Recently, IBM announced availability of the Windows Server 2012 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution as a part of IBM SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure solution offerings.
VDI gives users the freedom to access their desktop applications from any device. It has recently developed traction in the market due to its many benefits, including increased security and reduced Total Cost of Ownership. Companies that offer VDI to their employees reduce the number of desktop applications and licenses they must manage, and subsequently reduce their ongoing operational costs. At the same time, with fewer applications to manage, companies can more tightly control authorized access to the applications and ensure standards compliance.
Five things to know about IBM solution for Windows Server 2012 VDI are:
1. IBM solution for Windows Server 2012 VDI is based on IBM Reference Architecture
IBM Reference Architecture (RA) defines building block approach to build fully integrated and tested solutions, providing a high degree of flexibility and customization choices. With pre-configured and validated reference design, RA simplifies implementation, helps accelerate ROI, enables clients to deploy with confidence, and offers a more cost-effective and flexible virtual desktop environment for a wide range of customer sizes, user types and industry segments.
2. IBM solution for Windows Server 2012 VDI runs on proven IBM System x servers
The Windows Server 2012 VDI can be deployed on IBM System x high performance dual-socket servers, the x3550 M4 and x3650 M4, powered by Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family.
IBM System x servers are developed, quality tested, and certified by IBM, the leading vendor in technology patents for 20 years running, and they are backed by IBM's incomparable worldwide service and support.
IBM System x servers deliver business value over the long term due to advancements in scalability, reliability, and performance, combined with flexible configuration options, energy efficient components, and robust systems management tools.
System x servers are top-ranked by TBR (Q412 Report) for customer satisfaction and top-ranked by ITIC for reliability and uptime (ITIC February 2013 Survey).
System x achieved leadership virtualization performance for TPC-C virtualization as the first x86 server (x3650 M4) to achieve 1M transactions per minute.
3. IBM System x servers are optimized for Windows Server 2012 VDI
Windows Server 2012 is rigorously tested by IBM through the ServerProven program with IBM System x servers to assure a high degree of confidence in compatibility and reliability.
IBM System x servers can help to achieve better desktop VM density due to large memory and I/O capacity support.
Integrated IBM Virtual Fabric support combined with IBM System Networking offerings can help to minimize response time and ensure service level agreements for better desktop user experience.
Excellent reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features provide outstanding uptime for a productive user environment.
Support for GPU cards delivers 3D and high performance graphics for the most demanding users.
On average, a dual-socket IBM System x M4 server can host about 150 virtual desktop sessions. The solution can easily scale by adding more System x servers.
4. IBM solution for Windows Server 2012 VDI is easy to deploy and manage
Windows Server 2012 VDI is included with Windows Server 2012 and deployed as the Remote Desktop Services server role. This role includes all required VDI software components (such as hypervisor and connection broker) which dramatically simplifies VDI deployment and allows seamless integration with the Windows-based infrastructure.
The single operating system/VDI platform minimizes licensing expense and makes it easy to deploy and manage. Because all the software comes from Microsoft, it is easier to setup the System x server and configure the desktop images, leveraging the reference architecture. The unified management infrastructure for centralized desktops in Windows Server 2012 VDI increases flexibility of access for remote desktops and applications.
Centralized management console simplifies administration of pooled and personal virtual desktops. It supports scenario-based deployment tool to reduce time and complexity in configuring a virtual machine or session VDI.
5. IBM solution for Windows Server 2012 VDI does not require expensive external shared storage
While many VDI implementations require expensive high-performance external shared storage for scalable and highly available configurations, Windows Server 2012 VDI solution supports built-in scalability and availability features that utilize cost-efficient IBM System x server internal storage.
For more information, refer to the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 VDI on IBM System x solution brief.
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.