SmartVDI™ Host Platforms

  • Scalable VDI Computing & Storage Nodes.
  • High Availability for Continuous Operation.
  • Affordable Virtual PCs Equal to Your Physical PCs.

SmartVDI™ Host Platforms

ClearCube’s Smart Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (SmartVDI™) Series 100 host platform is designed to smoothly transition your physical Personal Computer desktops, with all the configurations and personalization you have created, onto a virtualized, high availability desktop platform in the most cost-effective manner.

Whether deploying linked or full clones, persistent or non-persistent desktops, ClearCube has configuration options within the SmartVDI family to optimize VDI compute/storage based on your particular needs.

ClearCube SmartVDI efficiently deploys persistent full clones that result in virtual desktop configurations just like your knowledge workers’ physical desktop configurations. What makes a personal computer personal is that wallpaper, applications, music, photos, social media, bookmarks, folders, and OS profile settings are configured for personal work habits and productivity.

SmartVDI virtual desktops, using a unique patented deduplication process that eliminates latencies and reduces storage requirements by as much as 90 percent, preserve that personal computer experience with capacity, low price points, and high performance that keep users happy.

These same storage reduction and performance advantages can be applied to stateless clone configurations as well, but the real differentiator is that one SmartVDI simplified infrastructure and operations framework can be used to address all users – those more demanding with smaller populations that benefit from uniqueness and those with large populations that benefit from sameness.

With SmartVDI’s simplified installation and end-to-end control of your VDI environment, virtualized desktops can be managed with the same tools that are already familiar to you for managing physical desktops.

SmartVDI delivers a phenomenal high performance user experience that is easy to support and scale from 100s to 1000s of virtual desktops or more, with optimized high availability and storage with low cost-per-seat configurations.

Hardware Architecture

Built upon a ZFS file system optimized for VDI storage, the SmartVDI 100 core seamlessly fuses elements such as VMware Horizon View, ESXi, vCenter, into a VDI solution that is scalable and highly available. SmartVDI’s hardware architecture is very straightforward, consisting of two primary components – compute engines that host the virtual desktops and can mirror each other, and a low cost external SSD storage array for high availability user data storage.

SmartVDI is tuned to accelerate the desktop performance experience with low latency response times and high IOPS. Leveraging system RAM as a first layer data optimization device, additionally, a small number of second level devices, such as two or three SSDs, can be used. Because of tightly coupled system memory, SSDs and inline deduplication, SmartVDI delivers near zero percent latency.

VDI Building Blocks

SmartVDI 100 features dual 8-core Intel® Xeon® processors, up to 256GB DDR3 RAM, 10GB Ethernet, redundant power supplies and supports up to 8 high-performance local SSDs, although typically only one or two may be needed to support 100 virtual desktops – made possible by the phenomenal data reduction results from inline deduplication.

An Apex 2800 PCoIP offload adapter can be added to SmartVDI 100 if the user environment uses many simultaneous video streaming applications such as YouTube, data visualization, and video monitoring.

SmartVDI’s rapid provisioning takes advantage of VMware’s VAAI to give fast deployment of full clones.

SmartVDI Compute Platform

SmartVDI™ 100 Host Platform

Full desktop quality computing experience via an IP connection

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SmartVDI High Availability Platform

SmartVDI™ Series 100 High-Availability Configuration

Dual SmartVDI 100s with SmartStor external storage array


SmartVDI VDI storage

SmartVDI™ Series 100 with external storage array

Benefits

High Availability

Designed for mission-critical environments that need 24/7/365 uptime, SmartVDI’s compute and storage nodes collectively perform as an indomitable high availability system with the ability to survive component failure and to conduct self-healing automatically. SmartVDI uses a floating IP address connected to shared storage to allow for seamless failover in the event of a node failure. From the storage perspective, storage is always up and available if a node fails. From a user perspective, like any normal SAN with VMware HA, the desktops reboot on another host and users simply log back in. That is a huge plus for any business or operation that cannot afford worker downtime.

Scalability

SmartVDI scales well. Once the high availability core foundation is set up with two SmartVDI 100 compute nodes and an external storage array accessible by both compute nodes, adding more users just means adding more SmartVDI 100 compute nodes. Multiple SmartVDI hosts can be clustered together to support 1000s of users.

If an existing VMware infrastructure and SAN device exists for storing user data, then SmartVDI 100’s can be added to the network without the need for an external storage array.


Persistent Full Clones

SmartVDI’s technical differentiator is based on zero latency, flash-optimized, inline deduplication that is always on. The beauty of SmartVDI’s deduplication efficiency is in presenting a small amount of storage (such as a 500GB SSD) and making it capable of storing the equivalent of a huge amount (equivalent to 7500GB or 7.5TB of raw storage that would be used on a SAN and thus the potential for 15:1 cost savings or more). This amazing storage savings is possible because only unique data blocks are written to persistent storage.

If you are transitioning from traditional physical PCs with Windows setups customized for each user, deploying persistent full clone desktops will preserve your existing working environment. The cost benefits of SmartVDI’s design accelerate when persistent desktops, which have uniqueness, are the desired configuration objective. By eliminating everything but the uniqueness through super-efficient deduplication, SmartVDI can support persistent full clones cost-effectively where others cannot.

Persistent Linked Clones

If you are transitioning from traditional physical PCs towards a simple to manage single image for a user base, SmartVDI’s design can deliver the performance, simplicity, and flexibility to adapt to the needs of the users.

SmartVDI HA configuration

SmartVDI™ Series 100 High-Availability Configuration

Dual SmartVDI 100s with SmartStor external storage array


Completeness

SmartVDI hosts complement ClearCube’s zero clients, Blade PCs, and Sentral single console management in CVDI and VDI projects to provide you with a single vendor solution with desktop-to-datacenter vision and accountability..

Leveraging ClearCube’s experience as the first manufacturer to embrace PC-over-IP™ (VMware’s native VDI protocol), ClearCube’s in-depth PC-over-IP™ protocol knowledge produces a performance- optimized VMware-centric system like no other.

ClearCube’s objective is to transition you from the physical to the virtual PC world in the least disruptive manner possible. We start with the objective of creating persistent full clones so that your users maintain the same work environment that they are comfortable with. Or we can start with linked clone configurations for users with easier workloads, and then incorporate persistent full clone configurations for the more demanding users based on their existing physical desktop experiences. We augment that workplace familiarity with centralized Blade PCs for those users who have specialized needs. All users benefit from ClearCube’s stateless secure small footprint zero clients at the desktops.

The net result of working with ClearCube is that you will do more, with less, for less.


SmartVDI and external storage

SmartVDI™ Series 100 with external storage array

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SmartVDI™ Series 100 Specifications


Frequently Answered Questions


What is SmartVDI’s benefit, simply stated?

Does SmartVDI support both linked clones and persistent full clones?

How much storage will be saved for linked clones as compared with persistent clones?

Why not just use linked clones for everyone?

How is it possible for linked clones to use more storage over time than persistent full clones?

Can storage be saved by recomposing the virtual workstations?

How does SmartVDI’s patented deduplication save more money than other VDI products?

Can an existing SAN be used to store user data instead of using SmartVDI’s external storage?

With multiple sites, where is the value with SmartVDI’s deduplicated snapshot replication?

What is unique about ClearCube’s scalability options?

What is SmartVDI’s benefit, simply stated?

  • Do more, with less, for less. Do more virtual desktops, with less storage, for less cost.
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Does SmartVDI support both linked clones and persistent full clones?

  • Yes. With linked clones a single disk image is shared among many users. As each user logs in, he or she gets a clone of the shared master desktop. If the project calls for a single common image, SmartVDI 100 will support about 100 desktops, depending upon the image configuration and its resource requirements. SmartVDI linked clones work great where there are hundreds of workers at training facilities, call centers, and other task related jobs running the same applications. Most pre-VDI environments, however, are based on persistent images where users have their own administration rights and personal image settings. If you want to mimic your physical desktop environments, use SmartVDI high availability configurations to run persistent full clones. ClearCube does persistent full clones more cost-effectively than anyone else. However, SmartVDI’s deduplicated storage will use significantly less storage space to hold virtual desktop clones, regardless of whether the clones are linked clones or persistent full clones. Both benefit.
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How much storage will be saved for linked clones as compared with persistent clones ?

  • Deduplication will reduce the size of a hypervisor’s necessary swapfiles. Swapfiles would typically require 2GB for Windows 7 and 3GB for the hypervisor, equaling 5GB per user. If you multiplied the link clone required space across 400 users, a storage system with no deduplication would need 3.6TB of storage. SmartVDI’s zero latency inline deduplication reduces the amount of required space to 1.6TB, saving 55%. If you compared the same 400 VDI user scenario using full clones, the amount of standard storage swells to 10.8TB. That is what scares many people away from using full clones. However, SmartVDI needs only 1.28TB, yielding an 88% savings. Amazingly, the full clone is more space efficient than the linked clone (1.28TB vs 1.6TB).
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Why not just use linked clones for everyone?

  • Linked clones have advantages in that one image can be maintained for hundreds of task workers. But link clones also have disadvantages. By using the same image for everyone, there is no unique desktop customization (which is what every professional wants), link clones consume more storage over time, and complicated persona management software has to be used. Persistent full clones give the same user experience as possible with a physical PC, and administrators use the same familiar management tools that exist for their physical PCs.
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How is it possible for linked clones to use more storage over time than persistent full clones?

  • Linked clones, derived from vSphere snapshot technology, are based on redo logs that accumulate changes between the linked clone and its parent replica. The block level redo logs accumulate block level changes to the system disk and grow constantly. Ultimately, the two most significant sources of data growth in a linked clone are temporary files and security updates. Linked clones grow as new data is written to them but don’t shrink when files are deleted. The constant flow of data to the system disk means that linked clones can be expected to grow by 1GB per clone per week. VMware Horizon View deletes the temporary disk for the linked clone and refreshes the clone with a new blank differencing disk, rather than overwrite previously used space. If a typical virtual desktop uses 26GB of space and each linked clone grows by 1GB per week the linked clone will actually consume more disk space than a simple full clone after just 6 months. With 400 VDI users, that means 400GB of growth per week.
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Can storage be saved by recomposing the virtual workstations?

  • Recomposition does not solve the problem. Although recomposing is done with the aim to recover disk space, recomposing deletes the differencing disk from the clones. While user personas and data can be preserved on an optional persistent disk, changes the user made, like user installed applications, will be lost. Even worse, the shortcuts to user installed applications remain in the user’s start menu so users will click on shortcuts but the applications will fail to load. Plus, VMware View can only recompose workstations that are logged out so the additional challenge is that administrators must wait for each user to log out before the workstation can be recomposed. This can be a logistical nightmare.
  • Persistent full clones simply store their data directly in the VMDK files without the complications of redo logs and administrators can use the same tools and workflows to manage full VDI clones as they used for physical PCs.
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How does SmartVDI’s patented deduplication save more money than other VDI products?

  • With SmartVDI, deduplication happens at the data block level. Because the deduplication algorithm is as much as 15 times more efficient as any other competitors’ approach, the amount of storage required, and its associated costs, can be reduced by a like percentage. Optimized data reduction dramatically lowers costs at initial implementation and over time as you add users and they add information to your network. The additional advantage is blazing speed, sized at about 100 IOPS per user. Robust performance can usually be achieved at 30 to 40 IOPs per user for knowledge and power users, so SmartVDI provides more than 2.5 to 3 times the IOPs needed per desktop.
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Can an existing SAN be used to store user data instead of using SmartVDI’s external storage?

  • If you already have a SAN, SmartVDI is designed as a plug-in to leverage your existing storage architecture by diverting the operating system, swap, and boot traffic away from your SAN. Additionally, because of SmartVDI’s deduplication efficiencies you will be able to use considerably less raw storage for user data than our competitors. If you do not want to use your SAN for VDI user data storage, or if you do not have a SAN for storing user data, a low cost SmartStor storage array adds a centralized replication location for high availability and for storing user data.
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With multiple sites, where is the value with SmartVDI’s deduplicated snapshot replication?

  • For disaster recovery support through VMware’s vSphere DR, SmartVDI features deduplicated replication, which deduplicates the data locally before the data is transmitted to the secondary site. This not only minimizes the storage requirement, it also greatly lowers bandwidth overhead. Take for example, a 3MB Powerpoint file that is sent via email to 100 users. Without SmartVDI’s deduplicated snapshot replication, 300MB is transmitted to the secondary site. With SmartVDI, only 3MB is sent.
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What is unique about ClearCube’s scalability options?

  • Other suppliers talk about linked clone scalability and equate scalability to adding more of the same. Most avoid the subject of persistent full clone support altogether, because without tremendous deduplication efficiencies their VDI capabilities completeness falls apart. ClearCube’s solutions support both linked clone scaling as well as persistent full clone scaling. The same storage reduction and performance advantages applied to both linked and persistent full clone configurations so that a SmartVDI simplified infrastructure and operations framework can be used to address all users – those more demanding with smaller populations that benefit from uniqueness and those with large populations that benefit from sameness.
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