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-

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
4x15k SFF 72GB SAS 6Gbs HDDs
HP P410i RAID Controller (1Gb cache)

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

Continue reading

For a while I’ve been wondering just how well a PCI-Express Solid State drive would work inside a standard off the shelf rack mounted server. Finally I have been given the chance to find out and as it turns out everything works quite nicely.

The solid state in question is a OCZ Revo Drive 3 x2 240GB (from Novatech) and the server is a HP DL165 G7. Both the SSD and the server have the latest BIOS updates and although initially the server didn’t boot past POST after a little tweaking (inside the BIOS of the server) I got everything to work along quite nicely.

Sufficed to say the performance is astonishing even when compared against a RAID array of 15k SAS drives but then again that’s nothing to be surprised about given the SSDs ability to randomly read data from anywhere on the drive without having to wait for a mechanical spinning disk to catch up. 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