BrandPost: How IT and Remote Workers Can Both Win With VDI and HCI

The coronavirus outbreak is forcing a fundamental shift in the way we work. That being said, the move to remote work has been a long-time coming. According to business leaders, this is only the beginning of a long-term trend to home working and reduced office occupancy. That’s no surprise, as it could save them $11,000 per remote worker every year.1 

A survey conducted before the pandemic, in 2019, told us that 80% of the US labor force wanted to work from home at least some of the time even back then.2 The pandemic has simply accelerated these trends: 82% of company leaders now say they plan to allow more telecommuting—even after the pandemic.3  

Remote Access, Data Protection, and Doing More with Less

This surge towards remote working is driving IT teams to re-examine their plans and timelines for data center modernization. There is a laser focus on supporting WFH workers and ramping up cybersecurity. Along with security and collaboration, Forrester Research says that remote access is one of the three key technologies required to keep at-home employees productive and engaged.4

While 90% of IT professionals think remote workers are not secure, 92% also believe that the benefits of remote work outweigh the risks.5 And, so they’re in search of the best technologies to solve the problems that large-scale telecommuting can pose:

  • Low performance in virtualized applications 
  • Security risks of employees using home networks  
  • IT management issues when supporting off-site workers

In addition to addressing these challenges, IT is still charged with reducing costs.

Desktop Virtualization on HCI

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can provide employees with secure access to desktops, applications, and data from anywhere and on virtually any device. But traditional VDI is fraught with difficulties. Siloed infrastructure is tough to scale and requires specialized expertise.

That is why VDI on hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is in the spotlight. HCI consolidates storage, networking, and compute into one easy-to-manage system. It can help lower capital and operational expenses while boosting business agility and resilience.

For IT, implementing VDI on HCI offers:

  • Fast initial deployment
  • Easy VM provisioning
  • Simple management

For remote workforces, VDI on HCI enables:

  • Easy access from virtually any device
  • Sound collaboration and communication
  • Up-to-date applications

Leading VDI solutions include VMware Horizon, Citrix VDI, and Microsoft Virtual Desktop. The top HCI offerings include VMware vSAN, Nutanix HCI, and Microsoft Azure Stack HCI.

Why AMD EPYC™ Processors for VDI on HCI are a game changer

Maximize the benefits of VDI on HCI with 2nd Gen AMD EPYC™, the leading high-performance x86 server processor6. When you deploy virtual desktops on HCI solutions powered by AMD EPYC™ you can:  

  • Accelerate virtualized applications: Speed up HCI performance with world-record performance in virtualisation.7A dual CPU server powered by AMD EPYC™ 7F72 processors is 25% faster in VMmark® 3.1 vSAN™ than a server with two Intel® Xeon® 8268 processors.8
  • Help protect data with advanced security features: AMD EPYC™ is the only x86 server processor with Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). This breakthrough technology encrypts and isolates data in use on a VM. Part of AMD Infinity Guard, SEV helps keeps data safe with virtually zero impact on performance.9
  • Impact data center costs: In a 2P configuration, the AMD EPYC™ 7742 delivers 2.3x the VMmark® 3.1.1 vSAN™ performance and tile (VM) workload capacity than a 4-host, 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8268, which can help save money on data center space, power, and software licensing.10In fact, AMD EPYC™ processors can help reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) per VM by up to 45% using a single-socket EPYC 7702P processor-powered server compared to a dual-socket Intel Xeon Gold 6242 CPU-based server.11

If you’d like to find out more about AMD EPYC processors and how they can boost VDI performance and reduce costs, visit https://www.amd.com/en/processors/epyc-for-hyperconverged-infrastructure

FOOTNOTES:
  1. Global Workplace Analytics, “Latest Work-At-Home/Telecommuting/Mobile Work/Remote Work Statistics,” …
  2. Global Workplace Analytics and OWL Labs, “State of Remote Work,” 2019
  3. Gartner, “Return to the Workplace: Benchmarking Against Your Peers,” Webinar Poll, 2020
  4. Forrester Research, “Essential Technology for Remote and Quarantined Employees During A Pandemic,” 2…
  5. OpenVPN, “Remote Work Is the Future — But Is Your Organization Ready for It?,” 2020
  6. 16-n, 2P 2nd Gen EPYC™ 7702 powered server scores a world record result of 7100 SPECrate®2017_int_base  http://spec.org/cpu2017/results/res2020q1/cpu2017-20191223-20452.pdf. The next highest published score is 3920 SPECrate®2017_int_base  on a 16-n, 2-socket Xeon® 8180 powered server http://spec.org/cpu2017/results/res2018q1/cpu2017-20171222-01950.pdfas of 02/12/20. SPEC® and SPECrate® are trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Learn more at www.spec.org. ROM-517
  7. For a complete list of world records see http://amd.com/worldrecords. ROM-169
  8. 4-node, 2x EPYC 7F72 processor powered cluster (192 total cores) with a score of 13.27@ 14 tiles on the VMmark® 3.1.1 benchmark using vSAN™ (https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/vmmark/2020-04-14-DellEMC-PowerEdg…) delivers 24.8% more performance with a 16.7% higher tile/VM workload capacity than the VMmark® 3.1 vSAN performance of a 4-node, 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8268 processor powered cluster (192 total cores) with a score of 10.63@12 tiles (https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/vmmark/2020-06-30-Supermicro-SYS-2…) as of 06/08/20. ROM-732
  9. AMD Infinity Guard security features on EPYC™ processors must be enabled by server OEMs and/or Cloud Service Providers to operate. Check with your OEM or provider to confirm support of these features. Learn more about Infinity Guard at https://www.amd.com/en/technologies/infinity-guard. GD-177
  10. 4-node, 2x EPYC™ 7742 processor powered cluster with a score of 24.08@ 28 tiles on the VMmark® 3.1.1 benchmark using vSAN (https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/vmmark/2020-04-28-DellEMC-PowerEdg…) delivers 2.27x the performance and 2.33x the tile/VM workload capacity than the VMmark® 3.1.1 vSAN performance of a 4-node, 2x Intel Xeon Platinum 8268 processor powered cluster with a score of 10.63@12 tiles (https://www.vmware.com/content/dam/digitalmarketing/vmware/en/pdf/vmmark/2020-06-30-Supermicro-SYS-2…) as of 06/08/20. ROM-737
  11. Comparison results calculated by AMD based on a hypothetical scenario hosting 3,200 virtual machines on 2-socket Intel Xeon 6242 16 cores ea. (32 total cores) based systems compared to 1-socket AMD EPYC™ 7702P 64 total core system, each VM (virtual machine) allocated one core, (1) 1 TB hard drive @ $387, and 8GB of DRAM with a cost of $16.41 per GB using 16GB DDR4 DRAM. All calculations are based on AMD’s best estimates of what actual costs and other values will be for both AMD and Intel based platforms. Each AMD 7702P system supports 64 VMs and each Intel 6242 system supports 32 VMs, for a total of 50 AMD powered servers and 100 Intel based servers. These estimates do not include and VM server management costs. System Configurations: Intel Xeon based servers include (2) Intel® Xeon® Gold 6242 @ $2,529 ea, with 256 GB of memory, a dual socket 2U rack mount server, each with power supplies, and NIC @ $2,500, for a total per server price of $12,146.56 ea. and a total hardware acquisition price of $1,214,656. AMD EPYC™ servers include a single socket 2U rack mount chassis, with (1) AMD EPYC™ 7702P at $4,425, with 512 GB of memory, a single socket 2U rack mount server, each with power supplies, and NIC @ $2,200, for a total per server price of $15,414.52 ea. and a total hardware acquisition price of $770,726. Power estimates: AMD 315 watts per server per hour, for a total solution power of 1360.8 kW per month for 50 servers. Intel 415 watts per server per hour, for a total solution power of 3585.6 kW per month for 100 servers. Three-year total power with a PUE of 2 and a power cost of $0.12 per kWh: AMD – $97,977.60 and Intel – $258,163.20. Data center three-year real estate cost estimates based on $20/mth/sq ft and 27 sq ft per rack are for: Intel is 5 rack cabinets at $97,200 and for AMD of $48,600 (2.5 rack cabinets). Server Administration cost is calculated with an estimate of $110,500 annually per server administrator (includes 30% burden) with a ratio of one server administrator per 30 servers resulting in Intel cost of $1,105,000 (for 100 servers) and for AMD $552,500 (for 50 servers) for total 3 yr server administration costs.  Total estimated 3 Year TCO as a result is $2,675,019 for the Intel-based Systems and $1,469,804 for the AMD EPYC powered systems.  As a result, AMD EPYC based systems are estimated to deliver up to a 45% lower TCO (excluding software costs). Annual cost per VM: (1469804/3200)/3=$279; (2675091/3200)/3=$153.This scenario contains many assumptions and estimates and, while based on AMD internal research and best approximations, should be considered an example for information purposes only, and not used as a basis for decision making over actual testing. ROM-329