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July 24, 2012

Violin's Flash Memory Array Helps Anglia Ruskin University Virtualize Desktops Efficiently

Desktop virtualization is growing, but steadily. In a period of less than five years, desktop virtualization has captured nearly 4 percent of the overall enterprise desktop market.

According to a recent survey data, more than 70 percent of IT organizations around the globe plan to adopt desktop virtualization for some or all of their desktops by 2014.

The reason behind the rise in the growth of desktop virtualization is that it helps organizations reduce their expenses remarkably while providing better user experiences to the end-users, at the same time.

Cashing in on this trend and to leverage the benefits of desktop virtualization, Anglia Ruskin University – located in East England – recently virtualized nearly 1,000 desktops for 32,000 students with the help of Violin Memory, Inc. – a provider of scalable flash Memory Arrays.

According to a news release, the Anglia Ruskin University replaced its existing architecture with a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution that used Violin’s 3000 Series flash Memory Array to virtualize nearly 1,000 desktops.

Gregor Waddell, assistant director of Anglia Ruskin University, said the university wanted to reduce cost and power consumption as well as contribute to sustainability objectives within its corporate plan, while offering modern and attractive desktop to its students and staff.

In this regard, the university had already pushed almost all of its server estate over to VMWare Sphere. However, the back-end storage performance in the VDI environment was the real limiting factor.

Consequently, an efficient VDI solution was required that would scale to at least 800 concurrent users with no appreciable degradation to user experience, as well as introduce a resilient architecture, avoiding single points of failure. The university selected a VDI solution integrated with Violin’s 3000 Series flash Memory Array after considering several options.

Violin’s 3000 Series flash Memory Array can handle 220,000 random write IOPS in 4K blocks – more than twenty times the performance of a comparable storage area network (SAN) disk array.

Catering to the heavy I/O loads generated by hundreds of users logging on and launching apps, the new VDI solution – which utilized Violin’s 3000 Series flash Memory Array – provided dramatic cost savings to the university. 

Apart from reducing the cost, Violin’s 3000 Series flash Memory Array used in the new VDI solution also provides the university with the capability to add additional users up to the existing server capacity of 600-700 concurrent users, by either adding thin or zero clients or by reusing existing PCs.

In addition, Violin’s 3000 Series flash Memory Array used in the new VDI solution also helped the university to reduce total power consumption, which includes all server and storage power consumption, by nearly 40 percent comparable to Windows 7 based PCs.

Related news indicated that Violin Memory helped Cisco (News - Alert) set a new world record in cloud computing performance, citing its VMware VMmark 2.1 benchmark test results, by offering its storage platform.

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Edited by Braden Becker

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