Accelerate VMware Horizon using DPUs and vSphere Distributed Services Engine

DPUs (Data Procesing units), formerly known as SmartNICs, have been on the horizon since 2022. But after the completion of Project Monterey, DPUs are being productized as the vSphere Distributed Services Engine in vSphere 8 and NSX 4.

Today, as DPUs offload more and more networking functions, it was conceivable that DPUs could also offload network intensive workloads in the EUC space, especially VDI and its application workloads.

I was part of the research team that looked at VDI workloads in conjunction with DPUs. We presented our findings at VMware Explore 2023 Barcelona. The full video is available in the VMware Explorevideo library.


New Whitepaper published

Summarizing, the performance tests show an impressive result in accelerating networking performance while freeing up CPU resources on the physical ESXi servers. With the capabilities offered by the vSphere Distributed Services Engine and the AMD Pensando DPU, it was possible to validate increased performance for VDI environments moving forward.

In addition, simply adding the DPU into their compute nodes reduced certain attack vectors. In addition, given some of the density measurements observed, it will be possible to offer more vDesktops per physical node, which over time will allow to build infrastructure to provide the same level of scale but with a reduced footprint, which can result in benefits including less power consumption, less rack space, fewer physical servers, fewer switch ports, and lower licensing costs.

These results are detailed in a white paper co-authored with AMD.

Dowload the white paper as PDF here