2014.5 Demo & Trial Hanger

VDI Storage Capacity and IO Optimization


Storage Optimization

Persistent VDI that won’t bust your storage budget.

Don’t let storage stop you from delivering the persistent virtual desktops your users really want. We reduce space needs so your favorite flash or hybrid SAN array can handle the IOPS.

← Watch: Customers on Unidesk & Storage

Storage Benefits of Unidesk ↓
Features ↓

"Unidesk minimizes how many times the Windows OS and applications are stored, which really cuts down the capacity that’s needed for our persistent VMs. I only wish we had implemented Unidesk sooner because it has made our process of deploying and managing VMware View so much smoother.”

Jim Nonn, CIO, Egan Company

See Unidesk in Action

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Layering Provides Major Space Savings

Our approach of virtualizing everything above the hypervisor gives you space savings as a natural side effect. Unidesk stores Windows OS and application layers as read-only virtual disks that are shared by many desktops. Instead of having 100 copies of Windows and 100 copies of Microsoft Office for 100 desktops, you only have one. That’s why Unidesk layered VMs use up to 80% less space than full clones. Without a new parent VM for every pool or redo logs that grow endlessly, Unidesk is more efficient than Linked Clones and vDisks, too.


Friends With All Storage

Unidesk stores its layers as virtual disks - VMDKs on vSphere, VHDs on Hyper-V. All desktop I/O passes directly through to the hypervisor, so there is no impact on performance. Any storage supported by the hypervisors can be used with Unidesk: traditional SAN arrays, hybrid SANs that combine mechanical disk and solid state drives (SSD), all-flash arrays, local storage, converged infrastructure solutions that combine compute and storage – all are proven to work well.


Ok, We Do Non-Persistent, Too

While we’re unique in our ability to build persistent desktops on a small storage footprint, we admit we provision storage-efficient non-persistent desktops, too. The difference is the Personalization layer, which keeps all user settings, data, and user-installed applications. With persistent desktops, the Personalization layer stays intact through logouts, reboots, and patches. With non-persistent desktops, the Personalization layer is erased after each use.


How Much Storage Will I Save?

The savings you’ll see from layering depend on how big you make the Personalization layers for each desktop and how many datastores you have. Most customers average 60-70% savings for persistent desktops and 70-80% for non-persistent desktops (since the Personalization layer is thrown out after each use, it can be set to the minimum size). If you use Unidesk with arrays like Pure Storage and Tegile that offer inline deduplication and compression, your savings can increase to over 90%.


"We needed to give our attorneys and staff persistent desktops and plenty of IOPS if they were going to accept VMware View. Unidesk lets us have both. It keeps all customizations, even user-installed apps and plug-ins. And its storage efficiency enabled us to go with an all-flash array so our desktops really fly."

Matt Kramer, Director of IT, Bernstein Shur Law Firm

Storage Savings Report

Compare the storage capacity needed for full-sized clone VMs to the much smaller storage footprint of Unidesk desktops. Use the savings to justify buying faster storage to achieve a better-than-PC experience.

More Storage Optimization Features

  • Persistent or Non-Persistent Desktops. Provision both desktop types on up to 80% less capacity by building them from the same shared OS and Application layers. The only difference is the Personalization layer, which is retained for persistent desktops and thrown away for non-persistent desktops.
  • Any Storage. Use any storage supported by your hypervisor, including traditional SAN arrays, hybrid arrays, all-flash storage, VMware Virtual SAN, or local storage. All layers are stored as read-only virtual disks, enabling I/O to pass directly through the hypervisor and keeping Unidesk out of the data path.
  • Storage Tiers. Use your old SAN array for the Boot Tier – page files, VSwap, and other transient components. Store your Layers Tier – OS, Applications, and Personalization – on hybrid or flash storage for maximum IOPS. Save Personalization layers for desktop repair and recovery – the Archive Tier – on low cost, high capacity file server storage.
  • Thin Provisioning. Specify a maximum layer size. Unidesk only allocates the space that’s really needed by Windows, an application, or a user’s data.
  • Personalization Layer Quotas. Limit the amount of storage capacity that can be consumed by user-installed applications, plug-ins, documents, and settings.
  • Backup. Set the frequency with which Personalization layers are backed up. Desktops can be fully recovered from local storage or host failures by rebuilding desktops on another host using the backed up Personalization layers and the centrally stored Windows OS and IT-packaged Application layers.
  • Hybrid-Optimized I/O Pattern. Increase IOPS and decrease latency by using Unidesk with hybrid SAN arrays, which intelligently tier data based on frequency of access. Unidesk’s read-only Windows and application layer virtual disks are shared across many desktops, making it easy for hybrid storage arrays to identify the “hot” blocks to store on high performance SSD and the “cold” blocks to store on higher capacity mechanical disk.

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