As you probably know, VDI is based on a desktop centric model to provide an environment to the remote networked based user. The end user accesses the desktop using a remote display protocol on their device in a secure manner. The resources are centralized and allow users to move between locations while accessing the applications and data. This allows administrators better control over the management of the desktop as well as tighter security.
The hardware infrastructure platform that supports VDI software must provide the following features:
Sufficient computing power to support demanding workloads
Scalability to satisfy future growth requirements
Reliability to support business continuity and 24x7 operations
High-speed, low-latency networking for a better user experience
Cost-efficient storage to handle large amounts of VM and user data
Centralized management of combined physical and virtual infrastructure from a single user interface to simplify and automate deployment, maintenance, and support tasks
IBM Flex System is a future-proof, integrated platform that satisfies these requirements.
IBM Flex System is an integrated platform that delivers custom-tuned, client-specific configurations for optimum flexibility. IBM Flex System combines compute nodes, networking, storage, and management into a complete data center building block that is built for future-proof, heterogeneous data centers with flexibility and open choice of architectures, hypervisors, and environments.
Here are 5 reasons to consider IBM Flex System as a hardware infrastructure platform for VDI:
1. Sufficient processing capacity and scalability for the most demanding SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure deployments
IBM Flex System x240 compute node is a dual-socket Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family-based compute node. It supports the most powerful 135 W Intel Xeon processor E5-2690, up to 768 GB of memory, and up to 16 physical I/O connections to provide scalable high-density HVD deployments.
2. Highly resilient: no single point of failure to maintain high availability
IBM Flex System offers extended set of reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features, such as light path diagnostics, Predictive Failure Analysis, and redundant hot swap components, to minimize downtime and ensure 24x7 operations. In addition, sharing fans, power supplies, systems management, and ports means that there are fewer parts to buy and maintain, and fewer components that can fail and cause downtime.
3. Integrated high-speed, low-latency networking
IBM Flex System provides sufficient network bandwidth and efficient traffic management to host as many VMs as possible to ensure that all computing resources are not underused. IBM Flex System networking, when integrated into a chassis, can help to reduce communication latency and provide the required bandwidth with 10 Gb Ethernet LAN connectivity that has 40 Gb uplinks and 8 Gb or 16 Gb FC SAN connectivity. Virtual Fabric Adapters offer virtual network interface card (NIC) capability to allow up to 32 logical ports on a single compute node, with controllable bandwidth allocation to manage traffic prioritization. In addition, the integrated design simplifies the overall infrastructure to save costs and make scalability and management tasks easier.
4. Centralized management of combined physical and virtual infrastructure from a single user interface
IBM Flex System Manager is a systems management appliance that drives efficiency and cost savings in the data center. Flex System Manager provides a pre-integrated and virtualized management environment across servers, storage, and networking that is easily managed from a single interface. A single focus point for seamless multichassis management provides an instant and resource-oriented view of chassis and chassis resources. You can reduce the number of interfaces, steps, and clicks it takes to manage IT resources. You can intelligently manage and deploy workloads based on resource availability and predefined policies. And you can manage events and alerts to increase system availability and reduce downtime in addition to reducing operational costs.
5. Integrated storage with build-in virtualization capabilities
As a virtualized storage system that provides block volumes and file volumes, IBM Flex System V7000 Storage Node complements virtual desktop environments. The system offers robust enterprise-class storage capabilities, which include thin provisioning, automated tiering, internal and external virtualization, clustering, replication, and multiprotocol support. These features can be applied in virtual desktop environments in applications, for example, that optimize storage capacity and performance or that simplify desktop user profile management and backup. The Flex System V7000 is flexible enough to support entry virtual desktop environments, but can also be scaled to support enterprise virtual desktop environments.
Ilya Krutov is an IBM Redbooks Project Leader. He writes books and papers on many topics related to IBM System x, IBM BladeCenter, and IBM Flex System. Follow Ilya on Twitter at @IlyaAtRedbooks.