Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solution for EMC VSPEX with VMware Horizon View 5.3 for 2000 Desktops

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Quick Stats
First Published:March 2014
Broker:Horizon View 5.3
Desktop Type(s):Linked Clones
Hypervisor:VMware vSphere 5.5
Storage Type:VNX 5600
Target # of Desktops:2,000


Industry trends indicate a vast data center transformation toward shared infrastructures. Enterprise customers are moving away from silos of information and toward shared infrastructures, to virtualized environments, and eventually to the cloud to increase agility and reduce costs.


VSPEX is a flexible architecture solution that allows IT to quickly and consistently deploy a virtualized infrastructure to consolidate servers and applications that help reduce capital and operational expenses.


EMC VSPEX End User Computing solutions for VMware Horizon View 5.3 allows a more strategic approach. Technology partners working with EMC deliver VSPEX Proven Infrastructure consisting of best-in-class technologies built as easy to manage complete virtualization solutions. With the leading virtualization platform (VMware vSphere) together with VMware EUC software, Cisco compute and networking, and EMC storage and backup technologies it’s possible simplify IT, centrally manage desktops, applications, and end user data.


This Cisco Solution for EMC VSPEX End User Computing reports the results of a study evaluating the scalability of VMware Horizon View 5.3 environment on Cisco UCS B-Series B200-M3 Blade servers running on VMware ESXi 5.5 hypervisor software connected to an EMC VNX 5600 Storage Array. We utilize second and third generation Unified Computing System hardware and software. We provide best practice recommendations and sizing guidelines for large scale customer deployments of VMware Horizon View 5.3 on the Cisco Unified Computing System.




The combination of technologies from Cisco Systems Inc, VMware and EMC produced a highly efficient, robust and scalable Desktop Virtualization (DV) infrastructure for a hosted virtual desktop deployment. Key components of the solution included:

    • The combined power of the Unified Computing System, Nexus switching and EMC storage hardware with VMware ESXi 5.5, and VMware Horizon View 5.3 software produces a high density per blade and per chassis Virtual Desktop delivery system.
    • B200 M3 half-width blade with dual 10-core processors and 384GB of memory running at 1333 MHz supports 30% more virtual desktop workloads than the previously studied full width blade using a new medium workload with flash. In addition, density achieved with Horizon View 5.3 is equivalent to a prior study on the same platform with View 5.1 Update 2.
    • The study design based on two Unified Computing System chassis, each with seven B200-M3 blades, each with dual 10-core processors and 384GB of memory running at 1333 MHz and a Cisco VIC 1240 converged network adapter supports 2000 virtual desktop workloads running the new medium workload with flash providing outstanding End User Experience with average response times under 1.75 seconds at full load.
    • We [Cisco] were able to boot the full complement of 2000 virtual desktops (ready to login) in under 16 minutes.
    • We [Cisco] were able to ramp up (log in and start workloads) to steady state with all 2000 users running a knowledge worker workload with flash in 30 minutes without pegging the processor, exhausting memory or storage subsystems.
    • Our [Cisco] design provides N+1 server fault tolerance for the 2000 virtual desktop system, making the design fully fault tolerant from end to end.
    • Compared to previous studies with full width blades, the rack space required to support 2000 users was reduced from 30 Rack Units to 12 Rack Units.
    • Pure Virtualization: We [Cisco] continue to present a validated design that is 100% virtualized on ESXi 5.5. All of the Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops and supporting infrastructure components, including vCenter, Active Directory, Profile Servers, SQL Servers, and Horizon View 5.3 components were hosted as virtual servers.
    • We [Cisco] maintain our [Cisco] industry leadership with our [Cisco] new Cisco UCS Manager 2.2(1b) software that makes scaling simple, consistency guaranteed and maintenance simple.
    • Our [Cisco] 10G unified fabric story gets additional validation on second generation 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects and second generation Nexus 5500 Series access switches as we run more challenging workload testing, maintaining unsurpassed user response times.
    • EMC’s VNX5600 system provides storage consolidation and outstanding efficiency. Both block and file based storage resources are available on a single system, utilizing EMC Fast Cache technology.
    • VMware Horizon View 5.3 with the Sparse Virtual Disk feature used for floating assignment linked clones provided better disk performance and space efficiency.





Original Links:


Documents Attached::

      • Cisco Validated Design

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