At International Law Firm, Nutanix Provides a High Performance and Cost-Effective Solution for VDI
High-performance, easy-to-use and manage, incrementally scalable and cost-effective server and storage infrastructure for hosting VDI.
The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform
- Reduced datacenter footprint requirements by 60%
- Converged, modular architecture reduces upfront cost and lowers implementation risk
- Reduces hardware costs by 20% compared to alternative solutions
- Reduced power requirements by 20% over a 3 year time frame
- Reduces TCO by $250,000 over 3 to 5 years
- High IOPS performance for demanding VDI workload
- Built-in replication
O’Melveny & Myers LLP is a top 20 international law firm with approximately 800 professionals who practice in 16 offices across the United States, Asia and Europe.
All-in-One Converged VDI Platform
As part of a major datacenter refresh and consolidation, O’Melveny & Myers (OMM) decided to embark on a VDI initiative with VMware Horizon View. Attorneys love bringing various devices to work, including smart phones and tablets, which creates management challenges for the IT department. Moreover, this decentralized model of supporting applications on various devices also raises security concerns. To address these issues and to adopt a more centralized approach, the idea of implementing VDI was quite appealing to the team. VDI not only provides centralized desktop management across a wide variety of devices but also improves security because user data is consolidated within the four walls of a datacenter. While the firm was using Citrix XenApp for remote application access, VDI also offers remote access and can consolidate that function into the virtual desktop. “You can have a singular means to work with VDI,” said Amir Omerbegovic, Systems Architecture Manager for OMM, in support of their VDI initiative.
OMM needed a server and storage infrastructure to host VDI, so Omerbegovic methodically investigated the solutions available on the market, bearing in mind the heavy demands VDI imposes on the supporting infrastructure. “It’s expensive and it requires a lot of IOPS and the end-user experience has to be fantastic to enable user adoption,” he said. After looking at converged infrastructure platforms offered by major vendors as well as all-flash storage systems from innovative startups, he selected the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform for its unbeatable combination of high IOPS performance and high power efficiency, all-in-one converged compute and storage architecture, comprehensive ease of management, lower total cost of ownership and support for replication.
Once I started researching what the product does, a light bulb went off and I thought, ‘Wait a minute. This actually simplifies deployment with a modular approach.
Modularity and Efficiency Mean Lower TCO
“To be honest, I wasn’t looking for necessarily an all-in-one solution,” said Omerbegovic. “Once I started researching what the product does, a light bulb went off and I thought, ‘Wait a minute. This actually simplifies deployment with a modular approach.’” The Nutanix scale-out architecture made it less risky to ease into VDI. Previously OMM was looking at a large upfront infrastructure purchase, which was costly, risky from a user adoption stand point, and created additional operating expense for idle capacity. If the VDI initiative did not work out, they wanted to avoid owning a rack full of unwanted hardware.
Nutanix lets them expand incrementally, node by node, as VDI user demand grows. Omerbegovic estimated, compared to other traditional hardware VDI solutions, Nutanix will reduce hardware costs by 20% over a 3 year timeframe.
Power and space efficiency were also favorable differentiators for Nutanix. OMM was planning to migrate from an internal datacenter to a colocation facility where power and rack space were monitored and billed. The Nutanix solution was so much more energy-efficient than the alternatives that it will reduce power expenses by 20% over 3 years. A four-node Nutanix block, with both servers and storage, occupies only 2U of rack space, while the alternative solutions filled a half rack or more depending on leading vendor combinations, representing a 60% reduction in datacenter footprint requirements. “It definitely is a very green and efficient product,” added Omerbegovic.
The all-in-one architecture also contributed to ease of management. “This is selfmanaging, self-healing and doesn’t require a lot of expertise. Nutanix protects us from requiring additional IT support head count as VDI demands grow,” he said. There is a single vendor to support both servers and storage – the proverbial single throat to choke.
In total, Nutanix will save the firm an estimated $250,000 in hardware and operating costs over 3 to 5 years.
Furthermore, Nutanix delivers outstanding IOPS performance for VDI and absorbs workload spikes during boot storms and anti-virus scans. Each Nutanix block integrates 8 processors (48 cores), flash and SSD storage technology with automated data tiering.
Replication for DR was another selling point. Nutanix offers built-in replication. The all-flash storage systems lacked replication or offered it as a less-credible bolt-on feature.
The Nutanix solution will make any manager’s life simpler. It’s easy to deploy, easy to scale out. It does not take much to get from proof of concept to production. The key there is it is self-managing. It enables my team to focus and be more creative in other areas.
Nutanix Makes Life Easier
Today, VMware Horizon View has been operating in production for over 6 months and the Nutanix platform is supporting 150 virtual desktops. The workload is general office productivity software like the Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe Acrobat. User feedback has been extremely positive, and there is still plenty of headroom for adding more desktops. The firm plans to purchase a second Nutanix block as a replication target at the DR site.
Omerbegovic is pleased with the Nutanix experience: “It will make any manager’s life simpler. It’s easy to deploy, easy to scale out. It does not take much to get from proof of concept to production. The key there is it is self-managing. It enables my team to focus and be more creative in other areas.”