Archives for March 2012


VDI Bandwidth Guessing Game gets Help From Login VSI

Login Consultants today announced the new Client Side Performance Testing module for Login VSI. The current 3.5 version can test maximum number of sessions that can be handled by the servers in the datacenter. It allows to make sure all your configuration don’t lead to some unforeseen accident when you hit full load in production.

The new Client Side Performance Testing module will be included as an option in Login VSI Pro 3.6. The Beta version of this new module will be available without additional cost to all current Login VSI Pro customers with active support. Pricing for this optional module for new and existing customers was not annoucned.

Client Side will help to get insight into the responsetime, the capacity of the Wide Area Network (WAN), the effect of differentremote protocols and WAN acceleration solutions. Testers will get to objectively measure and analyze the performance of remoting protocols such as VMware PCoIP, Citrix ICA/HDX, Microsoft RDP and Quest EOP.
[Read more…]


Violin Snags Another Top Notch Exec – Victim VMware

Narayan Venkat, former VP of VMware Cloud Business is the newest person to come over to Violin Memory. Narayan joins a notable list including Garry Veale, HP’s former VP of EMEA’s StorageWorks Division and Jonathan Goldick, former CTO of OnStor. These new individuals plus the talent from Fusion IO that came when Donald Basile, CEO of Violin Memory took over in 2009 are forming a Mercenary Team of Flash Performance.

Narayan, as the New VP of Product Management mission at Violin will be to bring feature rich parity to the Hypervisor world. It’s obvious that vSphere is on the top of the list for Violin but when I asked about Hyper-V both Narayan and Matt Barletta, VP of Product Marketing where quick to answer with a yes. Both Matt and Narayan were very excited when they where talking about Violin’s grass roots in database performance and their plans to tackle Tier I applications that were left off sitting on physical hardware.

Toshiba was the inventor of NAND flash and has made a significant investment in Violin Memory. This gives Violin access to a supply chain and tools to make sure that their flash can work at scale. Adding additional size to your arrays to handle wear levelling will not work at this scale. It’s also worth noting Toshiba hasn’t invested in an American company in 8 years, I think that says a lot about what Violin is accomplishing.

Violin is leaving two empty X86 sockets on thier storage arrays that allow for features to be added to the arrays without affecting performance. Today you only get raw speed but snapshots, VAAI, replication will be coming down the pipe. It also brings opportunity to bring the application to the data. Lately all efforts have been bringing the IO to the compute, I like the change in direction. The empty sockets will also allow for dedupe to happen, not sure if it will be inline or not. All said it will be interesting to see what develops.

Violin isn’t the only one doing Flash today but strong leadership and finalical backing can go along way. If Violin can deliver on the hypervisor, they might have a change to unseat the old boys club on top of the storage stack. I look forward to seeing what Narayan can deliver at his new post. Narayan had VMware’s EUC vision all but memorised when we talked so I am hoping that Project Horizon and Octopus have a small home on some flash array somewhere.


#VDI Tip 67: Run the PCoIP Managment Console on vSphere Without Converting

Teradici offers a great little appliance to manage all of your PCoIP devices. It doesn’t matter if your Zero Clients are from Wyse, Samsung or some company you never heard of before. If the device is a Zero Client, the Teradici Management Console has you covered.

You should be running your Teradici Management Console(MC) in your management cluster. When you download the MC from Teradici it’s meant to be ran on VMware Player or Workstation so the instructions tell you to use VMware Converter but this is a waste of time.

1. Open the VMX file with NotePad
2. Delete the first line of code “.encoding = “windows-1252”
3. Save the file
4. Copy the VMX and VMDK to the proper datastore
5. Right click on the VMX file and add to the inventory
6. Upgrade the VM to version 8
7. Remove the Network Card
8. Add a New Network Card, I used the Flexible adapter
9. Power on the VM
10. It will tell you to reboot again
11. Done

If you’re going to have less than 2,000 Zero clients in your environment use a DNS service record to configure your devices. If you’re going to have more than 2,000 Zero clients you can configure your devices via DHCP. The DHCP option was available when the 3.5 Zero client firmware was launched.

Note: Teradici is only supporting 2,000 devices per MC.


The Gem of VMware View 5.0.1 – Persistent Desktops Get Some Help

If you have to run persistent desktops and your user base is transient or not needing access to their desktops all the time, 5.0.1 was a good release for you. You now have option to let them start where there they left off and potentially squeeze some more users onto your infrastructure. Below is taken from the release notes for View 5.0.1.

Previously, you could configure dedicated View desktops to be suspended if users had logged out but not if they had disconnected without logging out. This issue has been resolved so that you can now configure dedicated View desktops to be suspended when users disconnect. This functionality helps to conserve resources. To enable “Suspend on disconnect”:

Open ADSI Edit.
In the console tree, click ADSI Edit.
From the Action menu, select “Connect to.”
In the “Select or type a domain or server ” field, specify the server name as localhost:389.
Under “Connection point,” click “Select or type a distinguished name or naming context “, and then specify the distinguished name as DC=vdi,DC=vmware,DC=int and click OK.
The ADAM ADSI Edit main window appears.
Expand the ADAM ADSI tree, and expand OU=Properties.
Select OU=Global and select CN=Common in the right pane.
Select Action > Properties, and under the pae-NameValuePair attribute, add new entry suspendOnDisconnect=1.
Restart View Connection Server.

NOTE: Beware of your storage footprint with VMSS file. VDI Host Memory will equal the same size of VMSS file.


VMware View privilege escalation and cross-site scripting – Security Advisory

Yesterday VMware released a patch yesterday that affects View 4.6 and lower. View 4.0 is affected but will not being getting patch. Yet another reason to upgrade.

VMware Security Advisory

Advisory ID: VMSA-2012-0004
Synopsis: VMware View privilege escalation and cross-site scripting
Issue date: 2012-03-15
Updated on: 2012-03-15 (initial advisory)
CVE numbers: CVE-2012-1508, CVE-2012-1509, CVE-2012-1510, CVE-2012-1511

1. Summary

VMware View addresses privilege escalation and cross-site scripting

2. Relevant releases

View 4.6.0 and older.

3. Problem Description

a. VMware Virtual Desktop Display Driver Privilege Escalation

The VMware XPDM and WDDM display drivers contain buffer overflow
vulnerabilities and the XPDM display driver does not properly check
for NULL pointers. Exploitation of these issues may lead to local
privilege escalation on View virtual desktops.
[Read more…]


#VDI Tip 66: Be Master of your Universe – Pre-Upgrade Tip

This tip is more for a consultant or if you’re walking into a new environment. Make sure you are both a Administrator on the Server and on the View Console before attempting an upgrade. Easily overlooked if have Admin rights of the View console.

To double check before hand, run the export of the ADAM database from the command line. Doing it from the Admin console won’t verify it.

vdmexport > myexport.LDF

This will verfiy your administrative access. If you’re not an administrator in both areas the upgrade can fail and replication may break as the ADAM database will get corrupt. You’ve been warned, go fourth and be Master of your Universe and upgrade to 5.0.1!


Book Giveaway: View 5 Desktop Virtualization Solutions

Thanks for coming to my End User Computing Blog. I appericate the support and any feed back you can give. To say thank you to the community, I will be giving away the new VMware View 5 Desktop Virtualization Solutions by Jason Langone & Andre Leibovici. The winner will get the Print + eBook bundle.

Just a leave a comment related to VDI. Could be that your looking at implementing VDI , you love it, how you use it, anything! I’ll take the names and put them into a hat and let one of my daugthers pick it out of a hat(very scientific). The contest is open to the UK, US, Europe and selected countries in Asia(due to shipping) and will close once the book is GA.

    This book is a complete guide to planning and designing a solution based on VMware View 5
    Secure your Visual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by having firewalls, antivirus, virtual enclaves, USB redirection and filtering and smart card authentication
    Analyze the strategies and techniques used to migrate a user population from a physical desktop environment to a virtual desktop solution
    A learn-by-example based approach that focuses on key concepts to provide the foundation to solve real world problems


Over a Year and 60 + VDI Tips Later

It has been over a year now of blogging on and it’s a been lot of fun. I just started off doing VDI tips on twitter but found I could provide more value through a blog. I am happy to contribute to a wonderful community as I have been on the receiving end many times. Below are my Top 5 since the blog has been up and running. The list is based on what I like, not on how many hits I have received.

The Best VMware View PowerShell Variable – Tell them to Reboot

#VDI Tip 52: Rat A Dat Dat, better Thin Dat (Picked because of the Title)

Get Your VMware View Health Check Sent To Your Inbox

No Desktops, Big Problems

#VDI Tip 58: Backup All Of Your Components At The Same Time


PowerShell Integration with VMware View – The hidden document

It’s times like this I am very happy to be on twitter. Today Matt Lesak posted a link to the PowerShell Integration with VMware View 5.0 document. He mentioned it was updated but I never remember even seeing it before so I happy to see this bad boy. The only document I can recall is the VMware View Integration document and PowerShell was only a small chapter in it.

The VMware View Integration has information on:

Integrating the Event Database
Customizing the LDAP
Intergrating with SCOM
PcoIP Session Statistics/WMI

PowerShell Integration with VMware View 5
is 20 pages of goodness including some great sample scripts on:

Add or Remove Datastores in Automatic Pools
Add or Remove Virtual Machines
Inventory Path Manipulation
Poll Pool Usage

The rest of the VMware View 5.0 documents can be found at:

Enjoy the Midnight reading!


#VDI Tip 65 – Repeat After Me – Tools and then the Agent

Anytime you upgrade the VMware tools on your VDI image you need to reinstall the View agent again. The tools can replace the VGA driver and end up causing blurriness, disconnects or no connection at all. I found a nice table at the Teradici website and in a VMware KB that you can reference.


Windows XP

Windows Vista

Windows 7

View 3.1.3 build 252693

Dated: 4/21/2010
VMware SVGA 3D
Dated: 4/21/2010

Not Supported

View 4.0.2 build 294291

Version: 11.6.35
Dated: 4/21/2010

Not Supported

View 4.5.0 build 293049

Version: 11.6.37
Dated: 7/16/2010
Version: 11.6.37
Dated: 7/16/2010
VMware SVGA 3D
Dated: 7/16/2010

View 4.6.0 build 366101

Dated: 7/16/2010
Dated: 7/16/2010
VMware SVGA 3D
Dated: 7/16/2010
View 5.0 build 481677 VMware SVGA II
Date: 7/12/2011
Dated: 7/12/2011
VMware SVGA 3D
Date: 7/29/2011

VMware KB: The PCoIP server log reports the error: Error attaching to SVGADevTap, error 4000