E-Guide: Adding VMware View to your vSphere Environment


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You may have considered VMware View for your desktop environment, but if you are about to make the transition there are certain prerequisites you must keep in mind. In this expert e-guide from SearchVMware.com, discover three tips for easy installation of VMware View 4.5. Get answers to commonly asked questions about choosing licensing and whether or not to create a separate desktop cluster. Also, learn about datastore considerations when migrating VMware View virtual desktops in your environment.

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E-Guide: Adding VMware View to your vSphere Environment

  1. 1. E-GuideAdding VMware View to yourvSphere EnvironmentYou may have considered VMware View for your desktop environment,but if you are about to make the transition there are certainprerequisites you must keep in mind. In this expert e-guide fromSearchVMware.com, discover three tips for easy installation of VMwareView 4.5. Get answers to commonly asked questions about choosinglicensing and whether or not to create a separate desktop cluster.Also, learn about datastore considerations when migrating VMwareView virtual desktops in your environment. Sponsored By:
  2. 2. SearchVMware.com E-Guide Adding VMware to your vSphere Environment E-Guide Adding VMware to your vSphere Environment Table of Contents VMware View 4.5: Three easy installation tips Migrating VMware View virtual desktops: Datastore considerations Resources from Dell and VMwareSponsored By: Page 2 of 8
  3. 3. SearchVMware.com E-Guide Adding VMware to your vSphere EnvironmentVMware View 4.5: Three easy installation tipsBy Brian Knudtson, ContributorCommitting to VMware View 4.5, VMwares desktop virtualization technology, is just thebeginning. A smooth and successful View installation has several prerequisites.A strong, high-performance network is the backbone of any View 4.5 deployment. VMwaresPC-over-IP protocol requires consistent bandwidth to stream virtual desktops to end users.Network reliability is also important because dropped data packets degrade usersexperience.But a robust network is just one requirement for a successful VMware View 4.5 rollout. Inthis tip, I outline three additional factors that can determine the success or failure of a View4.5 implementation: licensing, clustering and the use of subnets and Active Directory.Choosing proper licenses for VMware View 4.5There are two editions of VMware View 4.5: Enterprise and Premier. The Enterprise editionincludes only the basic functionality of View Manager and Security Servers. But Premieradds View Composer, Local Mode, vShield Endpoint, ThinApp and other features.There are two ways to license VMware View 4.5:  Bundles. This option comes with an altered version of vSphere and vCenter thats specifically designed to run desktop workloads. The limited versions run only VMs with desktop OSes and VMs that support the virtual desktop environment (i.e., View Manager, vCenter Server).  Add-ons. This pack is for customers who already have a licensed vSphere infrastructure and want to add virtual desktops.Should you create a separate desktop cluster?Many users create a desktop cluster thats separate from an existing server cluster. Thereare benefits to this approach:Sponsored By: Page 3 of 8
  4. 4. SearchVMware.com E-Guide Adding VMware to your vSphere Environment  Segregation of roles. For security reasons, you can easily separate desktop administrators from server administrators at the cluster level.  Cluster size limitation with View Composer. VMware does not support linked cloning (the core feature of View Composer) in clusters with more than eight hosts.  Different host hardware configuration. Virtual desktops have different workloads than virtual servers, which can lead to different host configurations. To ease management hurdles, most users opt for two clusters, one for each host configuration.  Different High Availability (HA) and Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) rules. In a highly dynamic and stateless View environment, you dont need aggressive settings for vSpheres HA and DRS.But there are drawbacks to operating separate clusters:  Segregation of roles. In your organization, one team may manage both servers and desktops. Also, folders and resource pools can manage granular permissions.  Better utilization of host resources. Best practices dictate that you need at least an N+1 configuration for redundancy. For a two cluster arrangement, two additional servers are needed for redundancy instead of one.Subnet and Active Directory considerations for VMware View 4.5Users should create a new subnet for virtual desktops. This extra network layer allows for aDynamic Host Configuration Protocol scope dedicated to the virtual desktops that can beconfigured to expire leases in a much shorter timeframe.Its also important that Active Directory is smooth functioning and well integrated. Viewrequires Active Directory, and it quickly spotlights any fallacies. Its particularly crucial thatthe Domain Name Servers are properly integrated with Active Directory and that you have agood Organizational Unit and Group Policy structure.Hopefully these pointers will help with your VMware View 4.5 installation. In my next article,I provide tips on how to manage an operational View environment.Sponsored By: Page 4 of 8
  5. 5. SearchVMware.com E-Guide Adding VMware to your vSphere EnvironmentMigrating VMware View virtual desktops: DatastoreconsiderationsBy Jason Langone, ContributorVMware View virtual desktops are merely virtual machines that are running a desktopoperating system (e.g. Windows XP, Windows 7). The VMware View Agent is installed insidethe virtual machine which allows connectivity from an end device running client softwarethrough the VMware View Connection Server.As with regular virtual machines, virtual desktops live on datastores and, as with regularvirtual machines, there may be times when a VMware View administrator needs to migrateexisting virtual desktops off of one datastore and to another. Examples of these timesinclude storage array migrations, storage array firmware or hardware upgrades,troubleshooting datastore performance, permanent relocation, data center migration,storage performance load balancing and so on.Recently, a customer wanted to move a pool of virtual desktops to test out a new loanerstorage array (to help them make a decision on a storage vendor switch).To understand the rest of this article, well need to review some VMware View terminology:  Desktop Pools: A collection of virtual desktops defined by a policy that includes attributes such as power state, protocol, deployment type, et cetera. There are two deployment types within each desktop pool: Full desktops and linked clone desktops (aka View Composer Desktops).  Full Desktops: Traditional virtual machines that each have their own respective virtual disk(s). The virtual disk(s) can reside on one or multiple datastores. Tasks such as patching the underlying Windows OS need to be done on each virtual desktop individually.  Linked Clone Desktops (or View Composer Desktops): Linked clone desktops within a desktop pool are desktops that are all linked back to a single parent virtual machine at a specific point in time (snapshot). Tasks such as patching the underlying Windows OS need to be done only once (on the parent VM).Sponsored By: Page 5 of 8
  6. 6. SearchVMware.com E-Guide Adding VMware to your vSphere EnvironmentMigrating linked clone VMware View desktopsPer VMwares Whats New in VMware vSphere 4.0 article, which announced the graphicaluser interface (GUI) support for Storage vMotion, it clearly states that, "…snapshot mode isnot supported in this release. Snapshots must be committed prior to executing the StoragevMotion session."Committing a snapshot means making the changes permanent and effectively getting rid ofyou’re "save" points. If you dont want to make the changes permanent. Therefore,migrating a Linked Clone virtual desktop to a different datastore as-is is not supported. Ifyou attempt to do this action you will be greeted with, "the virtual machine has a virtualdisk in link-cloned mode that prevents migration."If you try and get sneaky by editing a desktop pool using linked clones, removing theexisting datastore(s), replacing it with the new datastore(s), and then adding desktops tothe pool, the new desktops will still use the old datastores.Why?Linked clones (which use snapshot files) are tied to the unique ID of the datastore uponwhich they reside. It is important to note that Storage vMotions of multiple virtual desktopsis a task that is likely best done after hours when disk and user activity is low.Migrating full VMware View virtual desktopsFor this example, lets say the original datastore is named datastore-old and the newdatastore is named datastore-new.The first step is to ensure that the desktop pool does not have any outstanding provisioningtasks. It is also a good idea to perform this migration after hours when you can suspendprovisioning on the desktop pool altogether.Sponsored By: Page 6 of 8
  7. 7. SearchVMware.com E-Guide Adding VMware to your vSphere EnvironmentIn the settings of the Desktop Pool, add datastore-new as an available datastore upon whichto provision virtual desktops.Manually, en masse or via a script, migrate the virtual desktops in the pool from datastore-old to datastore-new. This migration can be done online with Storage vMotion.Proper VMware View architecture will likely have all of the virtual desktops in a pool residingin a resource pool. Simply highlight the resource pool and select all of the virtual desktopsin the Virtual Machine tab in vCenter. Right click, select Migrate, then select Changedatastore.Once the virtual desktops have been successfully migrated, go back to the desktop pool andremove datastore-old. Moving forward, all provisioning tasks will build virtual desktops onthe new datastore(s).The final step is to re-enable provisioning on the desktop pool.Storage DRS and Storage vMotion: A glimpse into the futureStorage Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS), known as Storage DRS has been discussedfor years. This takes the load balancing concepts of regular DRS and applies them to thedatastore level.What does this mean?We have 100 virtual desktops spread across three datastores, Datastore-A, Datastore-B,and Datastore-C, respectively. Datastore-A is currently under moderate load. For whateverreason, Datastore-B is under heavy load while Datastore-C is doing nothing. The concept isthat Storage DRS could migrate our virtual desktops (which, again remember are simplyvirtual machines) from Datastore-B to Datastore-C using Storage vMotion.The real question becomes: When will Storage vMotion support snapshots?Sponsored By: Page 7 of 8
  8. 8. SearchVMware.com E-Guide Adding VMware to your vSphere EnvironmentResources from Dell and VMwareAssessment Tool – Find out which VMware solution is right for your businessReference Architecture Brief: Dell Virtual Remote Desktop FeaturingVMware View 4VMware vSphere Reference Architecture for Small Medium BusinessAbout Dell and VMwareDell and VMware deliver efficient cloud infrastructure solutions that are fast to deploy, andeasy to manage. The Dell | VMware® alliance is built upon a strong history of workingtogether to test, certify and improve solutions involving VMware® technology on Dellservers and storage.Sponsored By: Page 8 of 8