GreenBytes, a flash-array storage vendor, appears to have re-focused on virtualised server I/O offload – and most punters here at VMworld on the Catalonian shores are asking themselves why. It all started when Stephen O'Donnell became GreenBytes' chairman in July this year, with an executive aspect to the role we understand. Up …
It's true that *non-persistent* linked clones lose state between reboots, but persistent ones do not. There are use cases for linked clones that extend beyond space savings, such as the ability to refresh a bunch of VMs from a source image while retaining user data (maybe there's a way to do that with standard clones that doesn't hose user content, but I'm not familiar with it). The dedupe ratio is impressive if borne out by experience, but I imagine that once users start pumping their own preferences into those cloned VMs, the dedupe ratio will drop significantly.
Honestly, I'm always a little dubious about relying on deduplication and compression for space savings. All it takes is a few corner cases with data that's hard to compress or dedupe, and suddenly you're scrambling for space or performance. Admittedly, VDI is the low-hanging fruit in this regard, with a generally large amount of static data relative to overall capacity, so perhaps GreenBytes can carve out a niche for themselves in that space.
Real life experience shows that there are a huge number of duplicate blocks in a typical VDI environment, even when users update their personal settings. GreenBytes offer their product on a per VDI session basis reducing the risk for consumers if they are in any way concerned.
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