Solid State Drives Solve SAN-Related Disk IOPS Issues

Solid State Drives Solve SAN-Related Disk IOPS Issues

As a Value Added Reseller and services provider, we are faced with many IT-related challenges across a broad spectrum of business clients. Quite often, a solution for one problem can create another set of problems.

Let’s use Citrix XenDesktop as an example. This product can alleviate the burden of many desktop administration functions and migration issues by doing a Windows 7 refresh in a VDI environment. However, it does create a challenge in the form of disk IOPS that typical SAN’s can have trouble dealing with. Most storage architects address this issue by stuffing a SAN with 15k drives or they front-end the traditional storage with Solid State Drives (SSD). These solutions can become costly and some will say the lifespan of SSD is significantly less than traditional storage under heavy write conditions.

In this scenario, our engineers have found a solution that provides the needed IOPS while keeping the costs relatively low and enhancing the lifespan of SSD. The solution is a product called WhipTail. WhipTail was specifically designed to handle the IOP requirements that applications like VDI demand. This appliance utilizes a combination of software and SSD to overcome several important technical hurdles that hardware alone cannot. With WhipTail, you can achieve an impressive 250,000 IOPS at a latency of just 0.1 ms, which is over 100 times greater than hard drives alone. Another feature of WhipTail that architects and engineers find to be very important is the deduplication, which is being done in line and on the fly. By using the deduplication feature in virtualization environments, you could achieve reduction ratios of up to 300:1.

by John Anderson, ETS Director of Technical Services