At VMworld 2012, I had the opportunity to once again catch up with Jim, and also with Anjan Srinivas, the Director, Product Marketing at Atlantis Computing. I suppose the first thing to mention is that Atlantis Computing won the best of VMworld 2012 award in desktop virtualization for their Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI product. I met with Anjan to ask about this ‘Diskless VDI’ product that won the award.
Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI
Anjan told me that a key innovation this year was to use RAM as primary storage for stateless virtual machine images. This now enables customers to build elastic VDI data centers with just servers and software, moving the VDI market towards software defined data centers. This not only improves the CAPEX equation but also significantly simplifies the OPEX and management in data center. In the past Atlantis ILIO worked in conjunction with either a SAN/NAS or a local drive, as shown here.
Through intelligently optimizing how Microsoft Windows operating systems interact with VDI storage, and Atlantis’ inline deduplication, the amount of space required by an individual desktop is now so efficient that RAM becomes the store for the non-persistent virtual desktop. So no back-end storage required. In fact, I can now add that Colt Technology Services won the “Best of VMworld 2012” Europe award for its Agilisys Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) project deployed with Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI. That’s two awards at two VMworlds for Atlantis Computing and the Diskless VDI solution.
We then went on to talk about a few vSphere integration points. The first was around the management UI. ILIO Center is used to manage the appliance. It has a plugin to vCenter, and it appears as a separate tab.
Atlantis ILIO Deployment Services
Anjan then gave me some breaking news from the Atlantis camp. He told me that they were on the verge of releasing a feature called Atlantis ILIO Deployment Services on October 24th. This was first announced at VMworld 2012. He stated that one of the primary concerns they have is that storage for VDI does not get deployed with optimal configuration & sizing, resulting in customers not seeing all the possible benefits from their solution. To address this, Atlantis ILIO Services provides fundamental integration with VMware View to automate the whole VDI deployment process in a few clicks. There are basically 4 steps involved:
1. Auto deploy ILIO on any number of ESXi servers
2. Sizes & configures the environment accordingly, selecting the optimal density of virtual desktops
3. Creates and registers a datastore with vSphere
4. Hands the datastore off to View Composer for the deployment of virtual desktops
The bottom line is that this automation of deployment should remove any user errors from the setup, and give customers the optimal ILIO deployment from the start as per Atlantis Computing best practices.
This is very impressive technology, and it is all done in software. Atlantis are really opening the doors for many customers who have not been able to pursue VDI due to storage costs either due to capacity or performance. And they certainly deserve those VMworld accolades.
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