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The IO Offload Engine Allows the Best Possible Use Case for Desktop Virtualization: Stateful, Full Clones Running in the Smallest Possible Memory Footprint with Great Performance.

GreenBytes’ purpose-built IO Offload Engine is the industry’s only integrated platform to enable vendor-agnostic, cloud-scale virtual desktop deployments. The IO Offload Engine delivers unprecedented enterprise-scale VDI performance to meet the most demanding use cases while enabling organizations to minimize costs, deliver custom per-session settings, all while retaining their existing infrastructure investments.   The GreenBytes IO Offload Engine was designed from the ground up as a desktop virtualization appliance, providing the full clone virtual desktops that users want with the manageability, scalability and affordability that make it possible. The IO Offload Engine diverts swap and boot traffic away from primary storage (SAN). Being a plug-and-play virtual desktop appliance, it installs and scales out in minutes to drive down costs and avoid user interruption. Synergy with the existing SAN is maintained, protecting your storage investments.


IOOE Features

Virtual Desktop Solutions

In a virtual desktop environment, the GreenBytes IO Offload Engine integrates at the hypervisor level and manages specific data stores; the golden images (provisioning), replica datastore (boot) and linked clone area (swap). This breakthrough platform combines massive bandwidth, patented low-latency high-IO inline deduplication, compression and tight integration with VMware and Citrix. These features allow a single GreenBytes IO Offload Engine appliance to absorb the IO from 100s to 1000s of active, persistent or non-persistent virtual desktops at a cost per virtual desktop that is up to an order of magnitude lower than conventional systems provisioned with either flash or magnetic storage.


High Availability

The IO Offload Engine’s High Availability (HA) architecture ensures that your data remains available to your virtualization infrastructure regardless of any hardware failure. This is made possible by employing redundant and hot swappable components such as drives, fans and power supplies, as well as completely redundant storage controllers. All connectivity between the controllers is also redundant with multiple cards protecting against any network outage due to hardware failure.

Thomas Lehrer, Systems Architect IV, OneNeck IT Services “By utilizing game-changing technologies such as GreenBytes’ IO Offload Engine with its patented zero latency inline deduplication technology, we are able to deliver a “Better than Local” desktop experience to users consistently and cost effectively.”

The IO Offload Engine Defines a New Category

It is not a general-purpose storage device. It is not an add-on cache. It is an extension of the virtual architecture that allows the user to deploy a massive number of persistent and non-persistent virtual desktops while keeping the infrastructure they already have. VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop can now be deployed to meet new business drivers in a cost effective way while delivering on service levels and performance demands.

How Does it Scale?

The IO Offload Engine is available in configurations starting at 600 GB raw flash storage and goes up to 4.8 TB raw flash in the same system, which allows the appliance to scale cost-effectively from only 100+ users up to approximately 2000 persistent virtual desktop users in a single appliance, leveraging GreenBytes’ patented inline deduplication and additional performance technologies. If you need to scale beyond 2000 virtual desktops, additional appliances can be shipped for fast and simple field installation.

The GreenBytes IO Offload Engine is uniquely simple, affordable, compatible and effective.

Garth Lahana, System Administrator,  Hospital Maasziekenhuis Pantein “Our hospital staff is very happy with their digital workspace now that Pantein have put the GreenBytes IO Offload Engine into production. Their workspace has become stable and responds very swiftly. Decreased load on our tier 1 storage means that other applications function as they should again. With the quick and easy addition of the IO Offload Engine, we have happy end users and a happy ICT department.”

The IO Problem

According to a 2012 Gartner research report, the adoption of Virtual Desktops within large enterprise and managed service providers (MSPs) is poised for dramatic growth. Today, the primary barrier commonly cited to more rapid VDI adoption is the cost of storage per desktop. The key insight to understand is that the per virtual desktop storage cost is driven by an intense demand for IO performance, rather than for capacity.   This storage IO problem results from the characteristics of each virtual desktop session that needs access on disk to its own Virtual Machine (VM) image and swap (an extension of VM virtual memory). To protect against hardware failure and enable the advantages of virtualization, VM images and swap must be placed on a shared storage resource, typically the enterprise SAN. Even the highest-end SANs are not designed to process the relentless aggregate storage IO generated by these VDI sessions. This intense VDI traffic is transient and does not need long-term storage. VM images are read for boot, and swap-space is updated thousands of times per second. In even a modest sized VDI deployment, say, 5000 virtual desktops, the volume of swap can be 30 TB, far surpassing caching capabilities of even high-end SAN controllers. The result is high cost and a poor user experience.

The IO Solution

The GreenBytes IO Offload Engine is designed to solve this IO overloading problem. A small footprint plug-and-play network device, the GreenBytes IO Offload Engine absorbs the transient IO required for VM booting, rapid provisioning and swap, diverting this IO away from the SAN. By offloading this IO from the storage system, the GreenBytes IO Offload Engine frees the existing SAN to do what it was designed for:  to handle only the much lower IO loads needed to store and protect application and user data.   GreenBytes’ patented technology uniquely combines massive bandwidth, IOPS and inline deduplication to make IO offload viable. The GreenBytes IO Offload Engine enables an order of magnitude reduction in the cost and complexity of virtual desktop storage. Only GreenBytes patented technology delivers the no-compromise IOPS and low latency needed to provide an excellent virtual desktop user experience at an affordable cost. IO Offload Engine is highly available (HA), sharable across VDI servers and scales out to arbitrarily large VDI deployments.

The VDI Solution For Business

Business is mandating rapid VDI adoption driven by security concerns, flexible BYOD policies, and operational complexity. Businesses have been adopting virtual server infrastructure rapidly, driven by server consolidation and cost management. When deploying server virtualization, the enterprise storage you already have can handle the IO necessary. Using the storage you already have to support virtual desktop deployments is a different matter as desktop virtualization-driven IO demand is extremely intense. Modifying your current storage infrastructure is expensive and can often be disappointing.   Storage infrastructure upgrades usually involve flash-based cache technology designed to be an effective IO accelerator for small data sets. To accommodate this flash-based upgrade, businesses often need to change out the current storage controller and upgrade to a premium model. Moderate virtual desktop deployments overwhelm even those high-end storage controller cache capacities, obviating any performance advantage.   With the GreenBytes IO Offload Engine, this significant expense and disappointment can be avoided with successful, scalable desktop virtualization deployments within budgets, returning tangible ROI. Like a next-generation network switch, IO Offload Engine is technology that extends your existing storage investments to meet the IO demands of desktop virtualization without disrupting current infrastructure solutions.

With the GreenBytes IO Offload Engine, ISPs, MSPs, Telcos and Enterprises can offer customers a purpose-built, cloud-scale desktop virtualization solution that enables users to be mobile and productive on their desktops, tablets and smartphones.   The ongoing virtualization of desktops and servers is true consolidation of IO traffic. Streaming user data to modern virtual desktop workspaces demands even higher performance. Desktop virtualization is IO hungry and hard drives cannot offer the low latency that VDI users expect. The over-provisioning of hard drive-based arrays becomes expensive when high IOPS are required. Adding flash caching and tiering to existing arrays is also complex and expensive.   ISPs, MSPs, Telcos and Enterprises are searching for a way to deliver large, cloud-scale virtual desktop deployments, and offering Desktop as a Service (DaaS) requires a scalable and affordable business solution. To make VDI affordable, large-scale deployments are required. Offering a scalable desktop virtualization platform that will support tens and even hundreds of thousands of users is both a financial and technical challenge.   Thanks to GreenBytes’ IO Offload Engine, desktop virtualization is finally an attractive business solution for ISPs, MSPs, Telcos and Enterprises, both technically and commercially. Simply offload VDI-related IO from your existing SAN to GreenBytes’ IO Offload Engine, leaving your current SAN for user data as it was original intended. Use the IO Offload Engine for virtual desktop boot, swap and provisioning.

Bottom Line

GreenBytes’ purpose-built IO-Offload Engine is the industry’s only integrated platform to enable vendor-agnostic, cloud-scale virtual desktop deployments for ISPs, MSPs, Telcos and Enterprises. The IO-Offload Engine delivers unprecedented enterprise-scale virtual desktop performance to meet the most demanding use cases while enabling organizations to minimize costs, deliver custom per-session settings, all while retaining their existing architectures.   The GreenBytes IO Offload Engine is designed as a desktop virtualization appliance; it diverts swap and boot traffic away from primary storage (SAN). Being a plug-and-play virtual desktop appliance, it installs and scales out in minutes to drive down costs and avoid user interruption. Synergy with the exiting SAN is maintained, protecting your storage investments. The end result is affordable desktop virtualization that cost-effectively solves current desktop virtualization IOPS problems without changing existing architecture.  

Tech Specs & Resources

  • Dual Active Controllers
  • Transparent Failover
  • RAID Protection with Hot Spares
  • N+1 Power
  • VMware VAAI Acceleration
  • Fibre Channel and iSCSI
  • Supports 100s to 1000s of persistent or non-persistent virtual desktops
  • Pay for the capacity you need
  • Initial virtual desktop deployments are simplified and accelerated – no time spent managing or planning upgrades to current storage
  • Storage vendor agnostic solution means nothing in the current environment needs to change
  • Current storage infrastructure investment is protected and is used for the originally purchased intention
  • Removing the IO bottleneck enables most virtual desktop use to meet ROI targets with enhanced end user satisfaction

  Mark Bowker, Sr. Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) “The GreenBytes IO Offload Engine leverages existing infrastructure investments without forcing IT organizations to rip and replace costly IT equipment or re-design the architecture. The GreenBytes IO Offload Engine captures the I/O intense data stream and processes it in a more effective and efficient manner without interrupting performance or the integrity of the data stream. The offloading can dramatically help streamline desktop provisioning, eliminate boot storms, and erase the pain point associated with desktop images constantly swapping to disk.”

Service & Support

GreenBytes products are backed with a rock-solid warranty and 24/7/365 support. Extend your coverage to 1, 2, or 3 years beyond the complementary warranty period with our Gold support option.


Tech Partners

Full Clones for the Full Desktop Experience