ThinIO facts and figures, Part 3: RDS and Ram caching.

logoWelcome back to the third instalment of this blog series focusing on our new technology ThinIO!

To recap, below you will find the previous articles:

Off topic note:

two years ago at an E2EVC event, the concept behind ThinIO was born with just a mad scientist idea amongst peers.

If you are lucky enough to be attending E2EVC this weekend, David and I will be there presenting ThinIO and maybe, just maybe there will be an announcement. Our session is on Saturday at 15:30 so pop by, you won’t be disappointed.

Back on topic:

So here’s a really interesting blog post. Remote Desktop Services (XenApp / XenDesktop hosted shared) or whatever you like to call it. RDS really presents a fun caching platform for us, as it allows us to deal with a much higher IO volume and achieve deeper savings.

We’ve really tested the heck out of this platform for how we perform on Microsoft RDS, Horizon View RDS integration and Citrix XenSplitPersonality with Machine Creation Services.

The figures we are sharing today are based on the following configuration and load test:

  • Logo_Login_VSI_TransparentCitrix XenDesktop 7.6
  • Windows Server 2012 r2
  • Citrix User Profile Manager.
  • 16gb of Ram.
  • 4 vCpu.
  • LoginVSI 4.1 medium workload 1 hour test.
  • 10 users.
  • VMFS 5 volume.

Fun figures!

Diving straight in, lets start by looking at the volume of savings across three cache types.

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ThinIO facts and figures, Part 2: The Bootstorm chestnut.

logoWelcome back! This blog post is part of a number of posts in advance of our upcoming release, for reference you can find part one below:

Getting right to it:

In this industry when somebody says ‘boot storms!’ – most of us will respond with:

image002

Boot storms are a well documented, boring problem and have many solutions available from vendors and hypervisors alike. Most solutions today rely on a ‘shared memory’ storage area to cache ‘on boot’, in theory caching only one startup or one pattern in order to then serve it back to the proceeding desktops to boot.

But why are boot storms an issue? While working on ThinIO we had the unique ability to really dive into the Windows boot process and analyse why boot storms cause the damage they do and in this post we thought we’d share our findings to better document the issue.

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ThinIO facts and figures, Part 1: VDI and Ram caching.

Alogos we draw ever closer to ThinIO’s big day, I thought I’d put a blog post together talking about the RAM caching, statistics, facts and figures we’ve baked into version 1 to deliver some really kick ass performance improvements with even the smallest of allocations of cache per VM.

Test, test, review and tune. Rinse and repeat!

We’ve spent months load testing, tuning, fixing and retesting ThinIO. And for the first time we’re going to start talking about the dramatic results ThinIO can have on storage scalability and user perceived performance.

During our extensive testing cycles, we’ve covered:

• Horizon View
• Citrix XenDesktop
• Microsoft RDS

We’ve been seeing very similar, if not identical results when testing against pools on the following storage types too:

• XenServer SR
• VMFS
• NFS
• Microsoft Clustered Shared Volumes

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ThinIO Public Beta is go!

logoLets get right to it!

Warm up your labs or fire up your golden images ladies and gents, we’re delighted to announce ThinIO’s brief public beta will begin today!

This project has taught us some really interesting things about Windows IO, how Windows behaves and how the hypervisor and storage can behave. This project really felt like a David vs. Goliath task as we (members of our community with a desire to simplify this issue) attempted to tackle one of the largest issues in our industry, storage bottlenecks and Windows desktops.

What’s really unique about our approach is there are no hardware lead times, no architecture changes needed and no external dependencies. ThinIO can be installed in seconds and the benefits are seen immediately.

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ThinIO, taking a peak under the covers.

logoWhat a busy few weeks, Citrix Synergy already feels like a distant memory. We had a great trip and were dumbfounded by the interest and excitement shown by enthusiasts, customers and vendors around our ThinIO solution, with quite a few people insisting on seeing the inner mechanics and trying to break our demo’s to ensure the figures they saw were legit!

For those unfortunate enough to miss synergy or our Webinar with Erik over at XenAppBlog, here’s a little blog post you will find interesting as I walk you through the inners of ThinIO and why it’s so simple to deliver disk access with RAM speeds without any of the complexity.

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