Open Storage Powers 21,000 desktops at CommunityOne/JavaOne

What if you needed to give computer access to up to 21,000 people intermittently with limited space, budget and resources? How would you accomplish such a task? How would you authenticate that many people? Where would you store all of the files necessary to make it all work?

The team supporting CommunityOne and JavaOne conferences this year solved all of these questions with the help of Open Storage, Sun's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software 3 and Virtualbox. This solution included ...

  • 3 Sun Storage 7210 Unified Storage Arrays (120TB)
  • 4 Sun Fire X4450, each with 4 CPUs and 64 GB memory (VDI Services)
  • 5 Sun Fire X4450 servers, each 4 CPUs, 6 cores per CPU and 64 GB of memory (Virtualbox)
  • 150 Sun Ray 270 thin clients

Of course the 7210s are the Open Storage part of the equation. Interestingly, capacity to store all those desktop images is only a small part of the problem. Throughput is another issue with all those users essentially booting and shutting down their selected operating systems at the same time. It turns out that a single 7210 can handle the throughput of about 1000 desktops so with only 150 active users at any given time they were in good shape.

Here is how the system worked ...


Step 1) Insert your conference badge into the Sun Ray.

Step 2) Select a Windows, Ubuntu or OpenSolaris desktop.

Step 3) Browse the web, check email, or just goof off.

When you are done with whatever you might be doing you can simply yank your card out and come back later to pick up where you left off. Your session is saved securely on the Sun Storage 7210 waiting to be resumed the next time you insert your card at any of the 150 available Sun Rays. It was a very cool solution and served the needs of the attendees perfectly. Great job to the team and great use of Open Storage!

Note: Photos curtesy of Andy Hall

Comments:

That is simply terrific. I was at JavaOne but didn't have a chance to check the Sun Rays. Now I wish I did, that would have been very cool to experience first hand. Thanks for the photos.

Posted by Nathan Fiedler on June 12, 2009 at 03:19 AM EDT #

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"Just what is Open Storage anyway?" This is the question I am trying to answer on this site. How am I doing?

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