May
15

EUC Tip 94: Dedupe your base image with no performance overhead. #Xen #View #RDS

Nutanix uses a scaling approach for sizing the Controller Virtual Machine (CVM) that lives on each node/server in the cluster. 8 GB of RAM is reserved for services like Zeus(config data), Medusa(Metadata), Prism(UI), Cluster Health and Cerebro (DR). Pretty efficient considering all the enterprise features the CVM is delivering. The remaining RAM is used for Stargate which is responsible for servicing IO requests. Of the remaining RAM 40% is used for the extent cache and content cache (Deduped cache).

How Nutanix scales the local cache for dedupe and non-deduped data in NOS 3.5

How Nutanix scales the local cache for dedupe and non-deduped data in NOS 3.5

Stargate RAM = CVM RAM – 8G (typically)
Total Available For Cache = 40% of Stargate RAM
Extent Cache = 60% of Total Cache (typically; but we give at least 4G when possible).
Content Cache = Total Cache – Extent Cache (but min of 1G; otherwise off)

You can see when sizing the CVM between 20 – 24 GB the extent cache stays static. If you have a workload that not using VAAI like using MCS, view composer(non-VCAI) or RDS with the applications built into the base image you can take advantage of the content cache without any overhead of inline dedupe. My simply doing a manual fingerprint(SHA1) of the golden image you can utilize this space. This will save lots of space in the content cache and ensure the most used bits never leave your overall cache even in the advent of a really nasty anti-virus problem.

To manual fingerprint the base image you can log into anyone of the CVM’s and run this command:

nutanix@cvm$ vdisk_manipulator --operation="add_fingerprints" --nfs_container_name="ctr_name" --relative_file_path="vdisk_path"

Replace ctr_name with the name of the container where the vDisk to fingerprint resides.
Replace vdisk_path with the path of the vDisk to fingerprint relative to the container path (for example, Win7-desktop/Win7-desktop.vmdk).

Apr
09

VMware Horizon View 6: Cloud Pods & Windows 2012R2

Only getting accepted into the beta the evening before the NDA was lifted it’s not like I had a lot of time to see and test everything. RDSH support is getting all of the hoopula but for me I had two bucket list items that finally saw the light of day.

The big one for me for was Horizon View Cloud Pod. I’ve been waiting a long time to see this come out because it was a problem I self inflected my former employer with in 2009. I still see lots of people wanting to stretch their View Connection Servers across sites which is a no no due to the java messaging service that needs less than 4 ms to maintain good behavior. Now you can have 4 pods, across two sites, servicing 20,000 users.

Cloud Pod

Cloud Pod

The first glimpse of this came two VMworlds ago, Demystifying Large Scale Enterprise View Architecture: Illustrated with Lighthouse Case Studies with John Dodge. Active\Active DR made easy. F5 and NetScalar still have a place to play but I am not sure yet.

You can assign a sites to your pods and users can have a home site. A home site is the affinity between a user and a Cloud Pod Architecture site. Home sites ensure that users always receive desktops from a particular datacenter, even when they are traveling. If a home site is not setup the Cloud
Pod Architecture feature delivers the nearest available desktop in the pod federation. If all of the desktops in the local datacenter are in use, the Cloud Pod Architecture feature selects a desktop from the other datacenter.

The 2nd great thing is support for Active Directory Domain Services domain functional levels for 2012\2012R2. You can finally install the connection server on 2012\2012R2.

Great day for VMware View shops

Apr
09

Nutanix RA VMware Horizon Suite Overview – 5000 connections & 400 Desktops

In a 2U Block 5000 Horizon Data Connections & 400 desktops

I normally don’t brag but it’s a known secret is I told Steve Poitras to use black marker, you’re welcome.

Oct
10

Two VMware View KB’s – HPET & Storage Accelerator with PowerShell Is A No Go

The first KB I find interesting but I thought I should post the second one because of my blog post on shutting down and bringing up a View environment for time sharing. Apparently if you use PowerShell to do update your pools the Use host caching option in the pool’s Advanced Storage Settings tab gets deselected.

Having HPET enabled in a Windows 7 virtual machine can cause View Agent to become unreachable

View Storage Accelerator becomes disabled when using Powershell to update Automated Pool

Sep
05

Don’t Act a Fool: Use a View Appliance

At VMworld last week I had the pleasure to sit in EUC1494 – Plug and Scale “View Appliance”. This first half of the session the presenters talked about the Rapid Desktop Program and a in house VMware View Config Tool. The tool is for fast View installation from proof of concept to scalable production. The VMware View Config tool was code named Catalyst. Project Catalyst was also the same name used by VMware for a orchestration tool to create Multi-tenant VDI environment using VMware View and vCloud Director(also a great session). The VMware View Config tool had used the name first so I guess it wins! The View Config tool will add hardening practice guidelines and security integration in the future to it’s baseline installation. [Read more…]

May
22

VMware EUC KB articles – May 22nd, 2012

VMware View Manager
Importing an SSL certificate from Microsoft Certificate Authority to a View Connection or Security Server (2016032)
Date Published: 5/18/2012
Attempting to view persistent disks fails with the error: java.lang.IllegalArgumentException (2016056)
Date Published: 5/15/2012
Authenticating Kiosk users in View Manager fail with the error: Unknown user name or bad password. (2017010) [Read more…]

May
17

#VDI Tip 73: Enable SSO for View 5.1

How to enable SSO for View 5.1
• Enable “log in as current user” Client GPO policy
• Edit “Servers Trusted For delegation”
By default, this feature is turned off until you provide a list of View Connection Servers that can authenticate with the “log in as current user.“

May
16

VMware EUC KB articles for the Week of May 14th, 2012

VMware ThinApp

· A ThinApp which includes the .NET Framework generates the message: Event ID: 1101 “.NET Runtime Optimization Service (clr_optimization_version) – 1>Failed to compile:” (2018794)

· Running a ThinApp application fails with the error: License problem: Unable to validate your license (2019985)

VMware View

· Unable to install VMware View Composer 2.7 with Oracle ODBC connectio

· Persona Management fails when Novell Secure Login is installed

· Attempting to view persistent disks fails with the error: java.lang.IllegalArgumentException

Mar
08

#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

VMware SVGA II
Version: 11.6.0.35
Dated: 4/21/2010
VMware SVGA 3D
Version: 17.14.1.42
Dated: 4/21/2010

Not Supported

View 4.0.2 build 294291

VMware SVGA II
Version: 11.6.35
Dated: 4/21/2010
 

Not Supported

View 4.5.0 build 293049

VMware SVGA II
Version: 11.6.37
Dated: 7/16/2010
VMware SVGA II
Version: 11.6.37
Dated: 7/16/2010
VMware SVGA 3D
Version: 7.14.1.49
Dated: 7/16/2010

View 4.6.0 build 366101

VMware SVGA II
Version: 11.6.0.37
Dated: 7/16/2010
VMware SVGA II
Version: 11.6.0.37
Dated: 7/16/2010
VMware SVGA 3D
Version: 7.14.1.49
Dated: 7/16/2010
View 5.0 build 481677 VMware SVGA II
Version 11.7.5.0
Date: 7/12/2011
VMware SVGAII
Version: 11.7.5.0
Dated: 7/12/2011
VMware SVGA 3D
Version 7.14.1.1061
Date: 7/29/2011

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

Mar
07

VDI-IOmark – VDI Storage Benchmarking For People With A Schedule

Translating Max IOPS into how many users you can fit onto a storage array(s) can be a pretty complicated question to ask of someone. Workloads are random between users, different blocks sizes are hitting the storage, AV is getting in the way and the list goes on and on. 20 IOPS per user is big joke in the VDI space. While 20 IOPS may represent the average, the deviation from that number can be astonishing. I encourage you watch Applied Math for VDI Design: A Statistical Approach to Designing VDI Environments. The session was presented at BriFourm last year and now is free. If you watch the video, you will see and understand what you need to be planning for.

VDI-IOmark from Evaluator Group is a tool that can tests your storage subsystem with realistic workloads. IOmeter can only give you simulated IO and not all the crazy behaviors of actual workload. VDI-IOmark uses workload replay from previous work captured from VMware RAWC implementation(View Planner). VDI-IOmark has 64 unique replays. The workloads range from 5 IOPS -20 IOPS on average but have peaks over 100. Microsoft Office(Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook), Internet Explorer, 7zip and Windows Media Player were all used to creat the replay. Boot and steady were also included in the replay. The tests are not dependent on your server platform, switching fabric or storage protocol so that’s a big thumbs up but it doesn need to run on .

The great thing about VDI-IO mark it that requires less the time to configure than building out a full environment. This is great if want to repurpose some old storage and test it our prior too or if you’re a consultant, you can do apple to apple comparisons between different vendors. Also since is each replay file contains 8 workloads test you can test your storage subsystem will less server hardware, you don’t need all the RAM it would normally take in a traditional LoginVSI or View Planner test. It’s always hard to get more money for test gear but people always want to know what the expensive box can do in the datacenter.
[Read more…]