ASIC looks to flash to accelerate virtual desktops

Disk not cutting it for Windows 7 VDI, agency says

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission intends to invest in flash storage to remove IO bottlenecks as the agency carries out upgrade of its desktop environment.

ASIC is in the process of upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7. Microsoft is due to end support for the 13-year-old Windows XP in April. However, the current disk-based storage infrastructure is not delivering the kind of performance the organisation is looking for, according to the agency.

Adding flash-based caching won't be sufficient to deal with the issue, according to ASIC. Currently each virtual desktop averages 12 IOPS; the peak average for each desktop is 30 IOPS.

At the moment ASIC's virtual desktops are delivered using Netapp FAS3240 appliances out of Global Switch's Ultimo data centre, Fujitsu's Homebush data centre and a data centre in Traralgon.

ASIC is seeking a flash storage solution with five nines availability and no single point of failure.

"High availability and data protection features minimize downtime across both local failures and larger site-wide disasters," tender documents from the agency state.

"This is a key issue with the current solution."

The organisation needs to support 2800 virtual desktops split between Global Switch and Fujitsu's Homebush data centre.

ASIC is open to utility pricing as well as splashing out cash for flash upfront.

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