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ESG Lab Achieves Impressive Testing Results for Enterprise-Ready VDI Solution

Based on EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure and Brocade Networking

  • New Report Validates High Performance, Massive Scalability, and Ease of Deployment for 3,500 Virtual Desktops Using EMC XtremIO All-Flash Storage and Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel SAN and Brocade VDX Ethernet Fabric Networks

Bangalore, India.—Nov. 21, 2014 – Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD), the leader in data center fabric networking solutions, today announced impressive results based on testing performed by ESG Lab. The results validated a 3,500-virtualized desktop reference architecture based on a single EMC® XtremIO® all-flash storage array connected to 16 servers via a Brocade® Gen 5 Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (SAN) and Brocade VDX® Ethernet fabric switches connecting servers to the virtual desktops. Testing results were published in a new report that is available now from ESG Lab, EMC, and Brocade.

 The results validated that the EMC VSPEX® End-user Computing Proven Infrastructure reference architecture with Brocade networking was able to easily support up to 2,500 full-clone or 3,500 linked-clone virtual desktops on an XtremIO X-Brick™ node with sufficient headroom for additional desktops or other applications.

 According to the ESG Lab report, “Delivering the optimal user experience is an essential IT task, but it is complex and difficult to design and build an environment that can deliver the predictable performance required for virtual desktop infrastructure….The VSPEX End-user Computing Proven Infrastructure with XtremIO all-flash storage and Brocade networking eliminates planning and configuration burdens, virtually guarantees a successful deployment, and delivers on both IT and end-user requirements.”

 “Organizations implementing VDI on their own are faced with huge challenges in complexity and sheer scale when moving from a proof-of-concept to an environment supporting thousands of end-users,” said Tony Palmer, senior lab analyst, ESG Lab. “We were impressed with the ability of the solution—which combines components from both EMC and Brocade—to easily support all of the I/O-intensive workloads we could present. In each case the solution delivered excellent application-level response times.”

 The VSPEX End-user Computing Proven Infrastructure reference architecture tested by ESG Lab included an EMC XtremIO X-Brick all-flash storage array and two Brocade 6510 Gen 5 Fibre Channel SAN switches managed with Brocade Fabric Vision™technology. The Brocade 6510 switches and Fabric Vision technology are sold by EMC under the EMC Connectrix® B-Series brand. Sixteen servers, simultaneously connected to the EMC storage and Brocade SAN fabric, were used for the testing, each configured with VMware Horizon View virtual desktops and the VMware vSphere server virtualization platform. A pair of Brocade VDX switches provided connectivity between the hosts and virtual desktops.

 “Enterprises are demanding more from their storage and networks to support VDI and other I/O-intensive workloads, which has led to exponential growth in the deployment of solid-state storage connected with Gen 5 Fibre Channel SAN and Ethernet fabrics,” said Jack Rondoni, vice president, storage networking at Brocade. “In partnering with EMC, the ESG Lab validation of this reference architecture is designed to help our mutual customers accelerate their virtual desktop projects with the confidence that only a proven infrastructure can provide.”

Impressive performance numbers generated during the ESG Lab testing included booting up 2,000 linked-node virtual desktops from “Power Off” to “Available” in just eight minutes and 30 seconds, enabled by the combination of fast response times for the XtremIO all-flash storage (just 0.35 ms) and the ability of the Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel SAN and VDX switches to allow data transmission at sustained speeds of 16 Gbps and 10 Gbps, respectively.

 Using workload generation testing tools, the XtremIO array was able to generate more than 120,000 8K IOPS with an ultra-low 0.77 ms response time for application read/writes. Brocade Fabric Vision technology provided policy-based management to simplify monitoring, as well as automated management of storage network resources, which helped ensure that the required service levels were achieved for uncompromised application availability.

 “Today’s end users all expect the responsiveness of modern flash-based devices like tablets, smartphones, and ultrabooks for their applications, and most other VDI arrays just can’t deliver,” said Robin Ren, CTO, XtremIO, EMC Corporation. “Our testing with ESG Lab has now validated the XtremIO/Brocade solution in providing massive I/O performance and scalability to ensure every desktop user gets that same flash-based experience, which is often better than traditional laptop and desktop systems.”

 VSPEX End-user Computing Proven Infrastructures are modular, virtualized infrastructures validated by EMC and delivered by EMC VSPEX partners. Virtualization, server, network, storage, and backup layers are all included. Partners can select the compute, connectivity, and virtualization technologies that best fit a customer’s environment, while EMC XtremIO all-flash and VNX® storage systems and EMC Powered Backup technologies provide the storage and backup layers.

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