This paper reports on a configuration for Virtual Desktops (VDs) which reduces the total hardware cost to approximately $32.41 per desktop, including the storage infrastructure. This number is achieved using a configuration with dual node, cross-mirrored, high-availability storage. In comparison to previously published reports, which tout the storage infrastructure costs alone of VDI at from fifty to several hundred dollars per virtual machine, the significance of the data becomes self evident. In this report, storage hardware costs become inconsequential.
The problem for Virtual Desktop implementations is that SANs are often implemented with large and costly storage controllers and complex external storage networks. While these have the advantage of achieving reasonable scalability, they introduce a very large threshold cost to VDI implementations. To overcome this burden, hardware vendors typically benchmark with one to several thousand VDs.
The configuration above was able to host 220 Desktops using the VSI 2.0.1 benchmark. The disclosure and benchmark configuration report is reproduced in full as an addendum to this paper.