VMware Horizon View 6 + Nutanix: Full Clones? No Problem!

View Composer was original designed to save capacity for Horizon View and then later was used to fix the IOPS issues for VDI. Nutanix can quickly provision machines without the need of View Composer and provide performance with it’s global flash pool and smart metadata.

Any Horizon View Admin at some point has probably had to deal with a View Composer issue at some point(same is probably true for MCS). Maybe the database gets out of sync with vCenter, the View Composer credentials gets unknowing changed or someone deletes\moves the computer account of your golden images. Using Nutanix VMCaliber Clones 400 Full Clone desktops can be created in 49 Min! Only 4 more minutes than using View Composer with VCAI

The machines clones in 8 – 12 seconds per desktop but the image being sysprep vs quick prep which View Composer provides is where the difference in time is accounted for.

Test Results – 8 node cluster – 2 * 3460

Sysprep causes ~20% increase in IOPS vs Quick Prep. The reads will be mostly served from cache so it’s not a big deal. Also most people that use full clones use them as persistent desktops and combine inline dedupe so they can leverage existing application deployment tools instead of having separate ways to deal with both physical and virtual desktops.

Keep it Simple Stupid!



VMware Horizon View 6 – Impact of VCAI

View Composer Array Integration with Native NFS Snapshot Technology (VAAI) started off at tech preview in View 5.1 but now is fully supported. Below highlights the impact of not having VCAI support if you’re using View Composer in your environment to deploy desktops.

Nutanix supports VCAI

Everything on the lefthand of the line is a result of not having VCAI support. Your golden image has to be copied over to recreate the new replica image as thevbase for the new desktops. Over 11,000 IOPS are used in this example and over 700 MBps of bandwidth consumed. Then times this by how many golden images your team is supported plus the extra time it takes to create the copy the image over. There is also impact to users that have to work during the maintenance period.

If you’re using VCAI your deployment journey would begin to the right of the line. Nutanix fully supports VCAI and also can give the ability to deploy full clones without View Composer.

45 minutes to deploy 400 desktops with VCAI
Time is saved by not having to do the full copy and VCAI does provide better caching of reads on Nutanix as well. Without VCAI it would have been north of 50 minutes and the performance tier would have be used instead of keeping it to deliver great user experience.

What to see this in action at VMworld? Stop by the both 1535 for a demo.


#VDI Tip 59: Speed Up Provisioning of Linked Clones

The below picture was taken from View Best Practices White Paper but what does it all mean?

pae-SVICreationRampFactor and pae-VCAIIRefitRampFactory are used to set the rates for provisioning with the VMware View composer database. I suspect VMware set it low to acomdate users that install the software on old test equipment and wouldn’t be able to handle the load. You wouldn’t want to lose a proof of concept now would you?:-)

While pae-VCAIIRefitRampFactory still remains a mystery to me, I was able to track down some information on pae-SVICreationRampFactor.The maximum value for pae-SVICreationRampFactor is 50. If this value is set to be larger than 50, the value 50 will be used. Adjust this number cautiously and not ramp it up to high right out of the box. For my testing I left it at the recommend values. When I was composing 10 machines with the default values vs new values I saw a decrease of 2 minutes. If you look at the chart above it looks like 10 machines comes close to where the default settings had a spike. While 2 minutes with 10 machines is not that big of a savings, spinning up a DR would have lots of value with this setting. It’s also interesting that pae-SVICreationRampFactor also speeds up the deletion of machines.

If you’ve ever have had to do maintenance work on a weekend you will appreciate this setting. I will try to continue to dig for pae-VCAIIRefitRampFactory information but it seems to be an uphill battle.

For informatkion on how to backup and connect to the ADAM database click here.

You can change the settings by going here:

Thanks goes out to my TAM Shawn Bertin for helping me out late at night to find out this information.