Antivirus impact and best practices on VDI (Project VRC)

Jeroen van der Kamp and Ruben Spruijt have announced the release of the long awaited 'Phase V' whitepaper which gives unbiased and independent insights in the impact and best practices of various antivirus solutions on VDI.

We truly believe we have interesting new content and many new insights which is needed for every successful VDI project. The desktop virtualization industry is maturing: we learned about storage, we learned how to tune the Windows desktop and hypervisor for performance and know how to create scalable VDI solutions. Interestingly, once everything is up and running, in many VDI deployments one piece of the performance pie is still overlooked: the antivirus solution.

Too many times, moving into production, performance is not as expected. Often in these cases, antivirus solutions prove to have a considerable impact. Technologies like heuristics scanning add considerable weight to the scanning process. Normally, with regular desktops or laptops, this is not a problem. There’s plenty of CPU and disk I/O capacity available exclusively to the (PC of the) user. However with hosted desktops this is different. A performance impact of up to 40 percent is not unusual after AV is installed. While this has been less of an issue with PC’s or laptops, with VDI it means you need to invest in 40% additional server capacity, or even higher when you look at the impact on storage.

For this reason Project VRC decided to investigate the impact of antivirus solutions on VDI. The following questions were asked:

  • What is the performance/capacity impact of the most well-known AV solutions when used in a VDI environment?
  • How do AV solutions designed for virtual environments with so called “off-loading” architectures compare with conventional solutions from a performance perspective?
  • How does the disk IO impact compare with the different AV solutions, conventional and off-loading architectures?
  • What is the performance impact in stateless desktop environments in comparison to stateful desktops?
  • What possibilities are there for performance tuning and how does this affect the overall impact on performance impact?

The purpose of the whitepaper is to find answers to these questions!


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