BladeSystem Server Blades

Number of VDI Virtual Machines on BL460c Gen8

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Number of VDI Virtual Machines on BL460c Gen8

Sultan had a VDI question from a customer:




We are trying to figure out the number of  Win7 VMs that we can fit into a C7000 enclosure populated with  BL460 G8 Blades that are configured  with 192GB of ram. We can assume that each VM would have 6gb of ram allocated to it and that we will have a fully populated C7000 enclosure with 16 blades with an N+1 config.


The numbers that I am coming up with are as follows:


Assuming that the hypervisor uses 2gb of ram, I am getting the following:


(192-2)*15/6 = 475


If we assume that the hypervisor uses 4gb of ram:


(192-4)*15/6 = 470


Which one of these should we go with or is there a different number altogether?




Input from David:




Sultan,  it’s a multi-variable equation that needs to include storage, networking and other parameters, not just the blade.  Why start from scratch, though?  There are some very capable engineers that have put together a set of reference architectures for Client Virtualization published at


You don’t mention the VDI/virtualization technology desired, but a good starting point from the list at the link above is the “HP Gen8 Client Virtualization Enterprise Reference Architecture for VMware View 5.1” which details a 1200 user building block using BladeSystem, BL460p Gen8 servers, Virtual Connect and P4000 StoreVirtual SAN with the Virtual SAN Appliance (the economics of VDI solutions is bound to a great degree to the $/GB cost of storage, and P4000 is a perfect way for optimizing around that). 


The paper goes on to characterize scaling the solution, and you’ll notice that storage needs to scale at a much higher rate than the servers to achieve the desired IOPS.  The appendices show a number of performance characterizations for different user types that will be very useful.


In addition to this one with VMware View, there are additional RAs published on that page utilizing different technologies or combinations, such as Citrix VDI-in-a-Box, Citrix XenDesktop+VMware vSphere 5, Citrix XenDesktop+HyperV, etc.


I know the guys involved in putting these RAs together, and they have built world-class knowledge in this area, bolstered by relationships with engineering counterparts at VMware, Citrix, Microsoft and HP Storage.  Their work here is unparalleled in the industry, and as others at our competitors have had to guess and theorize, the information and experience we have built in this area is a key differentiator for HP.




Any other input from Sultan?