This section provides recommendations and guidelines for designing your VDI environment.
With several options to choose from, consider these basic differences:
User density and graphics considerations:
Best practices for memory allocation and configuration include:
NVIDIA vGPU considerations
Best practices for sizing and configuring solutions requiring graphics accelerators include:
Consider the following general best practices when sizing your deployment:
RAID-5 (3+1) (erasure coding)
RAID-6 (4+2) (erasure coding)
VMware Horizon 7.10 and newer versions support a new dynamic encoder called the Switch encoder when using the BLAST display protocol. Dell Technologies has validated this new capability and recommends enabling it. The new feature provides the capability for the display protocol to dynamically and seamlessly switch to the best codec based on user workload patterns. When using an NVIDIA vGPU, this feature is disabled and the NVENC H.264 hardware encoders are used to offload the encoding of the display protocol from the CPU.
This feature can be enabled by using the registry or through the Dynamic Environment Manager. For more information on how to enable the Switch encoder, see the Horizon 7.10 release notes.
Recommended BIOS settings
The default BIOS settings, with some minor adjustments, were found to work well and to improve the LoginVSI baseline scores. The system behaved in a more predictable manner as it was scaled up with users with the following changes:
Additional performance improvements may vary depending on the VDI application workload. For more information, see the VMware Tuning Guide for AMD EPYC 7002 Series Processors.
Before deployment, assess your environment to validate design considerations and ensure that you are designing your architecture to meet or exceed the performance of your current environment. Dell Technologies Professional Services offers an assessment service for all VDI needs.
This section provides guidance on data protection and file workloads.
The growth of VDI adoption has resulted in an elevation of the strategic importance of organizational VDI environments: users who are critical to business success are increasingly using VDI for their day-to-day productivity tasks. Consequently, the importance of protecting the VDI environment and the business value of its data has also grown as customers seek to ensure that their VDI environments meet corporate availability, recovery time objective (RTO), and recovery point objective (RPO) requirements.
For information about data protection of a VMware Horizon environment, see the Data Protection for a VMware Horizon VDI Environment using Dell EMC Data Protection Suite Operations Guide. Dell Technologies provides several data protection solutions for different data protection requirements.
Dell EMC Avamar Virtual Edition
Dell EMC Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE) is a data protection solution that delivers software-only data protection for virtualized environments and is therefore ideal for the VDI use case. AVE is a fully featured data protection solution that is deployed as a virtual appliance and supports advanced functionality such as backup in the cloud (including VMware Cloud on AWS), change block tracking for fast backup and recovery, and integration with multiple VMware interfaces, such as the vRealize Automation Data Protection Extension. For additional information, see Dell EMC Avamar Virtual Edition Data Protection Software.
Data Domain Virtual Edition
Dell EMC Data Domain Virtual Edition (DDVE) is a data protection storage solution that runs as a virtual appliance on a customer's choice of hardware or on a variety of public cloud options, including VMware Cloud on AWS. For on-premises deployments, DDVE is deployed as a virtual appliance on the relevant hardware platform. DDVE has a single point of management with Dell EMC Data Domain Management Center and scales up to 96 TB per instance. One of the key features of the DD storage protection solution is DD Boost, which provides advanced integration with data protection applications such as AVE to enable client-side deduplication, thus accelerating backup. For additional information, see Dell EMC Data Domain Virtual Edition.
The process for protecting a VMware Horizon VDI environment using AVE and DDVE is outlined in the Data Protection for a VMware Horizon VDI Environment using Dell EMC Data Protection Suite Operations Guide.
Other Dell Technologies data protection products
Dell Technologies provides few other data protection products for specific use cases. Products include a range of appliances that reduce data protection complexity. These scalable, preconfigured solutions combine data protection storage with software, search, and analytics. For additional information, see Dell EMC Data Protection and Management.
The increased growth in the amount of data that is stored in file shares and user home directories across IT environments in recent years has resulted in an increased focus on the need to better manage this unstructured data. As a result, many organizations are choosing to deploy dedicated file workload solutions with capabilities such as cloud file tiering and single file system namespaces across their IT infrastructure, including for file workloads in a VDI environment.
Dell Technologies provides a number of solutions for different types of file workloads.
The architectures that are shown in the following figures show VDI management and compute environments sharing a vSphere HA cluster. This architecture is universally applicable across SDS environments that require access to dedicated file storage. It is also acceptable to configure these management and compute environments in separate HA clusters (see the Architecture overview). In this scenario, each compute cluster and its associated management cluster should share a single file storage system, for example Unity or Isilon.
Dell EMC Unity storage is simple, unified all-flash and hybrid storage with hybrid cloud capabilities.
Dell EMC Unity is ideal for general-purpose NAS/SAN mixed workload consolidation, smaller file workloads (including small to midsized VDI environments), and transactional databases.
The following figure shows an example of a 5,000-user VDI deployment using Dell EMC Unity storage for file shares:
When you are deploying Dell EMC Unity in a VDI environment, Dell Technologies recommends that you deploy a separate Dell EMC Unity storage system with a vSphere HA cluster or block. This structure provides the greatest scalability, resiliency, and flexibility when deploying and maintaining file services for the overall user pod. As unstructured data storage needs grow over time, the capacity of each Dell EMC Unity storage system can be scaled up independently with minimal user impact. You have the choice to deploy alternative architectures to the one suggested here, but you should carefully consider the tradeoffs.
For guidance about selecting an appropriate Dell EMC Unity storage solution for your file workload requirements, see Dell EMC Unity XT All-Flash Unified Storage.
Dell EMC Isilon storage is the industry's number one scale-out NAS solution for any file workload.
The Isilon system is ideal for a wide range of file workloads (including large-scale enterprise VDI environments requiring a single file system namespace), high-performance computing (HPC), archiving, and infrastructure consolidation.
The following figure shows an example of a 20,000-user VDI deployment using DeIl EMC Isilon scale-out storage with a single namespace:
When you are deploying Isilon in a VDI environment, Dell Technologies recommends that you deploy a separate Isilon storage system with a vSphere HA cluster or block. This structure provides the greatest scalability, resiliency, and flexibility for deploying and maintaining file services for the overall user pod. As unstructured data-storage needs grow over time, you can scale up the capacity of each Isilon storage system independently with minimal user impact. In addition to scaling up each Isilon chassis, you can also scale out an Isilon system by using the Dell EMC OneFS operating system. Thus, multiple Isilon systems can provide a single volume and namespace that all user pods in a data center can access.
As shown in the previous figure, you can scale out the system as the VDI environment grows. You can deploy alternative architectures to the one suggested here, but first carefully consider the tradeoffs.
For guidance about selecting an appropriate Isilon storage solution for your file workload requirements, see Dell EMC Isilon Scale-Out Network Attached Storage.
Enterprise equipment requires power to operate, racks to enable streamlined management, and cooling to maintain reliable operations.
Careful selection of the infrastructure solutions that provide these capabilities is vital to ensure uptime, scalability, energy efficiency, and ease of management. Dell Technologies provides a wide range of data center infrastructure solutions: