HP 3PAR storage technologies for desktop virtualization

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1 Maximize virtual desktop ROI without risking service levels HP 3PAR storage technologies for desktop virtualization Solution brief Desktop virtualization pushes the cost, efficiency, and management benefits of virtualization out of the data center and onto the hundreds and thousands of distributed laptops, desktops, and mobile devices it supports. To meet vital cost savings objectives, virtual desktop environments place storage in the critical path for thousands of end users a situation that can introduce a number of data center challenges. HP 3PAR Utility Storage delivers unique architectural advantages and platform features that directly address these challenges by ensuring a high-quality user experience while maximizing desktop virtualization return on investment (ROI). Unlike other storage platforms, the advanced architecture, simplified management, low deployment cost, and unique space reclamation technologies offered by HP 3PAR Utility Storage exceed user requirements and maximize savings by increasing the performance, administrative efficiency, and capacity utilization of virtual desktop environments. Storage built for virtualization No one wants to learn the hard way that their new storage infrastructure lacks the performance, efficiency, and agility to support desktop virtualization. Desktop virtualization can present a number of unique storage challenges, such as poor performance due to sharing of centralized computing and storage resources, slow and complex provisioning due to physical dedication of resources, large up-front storage capacity requirements, and escalating costs due to inefficient capacity utilization over time. Most storage platforms are unable to provide the performance, management, and storage efficiency necessary to deliver the combination of cost savings and rich user experience necessary to make a desktop virtualization deployment successful. The same architectural advantages and advanced features that make HP 3PAR Utility Storage the ideal storage platform for server virtualization enhance desktop virtualization deployments as well. As a result, HP 3PAR Storage Systems don t just meet, but exceed the demands that desktop virtualization places on storage. The outcome is not only a virtual desktop deployment that maintains high service levels and satisfies user requirements, but one that offers superior ROI. Boost virtual desktop ROI High performance to meet peak demands due to boot storms, login storms, and virus scans Simplified management, including rapid storage provisioning and automation to eliminate repetitive tasks Low deployment cost due to elimination of up-front capacity requirements and consolidation of hundreds of virtual servers and thousands of virtual desktops onto a single array Capacity efficiency over time due to unique space reclamation technologies High performance to meet peak demands How will your storage react when a large number of users all demand access to their desktop environments at the same time? Desktop virtualization deployments routinely face performance challenges due to the sharing of centralized computing and storage resources. Boot storms, virus scans, and login storms are three common scenarios that can tax the storage infrastructure to its limits.

2 One example of this is at large call centers where workers log in and simultaneously demand data from the shared storage at the beginning and end of each shift. Spiking performance demands can also occur in unplanned situations, such as when a large number of users attempt to boot their machines following a widespread disruption such as a power outage. To meet this peak demand, a virtual desktop storage solution must be able to bring up hundreds of virtual desktops simultaneously while delivering boot times comparable to that of dedicated, physical computers. HP 3PAR Storage Systems are designed for widespread sharing of resources, and include unique features that deliver the high level of performance demanded by virtual desktops, even during times of peak usage. For example, wide striping distributes each storage volume across all array resources, leveraging the fine-grained virtualization to provide consistently high levels of performance (regardless of the capacity utilization of the array) during boot storms, virus scans, and login storms. In addition, the system s Mesh-Active controller clustering architecture dynamically load balances and distributes each workload across all system drives, nodes, loops, cache, and ports. Each LUN is active on every controller in the array, resulting in better performance and simplified management for large sets of virtual desktops that all rely on the same storage resources. HP 3PAR Architecture Controller Node Full-Mesh Interconnect Cost-effective, scalable, and resilient architecture that meets cloud computing requirements for efficiency, multitenancy, and autonomic management Autonomic performance optimization HP 3PAR Adaptive Optimization Software takes a fine-grained approach to autonomic storage tiering that optimizes service levels by pairing data at the sub-volume level with the most cost-efficient resource capable of meeting its service level requirement. Policy-driven, granular data movement takes place autonomically, on an ongoing basis so the right Quality of Service (QoS) is delivered to the right data at the right time. In virtual desktop environments, it is common to find many desktops sharing a similar workload, which can result in multiple virtual desktops requesting access to the same set of data at the same time (often just a small portion of a storage volume). With legacy arrays, this can either lead to performance issues or force a situation where volumes supporting virtual desktops must be placed on the most expensive storage tier. However, HP 3PAR Adaptive Optimization Software is designed to automatically and intelligently move data to the storage tier that best fits its performance demands. This means that, as data becomes hot, it is moved to higher-performance storage, and then back to lower-cost storage once access demand subsides. The result is autonomic performance optimization to meet virtual desktop user requirements at a lower cost than using only premium storage. Simplified virtual desktop administration A key benefit of desktop virtualization is the rapid and simple provisioning of new desktops; however, an agile storage infrastructure is required to enable a true end-to-end provisioning solution. Complex storage provisioning and management are particularly detrimental to desktop virtualization environments, where these inefficiencies diminish the ability to rapidly respond to new desktop requests because of delays from the underlying infrastructure. Standard storage provisioning often requires professional service engagements, and is based on the physical dedication of resources in mainframe and client-server computing paradigms. This legacy continues to hide itself even in the core architectures of many new storage solutions, limiting the efficiency and flexibility that virtual environments were designed to provide. 2

3 The ease of use offered by HP 3PAR Utility Storage simplifies virtual desktop administration by complementing in-house solutions as well as third-party desktop virtualization management applications including VMware View TM, Citrix XenDesktop TM, and Microsoft System Center. HP 3PAR Utility Storage not only reduces storage provisioning and administration time by up to 90%, but includes several unique features designed to simplify virtual desktop administration. These unique HP 3PAR capabilities can be combined with customized or third-party solutions that provide built-in features designed to simplify desktop provisioning and to help seamlessly manage the use and deployment of golden images and patches. HP 3PAR Rapid Provisioning Software eliminates array planning by delivering instant, fine-grained, application-tailored storage provisioning. The time-consuming task of storage provisioning is managed intelligently and autonomically, which means that adding more storage to support a growing virtual desktop environment can be done quickly and easily. HP 3PAR Autonomic Groups Software: streamlining the provisioning process Traditional storage Individual volumes Cluster of VMware ESX servers Individual volumes Autonomic Provisioning Autonomic host group of VMware ESX servers Autonomic volume group Vol 1 Vol 2 Vol 6 Vol 7 Vol 3 Vol 4 Vol 8 Vol 9 Vol 5 Vol 10 A VMware ESX cluster of 5 hosts with 10 data volumes requires 50 provisioning actions on most storage arrays. At 10 minutes per action, this could take an entire day to complete. With Autonomic Groups, only 3 clicks and 60 seconds are needed to fully create and provision multiple volumes to multiple servers. Client profile: large medical center saves more than lives A large university medical center in the US chose HP 3PAR Utility Storage to deploy virtual desktops and to consolidate database and virtual server deployments onto a single HP 3PAR T400 Storage System. These virtual desktops run a mission-critical surgery application and are managed through VMware View, which delivers easy management of the golden boot image, patches, and new desktop creation. The medical center runs an additional 350 virtual machines on the same system, which also provides storage for physical servers running Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server database deployments. The client selected HP 3PAR Utility Storage not only for massive storage consolidation, but also for the platform s resilience, mixed workload capability, and ability to handle boot storms and other demand spikes without jeopardizing access to the mission-critical surgery application that it uses to save lives every day. HP 3PAR Autonomic Groups Software eliminates the tedious, manual repetition of storage provisioning in desktop virtualization environments by reducing the number of commands required. With Autonomic Groups, three clicks and 60 seconds are all that you need to fully create and provision multiple volumes to multiple virtual servers in order to accommodate the growing demand for new virtual desktops the same process that can consume hours or even days with traditional storage. Consolidation without compromise Deployment cost is one of the most important factors in evaluating desktop virtualization ROI. HP 3PAR Utility Storage offers superior capacity efficiency and a high degree of resiliency so you can not only consolidate more virtual desktops and more virtual servers onto a single system, but you can also consolidate both your virtual desktop and virtual server environments onto a single array. The HP 3PAR architecture features mixed workload support that enables a single HP 3PAR array to support thousands of virtual desktops and to house both server and desktop virtualization deployments simultaneously without compromising the user experience. HP 3PAR Utility Storage also boosts capacity efficiency by minimizing up-front physical dedication of storage resources, so you can do more with less on a single, consolidated array. 3

4 HP 3PAR Thin Provisioning Software enables allocation of as much logical capacity as is needed over the lifetime of a virtual desktop without actually dedicating full physical capacity in advance. This means less capacity to purchase upfront, less capacity to house, power, and cool over the long term, and no more wasted storage. HP 3PAR Utility Storage set the industry standard for thin provisioning with a reservationless implementation that features autonomic management, a fine-grained allocation unit size, and the exclusive HP 3PAR Gen3 ASIC with Thin Built In TM, built to support advanced thin technologies such as thin conversion and thin reclamation. Newer storage arrays claim to reduce up-front storage costs and inefficiencies with thin provisioning but fall short in delivering capacity efficiency without painful tradeoffs such as diminished performance. By comparison, HP 3PAR Utility Storage features unique thin technologies that can cut your storage capacity requirements in half to minimize virtual server deployment cost. Client profile: global bank achieves high returns A large global banking client demonstrates how HP 3PAR Utility Storage boosts desktop virtualization ROI. Without compromising user experience for its employees, the global bank has built a low-cost, large-scale virtual desktop environment that houses over 4,000 virtual desktops on a single HP 3PAR T400 Storage System. The consistent and reliable performance delivered by the system has enabled the client to sustain high levels of virtual desktop performance, even as its virtual environment has grown. The bank uses HP 3PAR Thin Provisioning Software to increase capacity utilization for maximum savings, while an automated script run nightly leverages space reclamation with HP 3PAR Thin Persistence Software to maintain these capacity savings as virtual desktops are created, deleted, and modified. These unique HP 3PAR Utility Storage features complement the bank s VMware vsphere TM environment to deliver a high level of return on its virtual infrastructure investment. Mixed workload support enables different types of applications (both transaction-based and throughput-intensive workloads) to run without contention on a single HP 3PAR array. This architectural advantage is particularly valuable in consolidated and virtualized environments, where a single array must reliably support a wide mix of application types across the cluster while delivering consistently high performance. In addition, mixed workload support enables organizations to consolidate both virtual server and virtual desktop deployments onto a single HP 3PAR array for maximum cost savings. HP 3PAR Persistent Cache Software allows always on desktop virtualization environments to gracefully respond to unplanned controller node failures without the substantial performance penalties associated with traditional arrays and write-through mode. This capability is especially important for virtual desktop environments where performance is at a premium during business hours and any reduction can directly impact hundreds or thousands of users. Persistent Cache is also essential to supporting the mission-critical applications deployed on these virtual desktops. Reducing capacity purchases Traditional (fat) provisioning Volume Written data HP 3PAR Thin Provisioning Dedicate-on-Write Volume Written data Reclaiming stranded storage capacity Free chunklet pool Purchased physical capacity Purchased physical capacity Like virtual server deployments, the flexible, constantly changing nature of virtualized desktop environments demands a storage solution that is not just capacity efficient, but capable of maintaining that capacity efficiency over time. Space reclamation technologies unique to HP 3PAR Utility Storage enable virtual environments to not only start or get thin, but to stay thin. Newer storage systems that claim to support thin provisioning fall short when it comes to maintaining thin savings, especially as virtual desktops environments undergo constant change for example, as new desktops are created, deleted, moved, and modified. As a result, desktop virtualization deployments that use inefficient storage are challenged with high deployment costs and sub-optimal capacity utilization rates. 4

5 HP 3PAR Thin Persistence Software leverages the unique Thin Built In TM hardware capabilities of the HP 3PAR Gen3 ASIC to drive the inline thinning of storage volumes in silicon. This is especially important to desktop virtualization environments, where the constant addition and deletion of virtual desktops can mean that even a thin provisioned volume will eventually become fat and inefficient. HP 3PAR Thin Persistence Software eliminates this problem by leveraging built-in zero-detection capabilities, which enable administrators to maintain optimal storage efficiency by automatically reclaiming unused space associated with deleted data within a thin provisioned volume. Get the most out of desktop virtualization To reduce management costs and preserve the rich desktop user experience, desktop virtualization deployments rely on powerful management capabilities and a high-performance, highly scalable storage infrastructure. Along with the desktop virtualization software you chose, the storage platform and management solutions supporting your virtual desktop environment are critical to maximizing ROI. HP 3PAR Utility Storage offers a highly virtualized platform designed for virtualized environments. With superior performance, unmatched ease of management, industry-leading capacity efficiency, and unique space reclamation capabilities, HP 3PAR Utility Storage enables you to get the most out of your virtual desktop deployment. For more information visit and Get connected Get the insider view on tech trends, alerts, and HP solutions for better business outcomes Share with colleagues Copyright 2011 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Microsoft is a U.S. registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 4AA3-3051ENW, Created January 2011

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