology is extremely secure and offers excellent performance. The extra security comes from the fact that fiber Channel networks are isolated in their own separate environments.

The downside?

This drive type requires an experienced administrator to implement and manage.

Alternatives to a relatively costly Fiber Channel SAN include iSCSI and NAS (NFS). While typically much less expensive, these alternative technologies may not provide the same I/O as Fiber Channel. You can increase the throughput to these systems by using a 10Gb Ethernet connection, but this is also expensive to implement.

Related: Let Managed IT Lead You to Business Growth

You can also add a cache or accelerator to improve the performance of this type of storage drive.

Implementing a VDI Storage Environment

Implementing a VDI storage solution for your organization can be tricky.

Making the wrong decision now could lead to high costs for your organization in future. Remember that your storage needs will almost certainly not remain the same as your organization grows. Design your VDI storage environment with scalability in mind, and it will serve your business well for many years to come.For help implementing the right VDI storage environment for your organization, get in touch with RedNight Consulting today.

When you have a cloud expert on your side, you can find a VDI storage solution that meets the needs of your organization.