Documenting a virtualization project

Experiences in Virtualization

View3: Deployment Notes

Posted by martijnl on February 9, 2009

After a particularly difficult View3 implementation I have some notes / lessons learned / best practices:

  • Triple check Firewall / Port / vLAN ACL’s when your virtual desktops are in another network segment / vLAN than the Connection Broker is. This can be either for a security server deployment or just the use of vLAN’s with ACL’s
    • Connection problems are usually linked to an error in configuring the above or
  • Make sure the VMware hosts and related servers are correctly configured in DNS (with an FQDN)
  • Make sure you know which general domain policies are applicable because general domain policies will be in effect on the virtual desktops as well
  • Make sure that you put the virtual desktops in a different OU in the Active Directory to be able to put specific policies on those machines and prevent policies that are applicable on your physical desktops to be executed on the virtual desktops
  • Check the applications and the requirements for deployment. If you are planning to use non-persistent pools with an application that requires user specific configuration to be done on login check to see if you can script around that. Especially if you want to use non-persistent desktops that are destroyed after first use
  • Size your environment carefully. There are statistics for # of desktops per Core and # of desktops per LUN etc. If you run Outlook in combination with one or more plugins (archiving solution, Outlook integrated functionality such as Dynamics CRM etc.) plan for a significant amount of memory in the virtual desktop (>1GB arrives quickly and for some applications the recommended memory is 2GB+). There is some gain because of the VMware ESX transparent page sharing but test this before settling on your final server spec and a target # of desktops per host
  • Make sure you relocate user folders and swapfiles to keep the virtual machine (especially necessary when using linked clones) as small as possible
  • Apply the recommendations in the .pdf from this VMworld session to the template machine: VDI hints and tips
  • Check if you need additional tools for multimedia applications above and beyond the standard MMR functionality (if you are using thin clients check with the manufacturer what kind of tools they have. Examples: Wyse / Panologic)
  • Check if application deployment is done on a per user basis or on a per machine basis. This can influence the type of desktop pools that you can use for different use cases

2 Responses to “View3: Deployment Notes”

  1. Hi Martijn,

    I was just wondering what sort of broad numbers you ended up with regarding # VDI’s per core/server? I know the number will always be variable but was just wondering?

    Cheers,
    Dave

  2. martijnl said

    Hello Dave,

    For this particular setup we are running around 2-3 VM’s per core concurrrent. But that’s because around half the virtual machines are in standby because there is no demand for them. I would imagine 4-5 concurrent would be possible and that is with dual quad core Intels and 40GB of RAM in the (Dell PowerEdge) server.

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