First Data Storage Appliance Focused on Virtual Desktops Released

SAN FRANCISCO: WhipTail Tech, a manufacturer of Tier 0 solid-state SAN appliances, today announced the release of the world’s first data storage device dedicated solely to the optimization of a virtual desktop environment – the Racerunner™ Virtual Desktop XLR8r. This purpose-built appliance is designed to dramatically promote the deployment of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments by removing 90 percent of associated storage costs.

Solid-state SAN engineered to optimize IO hungry virtualized architecture

VDI is on the verge of exponential growth, with expectations of becoming a $50 billion market in the next five years. However, a major barrier to entry has been the overwhelming up-front costs for the storage infrastructure needed to support a virtualized desktop environment. WhipTail’s Racerunner XLR8r supports solutions in the market from vendors such as Citrix® Systems, VMware®, and Microsoft®, to finally make VDI a viable option.

“The technology has matured to a level now where enterprises can seriously review their stance on a VDI deployment. Technically, the POCs are proving successful. However, when the storage requirements are defined on legacy hard disk drives, the up-front CAPEX hit is simply too exorbitant,” said Brian Feller, VP of sales and operations, WhipTail. “Between the arrays, drives, enclosures and controllers and the ongoing power, cooling and rack space costs, a compelling ROI and TCO is difficult to realize and has become a serious challenge to broader adoption.”

“With today’s enterprises reviewing the scalability of a virtual desktop environment, storage performance becomes one of the most critical design elements. The intensive IO required by virtual desktops is a challenge for standard hard disk drives to accommodate while realizing a compelling ROI. The speed and performance of solid-state when managed efficiently makes it an excellent candidate to alleviate this issue,” said Jim Bagley, senior analyst with Storage Strategies NOW.

The Racerunner XLR8r is specifically designed to optimize IO-demanding VDI images. Random workloads – such as those in virtualized scenarios – are extremely challenging for traditional 15K rpm spinning disks. A fully loaded production-ready virtual desktop image requires between 20-40 IOPS to run at an acceptable level. A standard HDD array only runs at 200 IOPS per drive. The math becomes binary at this point. WhipTail’s Racerunner XLR8r creates a dramatically larger “performance pool,” thereby eliminating disk contention and alleviating up to 90 percent of the storage costs associated with VDI. Since the Racerunner XLR8r is completely solid-state in nature, it offers 90X less latency and 150,000 IOPS in a single 180 watt 2U appliance. Not surprisingly, it more than satisfies many Green IT initiatives.

“The major concern around solid-state technology today is cost and endurance. The Racerunner XLR8r’s software stack and underlying architecture solved this in previous versions since 2008. We already have clients scaling over 5,000 VDI users on a single appliance,” noted James Candelaria, CTO, WhipTail. “We’ve spent the last two years working closely with our major virtualization partners to accentuate the XLR8r’s development. These environments need special attention to tune for efficiencies (block sizing and high queue depth performance, for example) – optimizations that enable further acceptance of VDI not just as a concept, but as a production environment reality.”

The Racerunner Virtual Desktop XLR8r appliance is available immediately. It is being showcased during Citrix Synergy this week in San Francisco in the WhipTail Tech booth (#503).

About WhipTail Tech
WhipTail Tech, based in Summit, N.J., is an ISV of solid-state storage appliances designed to drastically improve the scalability and performance of applications such as virtualization, SQL, Oracle, OLTP and email. The Racerunner fleet of SSD SANs reduces delays related to disk contention and access times – thereby allowing database or virtualization servers to process more data in dramatically less time. The Racerunner Virtual Desktop XLR8r is a patent-pending solid-state storage appliance that dramatically accelerates mission-critical data while lowering the overall TCO up to 90 percent when compared to traditional storage.