VDI and the “The Psychic Desktop”


Interesting post from the guys at fusion-io. The VDI solution is just amazing

In my last 15 years of designing and implementing storage solutions, I have seen and heard a lot of things — some good, some bad, and some pretty unusual. In one strange accident, a 180-slot tape library tumbled down a flight of stairs (not my fault!). Then there was $1 million SAN virtualization solution that caught fire at the first power-on because an electrician mixed up the cables in the 16A wall socket. I have also seen some poor design choices, like the customer who was running his virtual desktops from a high latency, low cost iSCSI solution because it was the only thing that would fit within his budget. The IT manager actually stopped having his lunch in the company restaurant for a few weeks because of all his complaining co-workers. These are exceptions, but they all started because of a small, bad decision.

In the storage world, people are used to measuring device latency in milliseconds. At Fusion-io, our device latency is just a couple of microseconds. Most users couldn’t care less about differences that small. It sounds ridiculous at first — 1/1000 of a second isn’t fast enough, so let’s build something hundreds of times faster. But when thousands of machines and processes start asking that storage device for data at the same time, it has an unbelievable impact. Anyone can build storage infrastructures with millions of IOPS, as long as you keep throwing racks and racks of hardware at it. But reducing latency calls for a change in the way we look at storage.

A few weeks ago, I was lost for words when I had a cup of coffee with an IT administrator who just migrated to a Fusion-io based VDI solution. He looked at me and said, “You guys have given us the psychic desktop. Thank you for that.” Not sure whether that was a good thing, I looked at him and asked him what he meant. He smiled and explained that one of his company’s users had come into the IT department to ask what they had done to his computer. The previous weekend, IT had migrated his virtual desktop from a storage array to the new Fusion-io based infrastructure. The user was very surprised. He said he had the feeling that his applications were opening so fast, it felt like the desktop knew where he was going to double-click before he actually did.

Over time, this employee got used to clicking on something and waiting for five or six seconds before something actually happened on his screen. He was shocked to see his complete Inbox in less than half a second after he clicked the e-mail icon. The user was convinced the company was running new software that gave his desktop some sort of future-telling capabilities. His question was actually serious, but at that moment, the IT department’s psychic desktop jokes were born.

Jerry Rijnbeek

Sales Engineer, Netherlands

 

 

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