Hyperconverged Infrastructure: The Ideal Choice for VDI in a Post-HP Moonshot Era

Jason McKenry
Hyperconverged Infrastructure: The Ideal Choice for VDI in a Post-HP Moonshot Era

The realm of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) experiences continuous transformation due to advancements in servers and storage. For years, HP Moonshot has been a preferred choice for VDI hosting, courtesy of its unique architecture. However, HP’s decision to phase out the Moonshot platform leaves many organizations searching for alternative solutions that provide improved capabilities and scalability. This post dives deep into the comparison of Hyperconverged Infrastructure and HP Moonshot and their effectiveness in addressing both basic user requirements and advanced GPU-intensive workloads.

To The Moon(shot)

Introduced in 2013, HP Moonshot made waves in handling VDI workloads. It featured a chassis housing multiple server cartridges, each consisting of a CPU, memory, storage, and networking resources. These cartridges were custom-built for specific workloads, ensuring optimal performance, power efficiency, and high-density computing. Yet, in the face of rapid technological advancements, HP’s strategic decision to phase out Moonshot prompts the necessity for alternatives that bring comparable or superior benefits for VDI deployments.

HP Moonshot’s strength lies in its capacity to cater to both basic and GPU-intensive users. The system features server cartridges optimized for particular workloads, enabling resource allocation based on user needs. Standard computing tasks could be provisioned to basic users with specifically designed cartridges, while users requiring graphics processing power could be assigned cartridges with dedicated GPUs.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure – The Compelling Alternative

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI), the next evolution in VDI workloads, consolidates storage, compute, networking, and virtualization resources into a single software-defined platform. HCI’s arrival signifies an end to the need for specialized hardware like HP Moonshot, and it introduces several advantages.

  • Virtualized GPUs: HP Moonshot faced significant limitations with efficient support for virtualized GPUs. As graphic-intensive applications increasingly fuel VDI workloads, the necessity for virtualized GPU capabilities becomes critical. HCI platforms harness the power of NVIDIA’s virtual GPU (vGPU) technology to allow efficient sharing and allocation of GPU resources among multiple virtual machines, resulting in enhanced performance and improved user experience for graphics-intensive VDI workloads.
  • Enhanced Density: While HP Moonshot’s density was impressive, HCI takes a leap forward. The consolidation of compute, storage, and networking resources in a single platform by HCI maximizes utilization and minimizes the physical footprint required for VDI workloads. The improved density translates into cost savings, lower power consumption, and streamlined management, rendering HCI an appealing choice for organizations dealing with limited space or scalability concerns.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: The software-defined nature of HCI paves the way for seamless scalability and flexibility. Adding new nodes to an HCI cluster is straightforward, allowing organizations to effortlessly cater to growing VDI workloads. Moreover, HCI’s compatibility with a wide range of virtualization platforms provides the flexibility to select the most suitable hypervisor and management tools.
  • Simplified Management: Unique management and expertise were prerequisites for HP Moonshot’s specialized hardware. Contrarily, HCI simplifies management through a unified interface, enabling administrators to manage the entire infrastructure from a single control point. This centralized approach saves time, reduces complexity, and allows IT teams to focus more on strategic initiatives rather than routine maintenance.

As HP phases out Moonshot, hyperconverged infrastructure surfaces as a compelling alternative to meet the demanding requirements of VDI workloads. The combination of HCI’s virtualized GPU capabilities, improved density, scalability, and flexibility make it an ideal option for accommodating both basic users and high-end GPU-intensive applications.

Jason McKenry

Jason McKenry, Director, Solutions Architects - Datacenter

Jason brings 20+ years of IT experience as both a solutions provider and a customer. ​He has deep experience in data center and cloud architecture specializing in the design and delivery of End User Computing, virtualization, and public cloud solutions. He joined the CDI team in 2012 and now leads the team dedicated to designing solutions for customers ranging from small local businesses to global enterprise organizations.​