Despite what your existing vendor says, you don’t need dedicated storage for Citrix XenDesktop.


At the onset of the modernization of virtualized desktops (aka Hosted Virtual Desktops) the recommended storage configuration was dedicated storage. Why default to this path? More than anything, it had to do with an inability of existing storage architectures to handle the challenges of VDI within a shared storage infrastructure.


Challenges like this:

  • Discovering how to integrate into existing infrastructure is very difficult
  • Unpredictable and volatile VDI workloads (boot storm, patches)
  • Inability to guarantee acceptable user experience
  • Difficulty scaling existing storage assets from pilot/POC to production
  • Scale-up storage model does not enable elastic scaling
  • Desktop management and scheduled maintenance requirements for VDI are complex

When you combine that with the wrangling of I/O in a multi-tenant environment and the compounding effects of noisy neighbors, traditional storage struggles to handle mixed workloads, especially at scale. Unable to ensure a user experience at least as good as a physical desktop, IT departments had no choice but to deploy VDI with dedicated storage.


Unfortunately the cost of dedicated storage has held back the adoption of VDI. Hardware and software, rackspace, power, cooling and additional administration efforts push the cost per desktop beyond physical desktop and, with no quality of service (QoS) controls, there’s no guarantee the user experience will be better.


We discussed these points at depth in a recent webinar: Don’t believe the hype, you don’t need dedicated storage for VDI. Watch it now, or keep reading for more on how to address these challenges.



Shared storage for all … even VDI

There’s a new level of user experience and operational scale for Citrix XenDesktop with direct benefits for VDI environments, including adaptive infrastructure, elimination of storage sprawl, granular scalability, simple VDI administration and low cost per desktop.


Desktop-as-a-Service with Citrix CloudPlatform and SolidFire
You don’t need a separate SAN for VDI. Organizations can advance their operations to providing Desktops as a Service with Citrix XenDesktop 7.5 and CloudPlatform. CloudPlatform is an application-centric software platform that provides orchestration of mixed workloads, including virtual desktops. This automates the operations and speed of business for IT-as-a-Service and the consumption of IT. SolidFire provides unique multi-tenancy, QoS and scale out for this DaaS environment.


Bring on the age of DaaS: at-scale VDI running with mixed workloads. We can run all of it on SolidFire and deliver guaranteed performance at scale. Citrix and SolidFire are ready.


For more information watch the webinar to learn about each, and about how you can work them into your storage infrastructure to handle the challenges of VDI.


Prefer to read? Download “Enabling Large-Scale VDI Deployments with Citrix XenDesktop” or view the presentation on SlideShare.


Keith Norbie

Keith is a Sr. Business Development Manager at SolidFire, and works closely with solutions architects, marketing, sales and channel teams to drive forward some of SolidFire's most strategic technology partnerships, including VMware and Citrix Systems. Keith has a strong history of experiences working in different channel and business development roles within the enterprise IT and storage market. He is also an active VMware vExpert and member of VMware's Partner Technical Advisory Board (PTAB).