Come find out how the Pure Storage Flash Array can help you acheive awesome status on your XenDesktop and XenApp deployments.
Biggest question around sizing your VDI usually comes down to sizing the storage.
Some of the solutions team created a pretty cool sizing whitepaper a few months back. Which inspired me to create this web based calculator. It is not meant to do everything in the whole world.
Just give a quick and easy VNX setup.
UPDATED May 26 – New links included Mike Brennan’s latest blog going into the testing and details of the CVD – http://blogs.cisco.com/?p=114587
Scaling CVD for XenDesktop and EMC on Cisco <—-NEWEST Version of the paper!!!!
Back a few months ago I shared about the joint reference architecture that was able to boot and login 5000 users in 30 minutes. Using the Cisco UCS running VMware vSphere, with Citrix XenDesktop and an EMC VNX 7500. Cisco and Citrix answer a few questions with Craig Chapman on the joint validated design in this video:
I really like this layout and it usually takes pretty pictures to get me interested. Here is a high level overview of the design.
Some of the original CVD links:
Updated May 2013
Solution Brief from Cisco 4000 Users
Update May 24, 2013 – More links:
No matter what you do to accelerate, optimize and transform your desktop environment (physical or virtual) if the presentation is sub-par, no one cares. The common message from any vSpecialist when it comes to EUC (End User Computing, VDI is so 2011) is focus on the end user experience. Make it easy to access my data and applications from anywhere at any time and I am a happy user.
This is something I really believe in. Having delivered VDI (or TS) solutions in the past, starting as a Citrix Metaframe XP administrator. So when I noticed this webcast I wanted to be sure share it with everyone. EMC is a huge place and there is ALWAYS something going on, but I wanted to take special notice when Cisco, EMC, VCE and VMware team up with a focus on getting the end user experience done right.
Save the date and sign up! August 22, 2012 11:00 AM EDT / 8:00 AM PDT.
So sign up now here: http://bit.ly/vdia22
What to expect?
When it comes to EUC there are so many “best” practices out there many times you just need someone to tell you what works. I will take a few seconds to detail the high level bullets I always share with customers when speaking about EUC.
- From the EMC perspective it often relates to putting the right data in the right place. When using Flash drives to lower cost and footprint knowing how VDI I/O works is very important.
- Also from the EMC realm is the amazing impact FAST Cache can have on these deployments vs. trying to account for all unexpected I/O with spinning media. This additionally lowers your cost and spindle count. That is right, someone at EMC saying buy less drives.
- Use the money you save to put more RAM in your Cisco UCS B – series blades. Memory being the second bottle neck after storage when it comes to your VDI role out.
- Speaking of memory make sure you use the best hypervisor for consolidation and memory management. vSphere 5 is still years ahead of even the promised products from the other guys. The TCO picture for hardware is ONLY part of the story, so make sure you get every last drop out of those Cisco UCS blades.
- Lastly, if you want to deliver this in a tested and proven manner AND you realize your time to market is critical, EMC VSPEX and VCE Vblock take the world’s best components and software and make it work for you. No more testing for 9 months before pushing the go button.
Get to the WEBCAST Already
Once again, if you are exploring, testing, POC’ing, or running in production VDI in any way shape or form. Join the webcast on August 22 and see when EMC and Cisco have in store.
Save the date and sign up! August 22, 2012.
So sign up now here: http://bit.ly/vdia22
EMC Reference Architecture -one of many…
From the Cisco Site <-Cisco UCS / EMC VNX RA
This happened a long time ago. I arrived at a customer site to install View Desktop Manager (may have been version 2). This was before any cool VDI sizing tools like Liquidware Labs. I am installing ESX and VDM I casually ask, “What apps will you be running on this install?” The answer was, “Oh, web apps like youtube, flash and some shockwave stuff.” I thought “ah dang” in my best Mater voice. This was a case of two different organizations thinking someone else had gathered the proper information. Important details sometimes fall through the cracks. Since that day, I try to at least uncover most of this stuff before I show up on site.
Even though we have great assessment tools now, remember to ask some questions and get to know what is your customers end goal.
Things I learned that day. As related to VDI.
1. Know what your client is doing, “What apps are you going to use?”
2. Know where your client wants to do that thing from, “So, what kind of connection do you have to that remote office with 100+ users?”
This is not the full list of questions I would ask, just some I learned along the way.
I was looking for last couple weeks for a good way to re-purpose PC’s as thin clients to ease the investment in VDI. I stumbled across this PDF from VMware and I thought it was great. I would tend towards using group policy to deploy the new shell described on pages 3 and 4. It can always be undone if the PC is needed as a PC again.
You pretty much replace the default shell (explorer.exe) with the VMware View Client. I would suggest using some group policy to keep people from using the task manager to start new processes. This should be a temporary solution until you have budget to buy some real thin clients or net books even.
There are of course lots of options out there for thin clients, and software to provision a “thin OS” to machines. This is free and easy though. I thought it was cool so I decided to share.