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Nexenta simplifies VMware VDI deployment

The OpenStorage supplier develops a plug-in to eliminate storage and system management complexity for enterprise VDI environments.


Nexenta Systems has launched a storage product targeting simplified storage management across all layers of a VMware-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) stack.

The storage software firm demonstrated its NexentaVDI' provisioning and rapid deployment solution for VMware View 5 at VMworld Europe 2011 in Copenhagen this week.

The plug-in for VMware's VDI management system, version 5 of which was launched at the Danish show, enables users to deploy and provision virtual desktop resources built on the virtualisation vendor's vSphere cloud computing operating system (OS).

VDI creates a huge number of random rights issues that traditional proprietary storage finds hard to handle.

Based on the open source Zettabyte File System (ZFS) originally developed by Sun, NexentaVDI automates the deployment and management of the tiered storage features of VMware View 5, and works in tandem with NexentaStor 3.1 OpenStorage virtual storage appliance (VSA) configuration and tuning.

NexentaVDI offers rapid deployment of the VSA across the VMware vSphere cluster based on user inputs such as desktop pool type, number of users and target performance levels.

Jon Ash, Nexenta vice president of sales, told IT Pro the plug-in would change the economics of VDI deployments by simplifying their management and eliminating costly proprietary storage overheads.

"VDI creates a huge number of random rights issues that traditional proprietary storage finds hard to handle," he said. "Customers tell me that they are paying $120 per desktop for SSDs [solid state drives] that they were supposed to save $100 on by virtualising the desktops in the first place. Our solution's modern file system enables the use of commodity storage hardware, while the plug-in automates its provisioning to the virtual desktops."

He said managers simply name a desktop pool, indicating how many desktops to provision. NexentaVDI automatically sets up the underlying storage and VMware View desktop pool, optimising the deployment to provide the best performance for the environment, while also handling the disparate storage requirements of both persistent and non-persistent virtual desktops.

Parag Patel, VMware global strategic alliances vice president, welcomed the Nexenta integration development.

"NexentaVDI takes advantage of the inherent flexibility of VSA storage, offering a purpose-built storage layer for the type of VDI pool being deployed. The NexentaVDI plug-in offers an improved level of simplicity, validated performance, and auto-optimisation," he said.

The storage firm is currently recruiting participants for its VDI beta programme, while NexentaVDI will be generally available in the first quarter of 2012.

Ash claimed the company already has around 7,000 customers worldwide, including a number of cloud service providers and large enterprises, particularly in banking and telecommunications, who were typically saving 70 per cent on storage costs.

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