Nathanael Iversen, Director of Technical Marketing, Xangati
Be especially careful about anti-virus as you go through your deployments. The thing that happens is when you take a user’s disk and remove it from the machine and put their storage on a SAN, most traditional anti-virus products are not aware of that transition. And, many of them are used to making near constant access to the disk. And when that happens on a shared SAN environment with hundreds of desktops sitting on that SAN, performance bottlenecks spring up all over the place.
Happily, most of the anti-virus products on the market can be tuned to work better in a VDI environment. And, there are often ways to go ahead and set updates and scans and whatever else has to happen on a staggered basis. So, I would encourage you to track your anti-virus architectures carefully, to monitor those servers closely, and particularly when you’re in your pilot phase, to watch how your pilot desktops are performing on the SAN with respect to anti-virus and you will definitely help to avoid difficulties we have seen others experience.
For example, I’d like to tell you about a Large Oil and Gas Company that was using one of the major big three anti-virus vendors as part of their VDI deployment. The Xangati tool was actually used to identify a major scaling issue for them. They had 600 VDI users and were in the process of going to 2000. There was some miscellaneous slowness in the environment that wasn’t a showstopper but, they were concerned it would expand and get worse as they more than doubled and even tripled their user population.
What Xangati found was that the particular way this anti-virus product was scanning the drive, if they had put 2000 users on the network, it would have literally filled an entire 10 Gig Ethernet Pipe. As you know, you’re not going to get 10 Gigs of Ethernet performance out of a SAN…the poor thing would die under a load like that. The reality was that they needed to do some work with their anti-virus vendor to really re-architect the way that the anti-virus scanning was happening in order to enable them to actually scale and get beyond the place where they were starting to have the first hint of a problem to the place where they would have had a complete showstopping event. So, when we suggest that checking out anti-virus is a good thing to do – it really is a good thing to do!
Here’s a list of all the tips in this series:
Tip #2: Zoom in on storage performance
Bonus Tip: Beware of anti-virus “in the wild”