Viv, we just got a CS460G-X2 primarily for VDI. I'll put Exchange & SQL on the Nimble at a later time. I'll try to keep you up to date w/ our experience. We just got it installed two days ago. So far 1 vCPU 1GB RAM VMs (old XP images) are noticeably faster running off the Nimble Array. Can't wait to see how Win7 w/ 2 vCPU's & 2GB RAM run, once we roll them out soon.
I'm curious to hear how your environment is working out for you.
1. How many VDI users are you up to?
2. What connection broker are you using?
3. What cloning method? Full Clones, Linked Clones, MCS, PVS.
4. Are you using X86 or 64bit Win7?
5. What are you using to keep patching and anti-virus up to date?
6. Did you go forward and add Exchange and SQL to the Nimble? How is that working?
7. How is the Nimble doing with Login and Boot storms?
8. Do you have an idea of your typical user's block size and IOPs?
Nick, sorry for the late response.
1. To date we have roughly 200 WinXP vm's running on the Nimble, working on Win7 images that will take us up to around 700 vm's that we want to run on the Nimble.
2. Connection broker, we use VMware View & Pano Logic combo. The Pano Logic is needed for our Pano Zero clients.
3. Full Clones w/ XP, moving to linked clones for Win7
4. 64bit Win7
5. Update the master image, then update the linked clones takes care of patches. We use an agent-less solution from Trend (Deep Security)
6. Not yet, maybe late this year.
7. Performance seems great so far, but there is only a small load on the Nimble. More time will tell.
8. Not at this time.
Congrats on your 460G-X2, we affectionately refer to that model as our base model!
Just one piece of advice as you're running older versions of windows as functional desktops. I don't know if you have done so already but you may want to check the partition table of the root drive of your XP desktop to make sure its properly aligned to VMFS. Properly aligned ntfs partition tables to vmfs data stores (along with the proper performance/workload profile on us) ensure the best user experience by keeping latency low and making sure the storage doesn't have to do 3X the work it has to when an IO comes in. With the amount of desktops you have you really wouldn't notice for a long time but if you're curious you should take a look at the partition tables using the diskpart.exe command in XP if I remember correctly. Our support can also give you a report of how "aligned" the IO is coming into our system and give you the right action plan to make sure it stays aligned as well.
Looking forward to your next update!