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Monday, June 11, 2012

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


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.


VMWare View 5.1 Implementation


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 ( 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 ( , but the bottom line is GET READY FOR PURE STATELESS VDI!!!!


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"


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.

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

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 ( 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.


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)