I had the opportunity on a recent project to deploy a Nimble 220G X2 as part of a Horizon View VDI Infrastructure.
As part of smoke testing I agreed with the customer that I wanted to try and break the storage layer as generally speaking this is one area where VDI most tends to present stresses on the infrastructure.
During the design process of VDI one of the most commonly covered design aspects is Antivirus and the workload it can place on the storage. As this had been left on their base build (and we would be going through a new image soon) we deployed the image to see what measurable impact it would have.
The pool workload was around 5 – 6k IOPS when completing initial pools and settling below that during use. This was a pool of around 290 Windows 7 VM with around 30% in use.
When Antivirus ran at 1PM there was a difference of over 12k IOPS, if this was extrapolated over the full size deployment this would have been around 25K IOPS
While there was some free time on the project I completed some additional testing with the Nimble unit and on the hosts.
I managed to get the IOPS up to around 21K, pulled a controller, a network cable, and even failed one of the switches and the storage just kept on trucking.
The end result was the VDI was deployed on time, and if there had been a snag list the storage would not have been on it!
Nimble says no!
One little side note of a feature I did find rather clever, was when I came to do a firmware upgrade at the install time.
During the firmware upgrade I tried to cheat a little and just get enough network connectivity to work, as the storage was not yet in use and full networking was not available.
As the Nimble knew it would have to failover, and knew that my configuration was not failover capable, it would not allow me to complete the firmware.
A little thing, but again with this storage I find it’s those little friendly design decisions that make the unit a true pleasure to work with.