I currently work in an organization where justification of change is key. Any time there is any type of change, upgrade, movement of any sort, the change requires vetting/approval from all angles. Typically this is easy when you’re selling it to fellow IT peers, however sometimes this could be difficult when you’re dealing with the management perspective and trying to share the value to exhibit that it’s worthy of a time investment. One of my most recent tasks was to document the reasoning and technical value of upgrading our Atlantis ILIO implementation to Atlantis USX and I figured I’d share it in case anyone else requires the same information!
Engine Current/Future Enhancement: Based on recent upgrades, they are seeing anywhere from 25%-50% performance improvements on USX vs ILIO. The engine running USX is a matured version of ILIO. It’s also the primary focus of their research and development, while ILIO is mostly being maintained/supported.
Deployment Enhancement: Existing ILIO deployments are a bit of manual effort; USX comes packed with an entirely automated deployment tool that has a simple GUI that will help streamline the deployment of all of our new datastores. Typically in the past, I would have to manually define everything out by hand and then build to spec.
Atlantis Dashboard/Insight: ILIO comes paired with a management center called “ILIO Center” which is a very simple management interface without many useful features. On the other hand, USX comes with a robust management interface that has some detailed reporting capabilities, monitoring and visibility into the performance of the storage. It also has a feature called Insight that can look at key risk indicators and predict potentials issues and even automatically open support tickets with Atlantis support.
Recovery time with USX: Existing ILIOs on a reboot take approximately 30 minutes to reconstruct the datastores for a couple reasons:
- Our datastores are very large (between 800 GB – 1 TB)
- ILIO has to reconstruct itself, re-hydrate/rebuild the cache across the entire datastore which takes time.
With USX, they released a feature called thin construct that allows the USX datastore to become available only after several minutes after bootup. The datastore becomes available with slightly degraded performance while the cache is being rebuilt in the background.
Upgrading: Version upgrades are more seamless because of the added GUI interface and management interface.
Additional Features: With USX, there are just a lot of additional features, future developments that are not and will never be available on ILIO. Some of those features involve:
- Expanding the storage volume after deployment
- Expanding the
- Snapshotting enhancements
Multi-purpose workloads: Slightly irrelevant given our current environment/implementation, but USX has the capacity to handle other non-VDI workloads should it become part of the scope in the future.
Other volume types: ILIO is based on a single-host architecture and is limited to the simple volumes. Although we’d be upgrading directly to USX Simple Hybrid volumes which is essentially the ILIO volume type, we have the capacity to look at different implementation of different storage types that are only offered in USX that could potentially add some value in the design of the environment.