Nimble Storage Teams with VMware for Mobile VDI

By Pedro Hernandez

Nimble's hybrid hard disk and flash storage arrays have been officially certified VMware View Mobile Secure Desktop architecture. It's a move that the companies say will help take the uncertainty out of finding suitable storage for secure, responsive virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) based on VMware's software.

"Identifying storage for VDI is challenging," says Radhika Krishnan, Head of Product Marketing and Alliances for Nimble Storage. Finding a balance of performance and cost effectiveness can stymie organizations that are seeking to provide workers with access to corporate IT resources.

According to Krishnan, what companies "care for the most is responsiveness." Although the storage industry has attempted to address this with flash storage by "throwing a lot of cache at it," there are downsides.

"It helps with the read but not with the write," warns Krishnan. Nimble's architecture, on the other hand, can take it as well -- and as fast -- as it dishes it out, she says.

Nimble's Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) architecture was built to handle the rigors of virtualized environments, according to the company. The technology employs both flash memory and traditional disks that adapt "to workload changes in seconds to optimize performance, capacity and cost," says Nimble.

Instead of time-consuming data migrations between disks and flash tiers, CASL drives storage efficiency and speed with a combination of features including "no overhead" inline compression and thin provisioning, informs Krishnan. Nimble's systems can compress VDI data by 40 percent to 50 percent without incurring a latency penalty, according to company estimates.

Nimble's optimizations are so comprehensive that they override and surpass the data management software included in the system's SSDs. "We don't rely on the [SSD's] controller," says Krishnan.

It's an approach to hybrid storage that can help organizations deliver corporate network-like performance to mobile users. Nimble says its hardware provides low-latency access to data even during "boot storms," a condition affecting VDI storage infrastructures that can slow data transfers if multiple users log into their desktops simultaneously.

For VMware VDI environments, that spells one less bring your own device (BYOD) headache.

"The VMware View Mobile Secure Desktop is an innovative way for IT to support BYOD initiatives by improving user access and mobility while streamlining application updates to enhance security and deliver a superior user experience," says VMware's Raj Mallempati, director of product marketing of End User Computing.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

This article was originally published on June 25, 2012