Just within 2 days after my blogpost about Xendesktop says goodbye to vSphere on vSphere anymore with the new license model, VMware published a document which “introduces” the vSphere 5 for Desktops license. This is the exact same license as a vSphere 5 Enterprise Plus license, only there is no vRAM limit, you’re only allowed to use it for desktop VMs and it is priced per powered on VM.
We are happy again
What happens to the example I used before:
I need to host 500 Windows 7 desktop VMs on a cluster. Each VM needs 2 GB of vRAM. Suppose I can host 7 VMs per core and I use servers with 2 CPUs with 6 cores each. Per server I’m able to host 2*6*7= 84 VMs. Because of the memory technologies used in vSphere, I don’t need 84 x 2GB = 168GB RAM in each server, but 128GB RAM should be enough (I know, it depends, but it’s an example and pretty close to what I see in real environments). Using 6 of these servers, I’ll be able to host 504 VMs. For this calculation, let’s use 500 VMs.
In a lot of VDI deployments VMware vSphere is used as the hosting platform. There a couple of reasons that you can think of about why this is:
- The company uses VMware vSphere as a platform for virtualizing their servers. They don’t want to manage other types of hypervisors for the VDI environment, so they want vSphere for their VDI as well.
- VMware vSphere has multiple memory management technologies (TPS, ballooning, Memory compression) which work extremely well in an environment where the VM’s are very similar.
- In case of VMware View, there is no choice of hypervisor, vSphere is the only option.
In case of Xendesktop deployments (or Quest vWorkspace or other VDI vendors that supports vSphere), VMware vSphere is often used because of the first two reasons. This may change this year,
unless VMware takes action.
UPDATE: I’ve just learned that VMware will release a Desktop edition of vSphere 5. This is very good news!
“A vSphere Desktop edition – This was quietly added on the partner SKU list for non-View VDI implementations. This provides a low cost hypervisor for XenDesktop implementations (a fairly common occurance).” (source: Knudt Blog)
Do you remember when you first saw Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect in action? Playing games without a controller! It looked kind of dumb at first, people standing in front of a TV making exaggerated and weird moves, but when you tried Kinect yourself for the first time, it was fun to do and it worked pretty well. However, after a while it turns out that Kinect is a 1.0 version with it’s own limitations and you’ll have to wait for a year before new games will come out that use all the capabilities of the Kinect.
This is kind of the feeling I have now about Ericom AccessNow for VMware View, the HTML5 client for VMware View. At first you think it’s probably not that good without a “real” VMware View client installed, but once you try it, you’re amazed how easy it is to setup and use it. After a short while, you’re starting to see the limitations the product still has and you’d rather wait for a next version which has more features and has a better user experience.
Using Group Policy preferences (GPP) is a great way to configure computer and user settings like mapped drives, printers, scheduled tasks, services, and Start menu settings. However, when using GPP in a non-persistent VDI environment, you have to be careful with one specific feature… … Continue Reading
Finally we’ve completed phase 3 of Project VRC. For the past months we’ve worked very hard and performed a lot of tests to compare VDI workloads and the results are very interesting, to say the least. If you’re interested in VDI, Windows 7 (on vSphere) and IOPS you really should read this whitepaper!
This whitepaper is focused on VDI; Windows XP and Windows 7 are extensively compared running on vSphere. For example; the I/O behavior of Windows XP and Windows 7 is investigated in detail. By evaluating the different phases of a desktop workload, completely new insights and best practices are given.
It’s great to see what kind of impact tweaking Windows and vSphere has on IOPS and number of users you can get on a VDI-host (which will lower the cost per desktop).
Also read the blogpost about the release of this VRC whitepaper.