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E2EVC 2013 Copenhagen Day 2

Already day 2 of the E2EVC Copenhagen 2013 started at earlybirds session running at 8:15. As usual I blogged my experiences of this second day.



The day started early with a session of Shawn Bass called The future of Desktop Virtualization. Shawn started that prediction in the IT market can not be predicted in more than 2 years, otherwise you will predict it wrong. Then Shawn started with how did we get here bij the Gartner prediction of the Hosted Virtual Desktop market and his themes in 2011 (Faster Provisioning, Support hot-desking, rapid desktop dr, shorten down time, stretch lifecycle, support work from home initiatives, support OS migrations and so on). Shawn believes that Hosted Virtual Desktop will grow a lot (Gartner was a bit early with their prediction), VDI will eat Terminal Server's lunch (VDI will become defacto standard). Shawn advises: double down on VDI, don't be afraid of persistent VDI, drive mobility solutions, information security is really important and configuration management/automation/orchestration...cloudy stuff. Shawn dived deeper in the topic Double  Down on VDI: protocols developed a lot on multimedia, also multimedia is used much more on internet traffic, 3D Graphics (nVidia/ATI). Unified Communication was the second topic Shawn discussed, many UC works ok in VDI. Shawn continued with Data Connectivy, comparing the widespread of broadband and 3G/4G connectivities. The differences on possible bandwidth and latency between 3G and 4G were mentioned. Shawn continued with storage space, IOPS and latency. Virtual Desktops take lots of IOPS, calculating VDI storage in average IOPS is a recipe for failure, during boot VDI desktop wil be 90% read, 10% write, during steady state 10-20% read, 80-90 write, read caching solutions like Citrix PVS can help boot storms, but doesn't help write I/O, data access latencies ideally below15/20ms, SSD can resolve IOPS/Latency issues. According to Shawn in 2013 VDI storage problems are within reach. Last topic was licensy complexity in VDI, recapping the VECD and describing VDA and CDL licensing (SA on top of Full Windows, ThinClient/Non-SA $ 100 device/year), companion device licenses are required for employee owned iPad/Android tablet, etc. Actually this is still an issue. 


The second session I attended was 5 Ways to achieve High quality virtual desktops by Stuart Kenney (of EG Innovations). He started explaining who is EG innovations and their monitor product, followed by the challenges of XenApp/XenDesktop environments. EG innovations helps you with 5 things (rapid response when a user has problem, reduce the time from problem to fix, minimise unplanned service outage, optimise current infrastructure, know when/where to add more capacity). Stuart explains how EG helps with those 5 things, including showing the way it's works within the product with clear demos about monitoring and reporting. 


After the lunchbreak I attended the session of Barry Schiffer called Best Hypervisor ever - next generation of XenServer.  Barry started that Xen is the smallest Hypervisor both on use basis private cloud as both in money, followed by the facts of Xen(Server) in the (public) cloud. Barry also showed the featuressheet of Xenserver comparing the free version and the paid version. The power of XenServer according to Barry is the simplicity of the XenServer comparing with Hyper-V or vSphere. Barry shares some tips and tricks: assing more memory to Dom0, virtual networking means Dom0 CPU, check your drivers on the XenServer (also after firmware updates), don't install (HP) Management Pack, check your BIOS settings (c-states). Next topic was the hidden features: Memory Management (balloning when memory is exhausted and Quality of Service (disk, CPU, network). According Barry XenServer is the easiest cluster management ever: create pool (configure networking, configure storage, configure delegation) and add XenServers to this pool. Barry continued with describing the architecture of the current developed version (.Next/Project Windsor). Barry described the XenServer High Availbility requirements/infratructure, before he starts demoing. Barry demoed shared nothing live migration, XenServer Web Self service, XenServer High Availability (DR). 


Helge Klein's session called Real Worlds Persistent VDI was next. Helge's started explaining that the strategic choise was Session Host/XenApp, they choosed VDI to get the remaining workstations into the datacenter. Rules used: everbody got TS access, mobile users get a laptop, for the others an survey was held person per person. Why pooled VDI when you have XenApp,so VDI will be persistent. They also decided to use Window 7 64bit only for VDI with valid reasons (personally I think 32bit is choosed more, because of running apps that won't work with XenApp). They decided to use local strorage, mainly out of budget reasons. To get the IOPS required they used many spindles,15k disks, RAID 10 and Atlantis Ilio. Helge explained also that SSD was not suitable, based on price, performance and support. Next topic was about sizing. Standard VM was 4 GB RAM, 2 vCPU, 100 GB disk multiplied by the amount of users (don't forget the RAM VM overhead). Helge recommends Xeon E5-2670  as a good price/performance ratio. He also discusses the specific requirements for memory for the chosen HP DL380 / CPU type. Helge continued with explaining the calcuation to get the required amount of server looking at different resources (based on CPU and Memory). Next topic was deployment (traditonal software deployment, provisioning, layering, application virtualization or combinations). Helge advises to use the same tools and config for all machines (both physical or virtual). Helge created a script to automate the VM creation. Changes to the VDA port is complex, according to Helge. Helge need to choose the slides because the time was running out. Het picked out NIC hot plugging (adding VMX device.hotplug=false), Named Desktops in WI (SetBrokerPrivateDesktop) and Back-up (Same service level as for physical PCs, so no back-up).