Virtualization

The articles below delve into the wonderful energy saving world that is Virtualization. For the uninitiated Virtualization is the art of running multiple operating systems on a single item of physical hardware (commonly a server).

As promised to those that came along to the recent VDI Demo Day the PowerPoint slides are below with the video playlist above.

  1 - Intro Slides (583.2 KiB, 1,365 hits)

  3 - Fitzharrys School - Presentation (1.2 MiB, 1,866 hits)

  5 - App-V - Presentation (531.1 KiB, 1,369 hits)

The day covered a wide range of topics from how to setup a Citrix VDI-in-a-Box proof of concept, the options for thin clients from 10zig and how to take things one step further with Application Virtulisation through App-V.

I feel that the day was quite the success with 20 people from 16 schools attending, not only did we have people from our county of Oxfordshire come along but also as far as Bedfordshire and London.

Either way now its back to work, after all this backup server and Lync phones won’t set up themselves!

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Virtual Desktops on PCI-E SSD

One of the great things about VDI is the ability to create a ‘golden image’, that’s one single image that includes the OS and Software which can be accessed from any endpoint. Whatever VDI software you go with will then take that golden image and duplicate it multiple times to provide the desktops for your users.

However this masse creation of desktops can cause a bit of a IO overload…..one problem of many that a SSD can solve….

Continue reading

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Virtual Desktops on PCI-E SSD

In this series I am going to be looking at how PCI-E SSDs can be used with VDI, I’ll be covering the hardware in use, the user experience and also why I believe PCI-E SSDs to be the best option to get your virtual desktops running as fast as possible. Continue reading

For quite some time now we’ve had the odd thing that all the clocks on our Citrix VDI-in-a-Box virtual desktops have been out by 7 hours. First thought was that the sysprep process was putting in the wrong timezone however if this was the case then surely there would be some people having the same issues and posting up on the Citrix forums?

After a little digging I found that the clocks were only out when logging in from our 10zig thin clients. As it turns out the 10zigs all had their timezone settings set to Phoenix in the USA (the homebase of 10zig) and so were 7 hours out. This can only mean that the thin clients (I guess through HDX) were telling the Virtual Desktops to match up with their time zones.

A quick change in the settings of the thin clients soon sorted it out and now all the clocks are showing correctly. The two screen shots below show the places you want to be looking at to update the thin clients to your own timezone-

If you have ever tried to push Windows Live Essentials (particularly Movie Maker/Photo gallery) through App-V you may have come across this error…

Couldn’t install programs
Couldn’t install these programs: Photo Gallery and Movie Maker

It looks like another program is preventing the installer from working.
Error: 0x80070643
Source: wllogin-amd64

The reason behind this is Windows Live Essentials is trying to install a service (Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant) however App-V is mucking something up in the process of it doing that and as such the installer fails.

The simple solution is to therefore disable the service vitalization feature in App-V!

The steps to take to do this are shown in the two screen shots below

Also you may find it useful to use the offline installer version of Windows Live Essentials (just saves the wait while it downloads over the Internet and also allows you to run the installer even if you have a proxy server).

The link to the offline installer can be found on this page on the Windows Live website – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-live/essentials-install-offline-faq

For the past few days I’ve been doing a little performance testing to see just how much an influence RAID cache makes when provisioning Virtual Desktops.

The test was to create 20 virtual desktops and see how long it takes to get the first one spun up and ready for use and then to see how long it took to get all of the desktops ready for use.

The tests were conducted using-

Citrix XenServer
Citrix VDI-in-a-Box
HP DL385 G7 Server
8 core 2.0ghz HE AMD Opteron Processor
44GB DDR3 RAM
4x15k SFF 72GB SAS 6Gbs HDDs
HP P410i RAID Controller (1Gb cache)

the results (all times in mins and seconds) were-

Continue reading

This is old news really but either way HP have updated a number of server models to include the new AMD Opteron 62xx processor series.
The beefiest of all being the Opteron 6282SE which comes with 16 cores each packing 2.6ghz of clock speed. Naturally this kind of speed comes at a high TDP (in this case 140W) especially when compared to the highly conservative Opteron 6128HE (8 core 2.0ghz) which chews through a TDP of just 85W. Continue reading

We all love VDI – it makes things simple to look after desktops but sometimes the back end is a little complicated. That’s where Citrix VDI-in-a-box comes in use!

With many other VDI products you will find that the setup process is all about getting the SAN ready, getting various installations of Windows server ready and then getting the VDI management/provisioning/connection broker software running – all of which takes a very long time.

The magic of VDI-in-a-box is in its simplicity which can be summed up in a few key points-

  • No need for a SAN – your compute nodes just have local hard disks, the ‘golden image’ is then replicated and duplicated locally on each compute node. Continue reading