Enabling desktop virtualization with Dell PowerEdge VRTX

At the recent Dell Enterprise Forum in San Jose, CA I witnessed the enormous interest in Dell PowerEdge VRTX, a new converged infrastructure for remote offices, small business or branch offices.  eWeek described its many innovations in the article Dell May Have Hit a Home Run With New VRTX Server stating, “VRTX  has a unique proposition that separates Dell from its competitors with similar offerings.”

Why so much commotion? Because VRTX’s huge internal shared storage capacity and unified systems management enables organizations to put data center horsepower wherever performance and capacity are needed. (See blog from Dell’s Forrest Norrod.)

During my meetings at the Dell Enterprise Forum, attendees wanted to learn about Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions’ approach to serving graphic intensive workloads and our line of Dell Wyse thin clients; but there was a consistent question that repeatedly came up:  “I would love to deploy VDI in my remote/small office… have you tested VDI workloads in VRTX infrastructure?”

The logic behind this question is simple. Small and medium enterprises want VDI solutions optimized for their environments. They want solutions easy to deploy, configure and manage for a limited number of virtual desktops; VRTX provides an ideal answer to this customer need.

Indeed, customers in remote branch offices traditionally face particular challenges: space constraint with little tolerance for heat or noise levels, hardware sprawl and complexity of IT tools, no presence of an IT expert on-site and no datacenter infrastructure with special power or cooling capabilities.

In response to this request, we are releasing a reference architecture that helps customers deploy desktop virtualization workloads with Dell’s PowerEdge VRTX.  The reference architecture includes sizing guidance for small-business owners running Microsoft Remote Desktop Host Session Services (RDSH) and Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (RDVH) on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.  Also, Dell and Microsoft partners can now instantly configure and price a VRTX VDI solution with both RDSH and RDVH (pooled Windows 8 VMs) on Windows Server 2012 for up to 500 users via the new Solutions Configurator on Dell PartnerDirect.

Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions’ VRTX reference architecture is designed for two VRTX configurations:  two M620 blades and 15 disks delivering a density of 250 pooled Windows 8 virtual desktops RDVH or RDSH; and four M620 blades and 25 disks with a density of 500 pooled virtual desktops. The two configurations have been tested using basic workloads running Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office applications with one virtual CPU per user and 1GB memory per user. The end –to-end solution described in the reference architecture also includes the fully-tested and supported award winning Dell Wyse thin clients including Z90D8, D90D8 and D10D. Indeed, the Dell-Wyse devices will serve a range of use cases from task workers to office professionals.

Desktop virtualization optimizes the management of desktops while maximizing customers’ IT resources in a secure environment that enables BYOD programs.  Now small and mid-size businesses can quickly deploy desktop virtualization by leveraging the benefits of Dell’s small-footprint PowerEdge VRTX compact chassis that provides a form factor that fits silently under a desk or countertop.

About the Author: Rafael Colorado

Rafael Colorado is a product director in Dell EMC’s Extreme Scale Infrastructure division. Rafael leads a group responsible for defining and managing products and solutions for scale-out markets that are rapidly shifting towards cloud-based architectures. Rafael earned an Industrial Engineering degree and holds an EMBA from the University of Illinois. His previous experience includes Motorola where he led a product marketing and strategy team and Colgate Palmolive in different marketing roles. He also funded a successful technology startup company.