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Demartek Analysis of VDI Storage Performance During Boot Storm

17 June 2013

Virtual desktops are gaining popularity as a more cost effective and more easily serviceable solution. The most resource-dependent process for many virtual desktop pools is the boot storm, when many of these desktops are booted at the same time. Enterprises deploying a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment have a variety of choices when deciding what sort of storage to deploy for their VDIs. Solid state storage is known to dramatically decrease boot times compared to hard disk drives (HDD), and may be a good storage choice for a pool of Virtual Machines (VMs).

Demartek evaluated the performance of Internal HDD, Fibre Channel (FC) HDD, and Fibre Channel solid state drives (SSD) under boot storm conditions and compared VM boot times, server load, and disk throughput performance metrics. In addition, Demartek compared results for different RAID controller cache configurations and FC host bus adapter (HBA) queue depths. We also compared latency of the storage systems and host server CPU utilization during the boot storm tests.

For this set of tests, we configured a four-socket server with 256 GB RAM with different types of storage for the guest boot volumes. The hypervisor was VMware vSphere 5.1 running ninety (90) guest virtual machines running Windows 7 Ultimate desktop operating system.


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