Archives for July 2011

Jul
26

#VDI TIP 40 :Find your Registry Settings with ThinAppHelper

Ron Olgesby gave me a great idea after seeing him present on why you should use GPO’s(Group Policy Objects) instead of using registry hacks. He mentioned using Systracer from Blue Project Software to figure out difficult registry settings when building your GPO’s. The only problem I had with Systracer is that you have to pay for it. Being a View Premier customer we already had a ThinApp license for packing so that got me thinking. If I use ThinApp with it’s before and after use of snapshots of the system and a free tool from http://thinapphelper.cis.nl/ you can create a winning combination.

ThinAppHelper is GUI based program that gives you a visual view of your packages of instead of going through ini files and the registry. It’s also good at finding install bloat causing your packages to get to big and slow. Though the main thing I want to focus on for this article is the view of the registry it gives you and it’s FREE!!!

The Process
1. ThinApp Prescan
2. Install App
3. Post scan, you can skip the build
4. You can use thinapphelper right away, if there is too many entries for you, go to step 5.
5. ThinApp Prescan
6. Change your settings
7. Post scan, and you will have a much smaller view of the registry settings.
I hope this helps you out.

Dwayne Lessner

Jul
26

Do you need Auto-Tiering?

Let me start off by saying I love all the auto-tiering storage arrays that are on the market today. The problem with most of the auto-tiering arrays is that they’re expensive and you really need to be a customer of that vendor to take advantage of them. With new SSD vendors coming on board I really think there is a great chance to “leverage” your current investments while pushing ahead the technology envelope. Most heavy IO application like databases and VDI allow some form of tiering to help with the placement of data.

Last year at VMworld I stopped by a small booth, Whiptail Technologies. The speed they were promising was crazy fast from IO their SSD array. How fast? 250,000 IOPS! I thought there had to be some catch to it. No catches, just fast. Their pricing was good too or at least they were great to negotiate with.

When I was managing datacenters in the health care space we would buy storage arrays every year, it was like clockwork. We even bought a couple of our vendors 48 drive module arrays to add to our SAN and thought they were going to last awhile. The arrays didn’t even last a year when we used it for our VDI deployments. The 8,000 + IO we got were quickly eaten up by windows desktops.

While at BriForum I had the pleasure of sitting on in a session by Jim Moyle. Jim did a great job of showing what a Windows 7 VM will do when you can give it as much IO as possible. In his white paper, http://jimmoyle.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/05/Windows_7_IOPS_for_VDI_a_Deep_Dive_1_0.pdf, he ran a test with a windows VM using over 88,000 IOPS during a AV scan. Absolutely crazy right? His point on the industry averages being low was well received by the audience. With boot, applications, and the general randomness of windows, 20 IOPS for a Windows 7 VM is not realistic when you’re taking into account of dealing with the peaks.

Other reasons why I think Whiptail is smart choice:

Purpose built controller: they don’t have to accommodate traditional raid technologies, they got to start fresh. Their hardware is designed to accelerate writes and mitigate wear at the system level for MLC based drives. The transport layer and the drives use a proprietary, purpose built acceleration stack.

Bench marks: Bench marks are just that and most times not realistic but Whiptails numbers are 4k based on 100% random and 100% write. Not the safe misleading read numbers which Jim Moyle made mention in his session.
VMware: The leader in virtualization think they have good thing going on. VP of Engineering Zayed Hussein is on WhipTail Tech’s Board of Advisors.

Growth: 3 digit growth from last year’s numbers. Company should be around for the long haul. They’re adding more people on to their team.

Power: Power costs are not going away. If you want to be truly green or face the issue of no more power coming into your datacenter this is one why to cope with this dilemma. 180 watts is all they need for 12 TB. At 250,000 IOPS Whiptail can replace 7 full racks of spinning disk in terms of performance. That’s a 95% reduction in power, cooling, and rack space. WhipTail can fit anywhere from 1.5TB to 12TB in a 2U chassis.

Comments?

Dwayne Lessner

Jul
24

Mr. VMware

John Troyer is the guy that you would always take the time to talk to. John always has great insight to new technologies and brings fun and excitement to very technical content.

John is the main reason way I have become a virtualization nut. The weekly VMware Community podcasts is the cheese to my hamster wheel; it always has me coming back for more. John has always been more than accommodating when needing to find out more information beyond the regular documentation. John even lead me in the right direction to get a bloggers pass for last years VMworld and I only had to pay for Hotel and Flights.

John, Thanks for everything you have done for me and the community. I am smarter for it and it has helped a lot with my success.

PS Happy Birthday!

Jul
23

Speed Up Non-Persistent Log On Times with ProfileUnity and One Registry Key

Ever seen this before?

If it happens once to you, not bad. If it happens everytime you log in, very bad. Users really don’t like waiting for thier PC’s to log them on in the mornings. If your running non-persistent pools that delete the machine everytime a user logs out this is what you’re going to be faced with. The below registy key can be made to merge with your profile so it will only happen once for your non-persistent users.

The Registry Key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup

You can set it to merge with creating a ruleset in the Portability Managment section of ProfileUnity.

Jul
22

Red Bull VDI Setting changes name with vSphere 5?

The great people over at VRC coined the term “Red Bull Setting” when they showed how to increase your VDI throughput.

The jest of the Red Bull setting is:
• Physically CPU has to over 50%
• Your CPU has to have Hyper-threading
• You can see a 20% increase with HaltingIdleMsecPenaltyMax set to 2000 or you can disable it.
• To ensure a VM gets it fair share of time, ESX will not let anything run on the one side of the core by disabling it while the vm takes its turn.


That is pretty high level overview but for more info go check out their sight. I noticed in vSphere 5 that I think the setting has changed its name. The picture below is the old setting disabled. The one after that is what appears to be the new one. When I upgrade my test environment I will double check to see if the setting is kept.

Old Setting: HaltingIdleMsecPenaltyMax

HaltingIdleMsecPenaltyMax

New Setting: HTWholeCoreThreshold

HaltingIdleMsecPenaltyMax set

Jul
22

Twitter Tips for VMware View – #16 – #39

Here are the twitter tips I made up between 16 and 39. I think I will have to start doing them all from the blog so I can keep track of them. Hope some are useful for you.

#VDI Tip 16: To upgrade a ThinApp application, you must unassign and remove the older version and add and assign the newer version.
#VDI Tip 17: Never, Never delete the VM’s in vCenter before you delete desktops with View Admin. View will go into a inconsistent state.
#VDI Tip 18: To manage ThinApp apps through View Admin, you must store the MSI packages on a network share. The network share must reside in an AD domain that is accessible to your View Conn Svr host and your View desktops.
#VDI Tip 19: #ThinApp The order of precedence 4 updating files is the files in the sandbox, the virtual OS, & then physical machine #appsync
#VDI Tip 20: #ThinApp uncomment the Wow64 parameter to simulate a 32‐bit env for 32‐bit apps on a 64‐bit
OS. Wow64=0
#VDI Tip 21: Don’t use the same vCenter for VDI as you use for your Server workload. You get the license, USE IT!
#VDI TIP 22:To prevent internal resources from being accessed external, setup “Tags” for your different connection brokers.
#VDI Tip 23: Reduce the number of connection servers and help put your #SharePoint and #Exchange environment with a #Big -IP from #F5
#VDI Tip 24: Try to do all of your management from only one connection server. This will pay off if replication decides to throw up on itself.
#VDI Tip 27: Use the vregtool .exe to change registry settings in a #ThinApp package instead of rebuilding the whole package
#VDI Tip 28: Always install conn. servers with 10GB of RAM b\c it sets the java and max connections allowed. You can scale back after the install.
#VDI Tip 34: Assigning application packages created with ThinApp is not supported for desktops that are downloaded and used in local mode
#VDI Tip 33: ThinApp the View Client and place it on your company website somewhere not easily seen so your support staff can direct them to it.
#VDI Tip 35: #NetApp Don’t dedupe and waste Fast Cache on non-persistent data like temp directories. Tier the data and use different policies.
#VDI Tip 36:See between the trees,use domain filtering to speed logon times after reboot & less is more with end user options. VDMADMIN – N
VDI Tip:37 via @langonej :persistent UDD can be placed on datastores optimized 4 heavy read \ write. Use to ensure application performance
#VDI Tip 39: Make sure you have a baseline before starting replacements. It will help to battle FUD like VDI is slow.

Jul
17

My Time at BriForum

Looking forward to the week ahead. It will be great to meet some people from the land of twitter and learn from an expert group of peers in the industry. It’s also equally as good that most of the speakers are independent and are able to think freely and openly.
My Schedule for BriForum:

Monday

     
    Registration and Supper with the rest of the BriForum Speakers

Tuesday

    Going Beyond Templates and Clones: Automate Your OS Deployments and Become a Deployment Guru by Mike Nelson

 

    Lie To Me: Using Built-in Windows System Filter in Virtual Desktops by: Benny Tritsch

 

    Completely Configuring Your Desktops via Windows 2008 R2 GPOs: How to Live Without “Registry Hacks” in Your Images! by Ron Oglesby

 

    AntiVirus Strategy and VDI by Vincent Branger

 

 

    A Quick Look at Windows ThinPC by Gabe Knuth

 

 

    Evening: Baseball Game Cubs vs Phillies

 

Wednesday

 

 

    BYOC: Real World Implementation and Implications by Cláudio Rodrigues

 

 

    Show up for my session! Cutting Edge Operational VDI Tips: Prevention of Becoming Bleeding Edge

 

    Windows IOPS Deep Dive: What IOPS Means to You and Why You Can’t Do VDI Without Knowing About Them by Jim Moyle

 

    Project Virtual Reality Check (VRC) Part 2: Latest and Unpublished Results by Jeroen van de Kamp

 

    RDP, RemoteFX, ICA/HDX, PCoIP, EOP, Blaze, and RGS: Remoting Protocols Turned Inside Out v2.0 by Benny Tritsch & Shawn Bass

 

    Evening: Geek Out Event Match your wits and test your skills during this exciting, light-hearted “geek” game show.

     

Thursday

    Mandatory and Default User Profile Tuning by Jon Wallace

 

    Reducing IOPS & Utilization While Improving Performance in VDI: A Guide to Building Consistent, Predictable Virtual Desktops by : Michael Thomason

 

    Catch my flight home to use the new tools\information on Friday