New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) needed the fastest possible user experience from their Horizon View VDI implementation supported by an EMC flash storage array. After deploying V-locity® I/O reduction software, V-locity was able to eliminate 40% of I/O traffic to storage that was nothing but mere noise unnecessarily wasting precious IOPS and throughput. After helping MFA ensure a pristine VDI experience, they deployed V-locity to the rest of their Windows server environment to see the same benefit on MS-Exchange, MS-SQL, SharePoint, and more.
The New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority is a self-supporting quasigovernmental entity that provides financing to make quality affordable housing and other related services available to low- and moderateincome New Mexicans. MFA provides resources to build affordable rental communities, rehabilitate aging homes, supply down payment assistance and affordable mortgages, offer emergency shelter and administer rental assistance and subsidies.
The MFA decided to move away from the use of physical PCs and migrate to a virtual desktop infrastructure via VMware Horizon View to better support their users. Although often a preferred strategy for standardization and ease of use, the biggest challenge most organizations face in the rollout is ensuring an endpoint experience that rivals or even improves upon the performance users are accustomed to seeing on their physical PCs.
“Anytime an organization starts talking about VDI, the immediate concern in the IT shop is how well we will be able to support it from a performance standpoint to ensure a pristine end user experience. Although supported by EMC VNXe flash storage with high IOPS, one of our primary concerns had to do with Windows write inefficiencies that chews up a large percentage of flash IOPS unnecessarily. When you’re rolling out a VDI initiative, the one thing you can’t afford to waste is IOPS,” said Joseph Navarrete, CIO, MFA.
Condusiv’s patented V-locity I/O reduction software is “Set-It-and-Forget-It®” software that runs transparently in the background on Windows servers and automatically offloads I/O from underlying storage then streamlines the I/O traffic that remains. All of this is done with near-zero overhead to the CPU. First, V-locity eliminates excessively small, fractured writes and reads and replaces them with large, clean contiguous writes so more payload is carried with every I/O operation to maximize server and storage performance. Second, V-locity establishes a tier-0 caching strategy by using idle, available DRAM to serve hot reads. Nothing has to be allocated for cache since V-locity dynamically adjusts to only what is otherwise unused. With as little of 2-4GB of available memory, many customers serve as much as 50% of their read traffic from memory, which is 15X faster than SSD and opens up even more IOPS and bandwidth from storage. V-locity customers who add even more memory (e.g. 8-16GB) to key systems with a read bias to get even more help from V-locity, invariably serve 50-99% of read traffic and simply tune their memory allocations according to their performance needs.
After Joseph bumped up the memory allocation for his VDI instances to get even more performance from V-locity I/O reduction software, V-locity was able to offload 40% of I/O from storage and ensure a blazing fast VDI experience to his users.
He then demo’d V-locity on his MS-SQL server instances in which V-locity eliminated 39% of his read I/O traffic from storage due to DRAM read caching and another 40% of write I/O operations by solving Windows write inefficiencies at the source. After seeing the performance boost and increased efficiency to his hardware stack, Joseph ensured V-locity was running across all his systems like MS-Exchange, SharePoint, and more.
“With V-locity I/O reduction software running on our VDI instances, users no longer have to wait extra time. The same is now true for our other mission critical applications like MS-SQL. The dashboard within the V-locity UI provides all the necessary analytics about our environment and view into what the software is actually doing for us. The fact that all of this runs quietly in the background with near-zero overhead impact and no longer requires a reboot to install or upgrade makes the software truly “set and forget,” said Navarrete.