Flash Array Devices to Improve VDI Performance

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Cloud Computing Security, Availability and Performance

The ever-innovating cloud technology has brought constant revolutionary changes to the IT segment. Cloud computing technology enables businesses to effectively meet growing business demands with optimized resources. For most businesses, there are three important requirements that the cloud needs to provide: security, availability and performance. The public cloud offers a higher level of data security when compared to traditional IT environments. Alternately, enterprises can take advantage of the private cloud [2] to securely process confidential data[3] . Scalability is an automatic feature of the cloud that makes applications and networks always available. However, performance of the network must be effectively addressed.

Performance Issues in the Current Cloud Environment

While the computing aspect of the datacenter infrastructure has benefited from the IT revolution, the storage segment has experienced an I/O crisis due to the I/O[4] -intensive cloud networks and the presence of hard drives that use mechanical and moving parts. For a private cloud, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can be used to provide remote access to corporate resources. A VDI enables the user to scale up to hundreds and thousands of desktops while providing a personalized desktop experience with a lower TCO . However, in a VDI environment, thousands of users concurrently share resources, and each user has a virtual machine that runs on a separate OS. There are thousands of OS instances involved along with a wide array of devices—from mobiles devices to PCs—that surge the network traffic randomly, especially during bootup or scheduled scans, making VDI an I/O-intensive application. VDI creates multiple logical workloads in a single I/O path, and as the disk capacity increases, IOPS/GB [6] decreases. Traditional storage solutions find it difficult to meet performance requirements like bandwidth, latency, CPU cycles, memory and disk space. Any sluggish performance from the datacenter can result in poor application performance and failure of the VDI deployment, which in turn can result in a loss of customers, a decrease in productivity level, service outages and revenue loss.

Flash array devices are specifically designed to remove these bottlenecks. While the VDI optimizes business infrastructure, flash array devices optimize the VDI environment. This is why flash array devices are making a buzz in the datacenter segment.

What are Flash Array Devices?

A flash array  is a solid-state storage sub-system that uses flash memory [8] instead of traditional hard drives to store huge amounts of data. Flash memory is nonvolatile and enables the user to erase and reprogram data that is stored as “blocks.” Flash memory gets its name from the option to erase and reprogram data—erasable programmable read-only memory. The absence of moving or mechanical parts makes it more suitable to erase blocks of data in a flash. Especially in a flash array, data transfer between SSIDs and flash devices is quick and efficient.

Flash devices are of two types: single-level cell (SLC) and multi-level cell (MLC). While SLC and MLC models are similar in design, they vary in capacity, purpose and price. SLC models deliver higher write performance and greater reliability and even work at higher temperatures, making them a perfect choice for embedded devices. MLC models are more suitable for enterprises that require huge amounts of data storage. MLC models offer data capacity up to 32 TB and work within an IOPS range of 500,000–1,000,000. The capacity, IOPS range and the price vary with each company. For connectivity, you can use InfiniBand , iSCSI  or Fibre Channel.

Flash arrays deliver a rich native desktop to users with high storage I/O throughput and low and spike-free latency. Moreover, desktops can scale from hundreds to thousands within seconds in a VDI, and the same I/O throughput is delivered consistently. Reduced datacenter footprint and lower TCO are definite advantages.

2X Remote Application Server and Flash MemoryAXSG ApplicationServer XG publishing application

2X Remote Application Server is used by many customers to create effective business continuity. The transactions are safely managed in the private cloud, and if something happens on the client side, the business is not affected. ASXG delivers desktops and applications when needed so that in case of client failure, a change in the device will allow business to continue as usual.

2X Remote Application Server manages all user connections to Windows Remote Desktop Servers and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Hypervisors from an intuitive, centralized console. It also automatically loads and balances new connections to the servers with the most resources available in the 2X farm with the in-built 2X load balancer. The 2X load balancer automatically checks the usage of each server before a new connection is initiated to ensure that there are sufficient resources available for an application or virtual desktop to run.

On the other hand, to improve the user experience running on the private cloud infrastructure, it is recommended to optimize the transaction performance on the hardware. The flash storage speeds up the response of the servers and storage, transforming the operations for a faster and more reliable experience. When seconds can make the difference for a business, online shopping, banking, or finance, a flash storage solution should be considered.

More about 2X Remote Application Server

Easily deliver Windows applications hosted on hypervisors and Windows remote desktop servers to anyone anywhere using any type of operating system, computer or mobile device. By hosting applications in the private cloud, businesses will also benefit from reduced administration overhead and less help desk support and can easily control who can access such applications and ensure that everyone is using the latest and most secure version of the application.

Out of the box BYOD Support

The 2X Client software allows businesses to easily deliver applications and virtual desktops to all users irrelevant of the hardware and operating system they are using. The 2X Client can run on any modern operating system such as Windows, Mac OS and Linux, and can also run on mobile devices such as smart phones and pads; therefore businesses are not limited to purchasing specific hardware or operating systems.

Easily Create an Enterprise Private Cloud

Private clouds allow organizations to centralize all data, improve the security of their network, easily protect their data and manage access through a central location. With 2X Remote Application Server, businesses can build their own secure private cloud and scale it to their needs to provide better access to all applications and virtual desktops to every employee in the office and remote workers.

Deliver and Manage Virtual Desktops

Deliver virtual desktops hosted on hypervisors such as Microsoft Hyper-V, VMWare vSphere and more to anyone anywhere using any type of operating system and hardware, including mobile devices. 2X Remote Application Server also enables administrators to automatically create clones of a specific virtual desktop and automatically create persistent rules so that the newly cloned desktops can be used as a personal desktop.

Build your own cloud infrastructure

Build your own secure cloud infrastructure and deliver applications and virtual desktops to all of your users with 2X Remote Application Server within just a few minutes. 2X Remote Application Server enables administrators to build private clouds and benefit from centralized operations and data, thus improving the security and management of data, applications, desktops and all servers in the cloud.

Secure and Enhanced User Mobility

Allow remote workers to access all applications and their personalized desktops hosted on the private cloud easily over a secure and encrypted channel. Published applications and virtual desktops can be accessed via the 2X Client, which can run on any operating system and mobile devices, or via the HTTPS protocol via standard HTML5 browser [16] such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Increase User Mobility and Improve Productivity

Allowing remote users to access their personalized desktops and applications over a secure and encrypted channel with 2X Remote Application Server is as easy as 1 2 3. By allowing remote users secure access to published applications and their own personalized desktops, businesses can also benefit from a boost in productivity and collaboration between the users.

Network and Cloud Security

By implementing 2X Remote Application Server on the network and segregating all the servers from the network and the Internet in the private cloud, businesses will improve the security of their network and private cloud because all kinds of access can be controlled via a central location, the 2X Remote Application Server. Published applications and personalized desktops can also be accessed over an SSL layer to ensure that the data between the user and the private cloud is encrypted and is not tampered with.

Easily Scale Networks and Private Clouds to Cater to Demands

As businesses grow, so do their requirements. 2X Remote Application Server enables administrators to easily add new servers, such as Windows Remote Desktop servers and VDI Hypervisors, to be able to provide applications and virtual desktops for new employees within just minutes. With multisite support, administrators can also manage remote offices and locations via a central easy-to-use console, thus reducing the need to travel and drastically reducing costs.

Easy Management of Network, Cloud and Hardware Resources

Manage all user connections to Windows Remote Desktop Servers and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Hypervisors from an easy-to-use centralized console and automatically distribute new connections to the least busy servers in the farm with the in-built 2X load balancer. The 2X load balancer automatically checks the usage of each server before a new connection is initiated to ensure that there are enough resources available for an application or virtual desktop to run.

Improve the Security of Your Network and Private Cloud

2X Remote Application Server uses Active Directory to authenticate users before allowing them to access any published application or virtual desktop. For improved security, 2X Remote Application Server can also be integrated with third-party authentication servers, such as Safenet , or any other radius server to support two-factor authentication and one-time passwords. Therefore the 2X Remote Application Server can also be integrated within almost any type of secure network.

High availability with Zero Effort

By centralizing all applications and virtual desktops in the private cloud, businesses are also improving access to their services. With the 2X Remote Application Server businesses can build high-availability solutions with almost no effort at all. Adding new gateways for redundancy purposes, or backup 2X Remote Application Server servers for high availability, can be done with just a few mouse clicks.

Build PCI DSS Compliant Networks

Building a PCI DSS compliant  network is probably the most costly and difficult procedure that businesses have to go through. Not so with 2X Remote Application Server. With an out of the box installation of 2X Remote Application Server, businesses can now build their own private cloud, deliver applications and protect cardholder data to be PCI DSS compliant.


Giorgio Bonuccelli is a Marketing and Communications Director at Parallels. Giorgio has extensive experience in cloud computing and virtualization, with a background of many years in multinational corporations (Dell, EMC and McAfee). In his career he has filled different roles, from sales to training and marketing. This wide-ranging experience and flexibility helps him simplify concepts and write content that is easy to read and understandable even by newcomers to the subject. As a blogger and technical writer he has published more than 1000 papers.