Performance of Virtual Desktops in a VMware Infrastructure 3 Environment

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Executive Summary

The benefits of virtualization for enterprise servers have been well documented. These include reduced hardware, power, and cooling costs; improved manageability; and higher availability. Increasingly, enterprises are turning to virtualization to bring these benefits to their desktop infrastructure. Virtual desktops deployed on VMware Infrastructure 3 provide the benefits of virtualization on a robust and proven virtualization platform. When preparing for virtual desktop deployments, typical performance questions include the number of desktops that can be supported on a given system and the interactive performance that can be expected by the users of those desktops. This paper examines the performance of virtual desktops running a typical mix of interactive applications on VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2.

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