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Thursday, March 28, 2013

HVE Develops end-to-end Pano Migration to VMWare View


Solution Overview

With the abrupt "I'm out of here" by Pano Logic, there are several customers
wondering what to do next. Many of the Pano customers benefitted from a
technology that was cost effective and pretty easy to setup and maintain.

HVE  ConneXions has created a migration plan that will allow end users to continue to
utilize their existing Pano environment
and provide a migration plan utilizing
VMware View technology for desktop virtualization.

Many Pano customers already have several end user devices
deployed and can be reused with VMware View, but still use the Pano broker.

One fundamental issue with Pano was the tethered device vs. device agnostic
approach. With HVE ConneXions migration plan we provide and a comprehensive
strategy that will benefit the use of Pano devices and bring in a technology
that will provide a solid end user computing roadmap for BYOD, lower cost 
Zero Clients and many more features around VMWare View 5.2 to Pano customers without
breaking the bank.

contact info@hveconneXions.com for more infomration regarding this service

Monday, June 11, 2012

VDI Next-Gen Solutions - Forget the past and move on!

Overview

The following article hits the main point of desktop and compute virtualization moving forward. The "old" traditional way to virtualize compute is changing and changing quickly. Companies must either adapt or go by the wayside. The days of the "Big Iron" approach is quickly becoming dinosaurs and companies on server refresh cycles are looking at innovative solutions.

Companies like Tintri, Atlantis and many others are spear heading the road to take over the Big Boys approach to virtualization. With VMWare as the underlying framework and others with solid virtual solutions, several intriguing opportunities are arising for startups. This is Moore's Law at it's best and companies can either adapt or step aside. My prediction is the next set of $10B companies are not common names today...

Refer to the great article below.

Enjoy!!!


http://myvirtualcloud.net/?p=3014

VMWare View 5.1 Implementation

Overview


My company has implemented/upgraded several environments to View 5.1 and the bottom line is I am impressed. There are 2 key features that I am impressed and would recommend any VMWare View Administrator to utilize. The first is the Physical and Virtual Persona management. The second is the performance cache for login storms and per user "learning" of workloads. I recently implemented this in a very active call center utilizing HyVE-100-N's (http://www.hyvesystems.net/) and one word "WOW"!!!! I believe we as engineers and implementation guru's for desktop virualization have come to a frontier of end user compute. The consumerization of this technology is evolving quickly and my belief is VMWare has finally stepped up to and delivered an end-to-end solution.

I recommend reviewing the information on VMWare (http://www.vmware.com/support/view51/doc/view-51-release-notes.html#whatsnew) , but the bottom line is GET READY FOR PURE STATELESS VDI!!!!

Enjoy:)


What's New in View 5.1

VMware View 5.1 delivers important features and enhancements that improve the performance, security, management, and flexibility of virtual desktops. This release of VMware View adds the following new features and support.
  • Advanced storage options that leverage vSphere 5.0 - The following performance optimizations and integration features take advantage of vSphere 5.0 enhancements:
    • View Storage Accelerator uses Content Based Read Cache (CBRC) - CBRC is an ESXi 5.0 server memory cache of common blocks. During peak I/O workloads such as logon boot storms, View desktops can access common blocks of the OS disk and shared applications in the main memory cache, improving performance, enhancing the user experience, and saving storage array costs.
    • Tech Preview: View Composer Array Integration with VAAI - Additional View Composer cloning options leverage the vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI) Native Cloning capability of Network Attached Storage (NAS). Note: The storage vendors developing support for NFS native cloning (VAAI) need additional certification to support the View workload. CBRC is not supported with the NFS native cloning feature.
    • Customizable View Composer disposable disk drive letter.
    • Support for up to 32 hosts in a cluster when Network File System (NFS) is in use. (The former limit was 8 hosts per cluster.)
  • Improved USB support.
  • Radius two-factor authentication support.
  • View Administrator user interface (UI) enhancements - These include context menus, linking to saved View Administrator pages, enhanced table column viewing, and globalization and localization in five languages.
  • Support for pre-created Active Directory machine accounts.
  • Optional customer experience improvement program. View collects anonymous data about View usage to help make View more responsive to customer needs. No user-identifiable data is collected. You can opt in or out of the program at any time.
  • View Persona Management is supported on physical computers - View Persona Management (virtual profiles) can manage user profiles across physical computers and View desktops. Simultaneous sessions are not supported.
  • View Persona Management user profile migration - The View Persona Management utility migrates Windows user profiles from Windows XP to Windows 7. The utility migrates profiles from physical computers to View or from View to View.
  • Standalone View Composer server - View supports the installation of the View Composer server on a standalone machine separate from VMware vCenter Server.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

UPDATED: VMWare View 5.0 Fix for Windows 7 provisioing error: "View Composer agent initialization state error (18): Failed to join the domain"

Overview

I have found some additional information for users experiencing the error noted in the title regarding VMWare View "Failed to Join Domain" errors in View 5.0. Besides the fix noted in the link below, I found that customers that have sub domains will need to ensure the proper DNS servers are setup and used in the DHCP scope for the VDI Desktops. If you use the primary parent domain, but the desktops live in the sub-domain, YOU MUST USE DNS Servers in the sub-domain, not the parent domain. I also recommend using a DHCP scope in the sub-domain as well. The main problem is timing between adding computers to the AD and traversing down to the sub-domain from the parent domain controllers.
http://dharmgolf.blogspot.com/2011/11/vmware-view-50-fix-for-windows-7.html

Also, ensure the DHCP server is setup with the following settings:

I spent several hours cleaning up DNS and sub-domain issues to resolve this problem, and also implemented the fix refered to in the link. After everything was configured correctly with DNS and DHCP, not further issues were reported. The DHCP settings are crucial, since I also ran into some VDI desktops with multiple DHCP address for the same machine, thus causing problems on Windows 7 machines with "unidentified network" status, since routing was fubared.

Good luck..


HyVE Systems - Revolutionary design is changing the VDI market space

Overview
The VDI Market continues to boom, but still not as fast as expected. The main issues revolve around the overall costs for entry into the VDI space and the variety of solutions that customers are being bombarded with…..VMWare View, Citrix XenDesktop, Desktone, Panologic…etc....The solutions are getting out of control. Overall solutions that are Manageable, Scalable, reproducible and predictable equates to overall cost effectiveness for infrastructures and operations. IDC has a great report around the simplicity of VDI (http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/view/IDC-Quantifying-Business-Value-VMware-View-WP.pdf) but I like to add the fact that every centralized solution eventually becomes decentralized. I see the VDI market moving in this direction somewhat with a centralized VDI “Cloud” with VDI “Hotspots” that offers a cost effective high-performance end user experience.
Leading the revolution in this area are smaller, less expensive high-compute platforms that can run 100+ VDI Desktops on a single node. One company, HyVE Systems LLC, is coming out with three (3) unique systems that can be a standalone VDI-In-A-Box solution, clustered VDI solution or a "tethered" VDI solution that expands the reach of existing VMWare View environments. The concept is simple, build a reliable high-compute server that will run VDI desktops efficiently with the best end-user experience on the market that utilized VMWare View 5.x, SSD Drives, Sandybridge CPU's, 1600Mhz memory and Teradici's APEX2800 PCoIP cards....basically, a VDI "Hotspot".
Below are some of the details around their solution:

HyVE Systems LLC


About Us


HyVE Systems was created to combine proven Virtualization solutions with state of the art best of breed hardware to support next-generation Cloud requirements. HyVE Systems engineering philosophy is dedicated to create Manageable, Scalable, Reproducible and Predictable (MSRP) solutions based on proven virtualization technologies running on high-performance next generation hardware, thus resulting in an overall cost-effective and high-performance environment that scales to customers’ needs.
With our MSRP approach to engineering, there are no proprietary interfaces, solutions scale inwards and outwards and provide customers a wide range of open virtualization solutions that will not only meet but exceed expectations. With the demand on next-generation cloud solutions, an entire population of customers are being overlooked, the Small to Medium sized businesses. HyVE solutions can scale from 10 to 10,000 instances with very intriguing Total Cost of Ownership right out of the gate. Our Virtual Desktop solution based on VMWare View provides the lowest cost per desktop in the industry, without jeopardizing quality, reliability and performance.
Bringing Knowledge to the Cloud” is HyVE’s marching orders. Our goal is to empower customers with state of the art cloud solutions that will be cost-effective, meet performance objectives and scale as their organization scales.

 

Fact vs. Fiction - Total Cost of Ownership for Desktop Virtualization


Organizations today are still trying to get their hands around the real cost of Desktop Virtualization. Unless organizations are willing to commit to a 1000+ VDI, certain infrastructure costs just don’t add up in today’s standard virtualization infrastructure. If a customer wants to scale from 100 to 300 to 500, they must spend ~$1500 per desktop when all the components add up. The industry is changing and faster compute and storage is getting cheaper and more reliable. Figure 1 shows an example of the reality of traditional VDI in the Academic space.
This is where the HyVE solutions can bridge that gap. A typical HyVE solution scales with a fixed cost of ~$200.00/Desktop (or less) across the board, where the traditional Virtual solution starts at ~$1500.00/Desktop and scales down to at best ~$700/Desktop at 1500 instances then remains consistent due to infrastructure costs.
 HyVE-100 and HyVE-200 Systems drive this cost down for initial deployment and expansion initiatives and will meet the target objective across the board for customer’s expectations.

 

Solution Overview


HyVE Systems utilizes the industry leading Stack from VMWare to build Cloud based applications. VDI, Server Applications, etc. are all build on the proven VMWare stack below. By utilizing the open interfaces, scalability and overall quality from VMWare, HyVE Systems can focusing on engineering solutions that scales to meet a wide range of customers and their requirements. Having the engineering agility of the open platforms allows our engineers to develop unique solutions for our customers.

Desktop Virtualization on the vSphere Stack


HyVE Systems are engineered on a highly optimized platform to utilize VMWare vSphere stack and VMWare View to provide a high-performance and cost-effective solution. This solution provides a low TOC entry point for customers wanting to take advantage of all the benefits of VDI and also can be utilized to expand an existing VMWare View environment without expensive infrastructure costs associated with expansion. 
VMWare View 5.x is part of the existing vSphere applications suite that provides the best of desktop performance, operations and MSRP in the industry. HyVE utilizes VMWare View along with Teradici’s PC-over-IP APEX2800 Offload engine cards to provide the best end-user experience in the industry.

Configurations


HyVE Systems utilizes the standard VMWare View configurations, engineered specifically for our platforms. The fundamentals of the configuration do not change with our HyVE base solutions, rather only enhanced for performance, optimization, cost and operations.
 HyVE Systems VDI Solution encompasses the best end user experience in the industry with our engineering expertise. Our engineers focus on all aspects of end user desktop experience, which is device agonistic and solution orientated, as noted below in Figure 3.

HyVE Product Portfolio


The HyVE Virtual Desktop Infrastructure consists of two (2) modes of Operations (VDI Control and VDI Compute) running on the same hardware architecture platform. This makes the HyVE architecture scalable with single pane of glass operations and compute. With the combination of Intel Sandybridge CPU’s, 1600MHz Memory, SSD Storage and Teradici’s APEX 2800 offload card, this HyVE platform is making tremendous in-roads to provide seamless high-quality end user experience on any device.
The first configuration is the VDI Control Node configuration. This configuration combines all the required Virtualization management servers along with virtual desktops running on the same HyVE server. Although the preferred mode of operation is to leverage existing server virtualization infrastructure for management and control server, the VDI Control node can provide powerful stand alone architecture than can support several HyVE VDI Compute nodes.
The second mode of operation for the HyVE solution is the “pure” VDI Compute node. This configuration provides a very powerful standalone VDI compute platform, much like a VDI “cloud” hotspot. With the segmentation of user persona’s, the HyVE compute nodes can provide a boost to centralized infrastructure VDI solutions without the overhead of infrastructure cost or provide a remote drop-in VDI solution that is very powerful and managed centrally.

Software Components of the HyVE include the following:


1)      Vmware vCenter Server with View Composer Service
2)      VMWare View Connection Broker(s)
3)      Persona management file server
4)      VMWare Utility Servers
a.      Teradici Management Console
b.      VMWare Data Recovery Manager Server
c.   VMWare Windows 7 Base Image(s)


Friday, December 30, 2011

VMWare View 5.0: Teradici Zero Clients experience rapid "black/white screen" at login

Overview

Recently, I have observed an annoying issue with Teradici Zero Clients (Wyse and Samsung) while users are logging into the device. After authentication, the virtual desktop display starts rapid "black/white screen" on the display while waiting to finalize login. I tracked the problem down to the windows 7 PCoIP video driver trying to adjust to the resolution of the monitor attached to the Zero Client. Although this does not impact the overall connection most customers just live with the "screen blinking", personally I don't like it! The Windows, Mac and Smartphone clients work just fine, but with the resolution changes recommended the connections seem to be much quicker at startup.

So, through much testing with zero clients, thin clients, ThinLaunch (which rocks BTW) and end user connection validations to VMWare View environments, I believe I found a easy work around for this issue.

Resolution

The issue is with the base image configuration for VMWare View deployments. By Default, a virtual machine in vSphere 5.0 is not set to "Auto Detect" video settings. Secondly, the default screen resolution is commonly changed on the base image for console access from 800x600 to something larger for better console display. The base image is used as the golden image so all desktops inherit VM settings. In certain situations with Thin and Zero clients, the embedded agent does not react well with display changes from default settings and the view agent needs to utilize the Auto Detect VM settings rather than adjusted settings.

Note: 3D Rendering with VMWare View is still on my Radar Screen and so far, working AWESOME!!!!! However, I need to validate infrastructure impact to reference architectures.

So, in conjunction to the standard base image customization, please perform the following additional adjustments:

1) Set the default base image to Auto Detect on the Video Settings when the VM is powered off:


2) Set the default resolution on the base image to 800x600:



After these settings are performed the image resolution and login to the Zero Clients from Teradici will perform much better without the blinking screen.

Please feel free to comment.

Enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

VMWare View 5.0: Port Information for Internal and External access

Overview

In recent deployments and upgrades of VMWare View 5.0, customers are really starting to realize the concept of the "Follow Me Desktop". When the VMWare View environment is setup correctly for end user access,  a single access URL can be easily setup to provide seamless access to VDI environments using BYODs (Bring Your Own Devices) for internal and external access (and just a "cool" solution to provide end user access to perform critical business activities in a secured manner anytie/anywhat/anydevice).

This blog focuses on the internal networking requirements to provide seamless external and internal access to VMWare View environments.

Solution

To provide seamless access via single URL access, please understand that from the URL provided to end users, Windows and Mac users, can download the installation software by just pointing their browser to the URL (smart devices are done via "market"). Now, for the IT Department, there is some effort required to make sure everything gets setup correctly. Below are the steps and diagrams to utilize for this configuration:

1) Determine load balancing setup. Some customers cannot invest the monies into a F5 or Cisco load balances, so DNS round robin can do the trick, by assigning a multiple IP addresses internally and externally to the same DNS name. I will not go into the hardware solution setup at this point.

2) Understand the port requirements and DMZ setup (diagrams below) end to end. EVERYONE MISSES PORT 4172 TCP AND UDP BOTH DIRECTS ON THE EXTERNAL and INTERNAL FIREWALLS!!!!!



3) Don't be afraid to NAT the Security Server internal IP Address from the External access IP. I usually setup a separate vSwitch for DMZ Access in this environment for my Security servers, setup layer 2 security and drop another vNic into production for "backend firewall to desktops". If you have a good network intrusion protection scheme, which you should at this point, use it!!  Please refer to the documentation at http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/view_pubs.html for View Brokler setup and configurations.

4) Two (2) factor authentication and tags are supported to block users from external access. Again refer to admin documents on the setup, but it works great.

5) Use any device access for clients, test on wired/wireless networks and DOCUMENT. I am really impressed with Teradici Management Software to provide seamless provisioning and access to thin clients (Vonage VDI...This is a whole 'nother level for a blog), ThinLaunch software to re-purpose devices and smart device support for VMware View clients.

6) Did I mention DOCUMENTATION!!!! Document the "how to guide" for end users to ease the operations support. One of the main selling points of this technology is the ease of operations, support, rapid deployment, updates and ease of access.

That's it...Happy New Year and 100,000 desktops in 2012!!!!!

Dave