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A look at Atlantis ILIO

July 2, 2012 2 comments

I first mentioned Atlantis back in March 2012 (http://bit.ly/wMl1cc) as one of the hot start-up’s I’ve been tracking with a really strong value proposition.

http://www.atlantiscomputing.com/technology

Atlantis ILIO Storage Optimization technology works at the Windows NTFS protocol layer to offload virtual desktop IO traffic before it impacts storage. When the Microsoft Windows operating system and applications send IO traffic to storage, Atlantis ILIO intercepts and intelligently deduplicates all traffic before it reaches storage, locally processing up to 90% of all Windows IO requests in RAM, delivering a VDI solution with storage characteristics similar to a local desktop PC using solid state storage (SSD). The result is a VDI environment requires up to 90% less storage to deliver better desktop performance than a physical PC.

 

One thing that’s not mentioned here is important to note…….for the I/O that does end up landing on physical disk, Atlantis aggregates it into 64KB sequential I/O, which is a huge benefit compared to a bunch of 4-8KB random I/O thrashing your spindles.

I’ve been speaking about Atlantis to a handful of customers now and I thought it’d be beneficial to give a sample of how it can greatly reduce the cost of virtual desktop storage.

Customer Environment

The customer currently has a VDI POC environment setup with 1-2 dozen machines running on about 10-15 spindles on a mid-tier storage array provided by a major manufacturer.   Most users fall into the medium workload category, which generate 10-15 IOPS per desktop in steady-state (I used 12 in all my calculations).

The customer is now ready to rollout deployment to 150 users (persistent), with long-term scaling to 300.  They are evaluating a new SAN to help support the project.   Assuming an 80% write ratio, 12 IOPS per desktop will generate 41 back-end RAID5 IOPS per desktop, for a total of 6,120.   If we assume 25GB per persistent desktop, approximately 3.6TB of storage will be required.

The Atlantis Effect

Taking these same IOPS numbers into account, Atlantis will process the 6,120 IOPS and reduce them (conservatively) down to 1,224 IOPS on the back-end.    Additionally, it will reduce the space requirements for the persistent desktops from 3.6TB to about 720GB.  That’s a tremendous value for both IOPS and capacity savings.   If we assume the standard 180 IOPS per 15K drive, the production rollout of 150 desktops can live on the same number of spindles that the POC runs on today!

The Bottom Line

Although I can’t divulge street pricing for various vendors in this blog, I can provide some general details on the savings seen with Atlantis.   In this case, since Atlantis offered the ability to run the production VDI deployment on the same number of spindles that supported the POC environment, the customer could choose to delay the new SAN purchase until it is time to do the normal storage technology refresh.   Factoring in the cost of the Atlantis ILIO appliance, the customer sees an 80% savings relative to the cost of a new SAN designed to meet the 6,124 IOPS workload.

Categories: Atlantis, Virtualization