Greg Schulz, Founder and Sr. Advisor of The Server and StorageIO (StorageIO) Group (, says:

With Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) initiatives adoption being a popular theme associated with cloud and dynamic infrastructure environments a related discussion point is the impact on networks, servers and storage during boot or startup activity to avoid bottlenecks. VDI solution vendors include Citrix, Microsoft and VMware along with various server, storage, networking and management tools vendors.

A common storage and network related topic involving VDI are boot storms when many workstations or desktops all startup at the same time. However any discussion around VDI and its impact on networks, servers and storage should also be expanded from read centric boots to write intensive shutdown or maintenance activity as well.

Having an understanding of what your performance requirements are is important to adequately design a configuration that will meet your Quality of Service (QoS) and service level objectives (SLOs) for VDI deployment in addition to knowing what to look for in candidate server, storage and networking technologies. For example, knowing how your different desktop applications and workloads perform on a normal basis provides a baseline to compare with during busy periods or times of trouble. Another benefit is that when shopping for example storage systems and reviewing various benchmarks, knowing what your actual performance and application characteristics are helps to align the applicable technology to your QoS and SLO needs while avoiding apples to oranges benchmark comparisons.

Check out the entire piece including some test results using the hIOmon tool from hyperIO to gather actual workstation performance numbers.

Keep in mind that the best benchmark is your actual applications running as close to possible to their typical workload and usage scenarios.

Also keep in mind that fast workstations need fast networks, fast servers and fast storage.