ITEXACT helps Colt Build Cloud-hosted VDI

Colt goes with Atlantis

Colt moved to a VDI infrastructure with Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI software using server RAM as primary storage for virtual desktop images saving long term costs for the business.

• 61% CAPEX reduction
• 23% OPEX reduction
• 40% Increase density
• Better-PC experience
• Proven Scalability

Building a structured programme migration approach utilising agile change management was critical in deploying this service on time and within budget.

Colt Technology Services has built a VMware View based virtual desktop infrastructure to support up to 20,000 desktops. The Colt cloud-hosted desktop utilizes Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI and VCE Vblock Systems to deliver virtual desktops that are cheaper and faster than physical PCs.

In order to reduce overall CAPEX and OPEX costs (rack space, cooling, maintenance, disk repair), while at the same time dramatically improving user experience, Colt moved to a VDI infrastructure with Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI software using server RAM as primary storage for virtual desktop images. Atlantis Computing has integrated this solution with VCE Vblock Systems which bring together leading edge technologies from VMware, Cisco and EMC into a single, intelligent converged infrastructure system.

“We decided to take a new approach to using VDI on Vblock Systems, running VMware View desktops with Atlantis ILIO on Cisco UCS servers without storage,” said Chris Hewertson, CIO, Colt Technology Services. “Using Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI simplifies our VMware View deployment, reduces operational complexity and delivers both a vastly improved user experience and a much lower cost per desktop.”

Colt and the VMware professional services organization were able to demonstrate that the diskless VDI implementation delivered amazing desktop performance that scaled linearly with average response times of 0.53 seconds for all common activities such as launching Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe, Zip or Internet browsers.

“We were able to run 171 virtual desktops per Cisco blade with Atlantis ILIO software while using only 66% of the CPU,” said Brian Keats, Interim Programme Director, Colt Technology Services. “The 61% reduction in total cost of our desktop estate, along with 23% OPEX savings, 40% increase in density and Atlantis ILIO deployment automation, enabled us to deliver a high quality and cost-effective cloud-hosted desktop that we can deploy at scale.”

The Colt diskless VDI deployment is architected with disaster recovery (DR) and high availability (HA) across Colt data centres for total resilience. Users are load balanced across sites in order to minimize the impact of any DR event. Due to the density increase, Colt can deliver a fully resilient system without excessive cost.

Colt automated the installation, storage sizing, configuration and datastore creation using Atlantis ILIO Center with a seamless handover to VMware View Composer. Using Atlantis ILIO Center automation, Colt is able to provision and operationalize multiple racks of servers for thousands of users on-demand. Colt’s deployment scales infinitely by adding Vblock Systems and Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI software, making the concept of elastic data centres a reality.