VBLOCK™ SOLUTION FORKNOWLEDGE WORKERENVIRONMENTS WITH VMWARE VIEW4.5© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved.   1
Table of ContentsPurpose ....................................................................................................
Appendix ....................................................................................................................
PurposeThis document describes the Solution Architecture for VMware View 4.5 for managing virtual desktops on theVblock™ I...
 A simplified desktop environment with pre-integrated, validated units of infrastructure providing virtualized  compute, ...
Solution ArchitectureIntroductionIndividual laptops and desktops are managed as standalone entities residing outside of th...
The following diagram shows the Vblock 700 infrastructure for the VMware View 4.5 Solution Architecturetopology.   Figure ...
 Centralized Virtual Desktops: a method of managing virtual desktops that enables remote sites to access  virtual desktop...
such as Microsoft Excel, Word etc. For this SA a list of applications and operations that are representative of a         ...
User ProfileIn the context of this Solution Architecture a virtual desktop user is assumed to a be high-end knowledge work...
This SA presents results of testing 768 desktop users per chassis of UCS blades. The UCS B-series bladechassis used in thi...
by the charts in the figures below. The average response times increased by an average 15% when the numberof desktops incr...
vSphere Server UtilizationThe charts below show the resource utilization of one representative blade server during the ste...
Figure 6.               Memory Utilization© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved.   14
Storage MetricsVMAX Front End IOPSFigures 9-14 plot the Symmetrix VMAX front-end IO characteristics with 768 and 1536 user...
Figure 8.               Symmetrix VMAX Front End %Busy for 768 Users   Figure 9.               Symmetrix VMAX Front End Th...
25% Front End Busy   Figure 10.              Symmetrix VMAX Front End IOPS with 1536 Users   Figure 11.              Symme...
Figure 12.              Symmetrix VMAX Front End Throughput for 1536 UsersBackend StorageThe charts below show the corresp...
35% Disk busy   Figure 13.              Symmetrix VMAX Backend IOPS for 768 users   Figure 14.              Symmetrix VMAX...
35% Disk busy   Figure 15.              Symmetrix VMAX Backend IOPS for 1536 users   Figure 16.              Symmetrix VMA...
booted at the same time (boot storm event). The back end IOPS scale linearly as the number of desktops doublewhile the dis...
Scaling ConsiderationsIn this SA we have seen that virtual desktop environments can be scaled by either scaling the Vblock...
If the level of concurrency is changed, for example only 80% users may be concurrent in an enterpriseenvironment due to ge...
ReferencesWorkload Considerations for Virtual Desktop Reference Architectureshttp://vmware.com/go/view4rawcVMware View Ref...
AppendixThe appendix is included in this document to provide the characteristics of knowledge worker, configuration,networ...
Since the operations in a desktop typically happen at discrete intervals of time, often in bursts that can consumelot of C...
Assumptions: UIM has been pre configured on the Vblock platform according to the installation guide.5. LAN Cloud Configura...
6. Storage Array (EMC Symmetrix VMAX) ConfigurationA single engine Symmetrix VMAX system in the Vblock was used for testin...
b. Symmetrix Virtual Provisioning Pool and LUN’sA single virtual provisioning pool named „vcevdipool‟ was created from Fib...
7. VMware Virtual Infrastructurea. VMware vSphere ESX/ESXi ServerIn this VDI environment, there are a total of 8 ESX serve...
8 VMware View 4.5In this environment, a single view connection server was used to handle 1536 Virtual Desktops. The follow...
In addition, the event database was configured for logging all the events occurring. The following figure shows theconfigu...
ABOUT VCEVCE, the Virtual Computing Environment Company formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel,acc...
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Vblock Solution For Knowledge Worker Environments With VMware VIEW 4.6

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Vce vdi reference_architecture_knowledgeworkerenvironments

  1. 1. VBLOCK™ SOLUTION FORKNOWLEDGE WORKERENVIRONMENTS WITH VMWARE VIEW4.5© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 1
  2. 2. Table of ContentsPurpose ............................................................................................................................................... 4Audience .............................................................................................................................................. 4Scope ................................................................................................................................................... 4Solution purpose .................................................................................................................................. 4Business Challenge ............................................................................................................................. 5Technology Solution ............................................................................................................................ 5Solution Architecture ........................................................................................................................... 6 Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 6 Vblock Series 700 MX Infrastructure Platform ................................................................................ 6VMware View 4.5 Architecture ............................................................................................................ 7Validation and Workload Characterization .......................................................................................... 8 Test Harness ................................................................................................................................... 8 User Profile.................................................................................................................................... 10Validation Results .............................................................................................................................. 11 Application response times ........................................................................................................... 11vSphere Server Utilization ................................................................................................................. 13 CPU Utilization .............................................................................................................................. 13 Memory Utilization ......................................................................................................................... 13Storage Metrics.................................................................................................................................. 15 VMAX Front End IOPS .................................................................................................................. 15 Backend Storage ........................................................................................................................... 18Scaling Considerations ...................................................................................................................... 22Key Findings ...................................................................................................................................... 22Additional Considerations .................................................................................................................. 23Conclusion ......................................................................................................................................... 23References ........................................................................................................................................ 24© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 2
  3. 3. Appendix ............................................................................................................................................ 25 1. Characteristics of Knowledge workers ...................................................................................... 25 2. Applications and operations representative of Knowledge Workers......................................... 25 3. Vblock Configuration Details ..................................................................................................... 26 4. Unified Computing System Configuration ................................................................................. 26 5. LAN Cloud Configuration .......................................................................................................... 27 6. Storage Array (EMC Symmetrix VMAX) Configuration ............................................................. 28 7. VMware Virtual Infrastructure.................................................................................................... 30 8 VMware View 4.5 ...................................................................................................................... 31© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 3
  4. 4. PurposeThis document describes the Solution Architecture for VMware View 4.5 for managing virtual desktops on theVblock™ Infrastructure Platform and specifically the Vblock Series 700 MX.AudienceThis document is intended for use by sales engineers, field consultants, advanced services specialists, andcustomers who will configure and deploy a virtual desktop solution, which centralizes data and applications toprovide desktops as a managed service.ScopeThis document provides an overview of a VMware View 4.5 solution on the Vblock 700. Enterprises which havevarious types of users such as knowledge workers, task workers and power users, are planning, testing, andtransitioning from a physical desktop/laptop to a virtual desktop environment. The workload characteristics of eachof the users in an enterprise environment differ. The IO profiles required for virtual desktops vary, based on thetype of user, type of use, and types of applications installed onto the virtual desktop. Task workers generateworkloads that tend to be network centric whereas knowledge workers and power users generate workloads thatexercise the compute and storage components of the infrastructure supporting the virtual desktop environment.This Solution Architecture (SA) explores a virtual desktop solution designed for Knowledge Workers, and buildson a previously written Solution Architecture (SA) entitled “Vblock Powered Solutions for VMware View 4.5Reference Architecture”. The previous SA was based on the Vblock 1U, and examined a virtual desktop solutionbuilt for high-end Task Users. Both the previous SA and this architecture utilize and test the B200 M2 blades aspart of the UCS compute, within the Vblock platform.The following aspects are addressed within this SA: An architectural overview Performance validation results Descriptions of the hardware and software components used in the configurations for the compute, storage, network, and virtualization pieces of the solution Information for configuring a Vblock Series 700 for deploying VMware View 4.5Solution purposeThe VMware View Solution on the Vblock 700 allows: Consolidation of the desktop environment into one infrastructure behind the firewall, making it easy to update the operating system, patch applications, ensure compliance, perform application migrations, and provide support from a central location. The Solution delivers a consistent user experience for employees, whether they are at corporate locations, conducting travel, or located at a remote office. Using this solution, less time is spent reacting to regulatory compliance and security issues and more time adding value to the business.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 4
  5. 5.  A simplified desktop environment with pre-integrated, validated units of infrastructure providing virtualized compute, network, and storage resources. With validated configurations, one can significantly reduce the time spent on test and development, and therefore time to production, and to revenue generation, is accelerated.VCE has built integrated, validated infrastructure packages called Vblock platforms, built from best-of-classcomponents for compute, network, storage and virtualization, from Cisco, EMC and VMware. These platformsallow for massive consolidation and rapid provisioning of compute, network, and storage resources on an on-demand basis.Business ChallengeThe challenges related to traditional desktop deployment and day to day administration, include, lost laptopscontaining corporate data, security breaches related to viruses or hackers, to simply ensuring IT resources canmaintain the required service level agreements (SLAs). In addition to the challenges of operational management,IT must also consider implications of broader system wide issues such as compliance, corporate governance, andbusiness continuity strategies.Technology SolutionEnterprises are turning to virtual desktop technologies to address the operational and strategic issues related totraditional corporate desktop environments. VMware View provides a virtual desktop environment that is secure,cost effective, and easy to deploy. VMware View also has the capability to meet the demanding needs of thedifferent types of user profiles whether on the corporate LAN or on the WAN. Combining VMware with the Vblockplatform ensures a high level of user experience, which in turn means acceptance of the virtual desktopdeployment within organizations.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 5
  6. 6. Solution ArchitectureIntroductionIndividual laptops and desktops are managed as standalone entities residing outside of the datacenterenvironment and are not always subject to an organization‟s information security, backup and recovery, andapplication usage policies. As enterprises and IT organizations require more secure and efficient means formanaging corporate resources, the need to bring all of these resources under the control of a centralizeddatacenter managed by IT becomes of paramount importance. VMware View and Vblock technologies both offerthe capabilities for a centralized datacenter managed by IT. This Solution Architecture (SA) has been designed asa low impact, cost-effective approach to bring all of these resources under the control of the data center usingVMware, Cisco, and EMC technologies, while providing a rich, single view of an end-user‟s applications and data.The SA explores how a multi user desktop environment can be virtualized using VMware View, the Vblockplatforms and provides a template that can be used to implement virtual desktop deployments. We present ourfindings on the number of desktops that can be scaled with a fully populated Vblock 700, as well as the impact onuser experience, within a virtualized desktop environment.Vblock Series 700 MX Infrastructure PlatformThe building blocks of a Vblock 700 comprise core technologies that together provide template-basedvirtualization. Using template-based virtualization to allocate and provision resources, an enterprise can: Reduce performance bottlenecks and configuration errors through automation of resource configuration tasks Enable the rapid deployment of resources using a template, thereby reducing operational expenses and costs.Cisco‟s Unified Computing System is the backbone of the virtual infrastructure, providing a data centerarchitecture for administrators that is easy to use and manage. The platform, optimized for virtual environments, isdesigned with open industry standard technologies and aims to reduce TCO and increase business agility. Thesystem integrates a low-latency, lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet unified network fabric with enterprise-class, x86-architecture servers. The system is an integrated, scalable, multi-chassis platform in which all resourcesparticipate in a unified management domain. The Vblock platforms support the B200, B230, the B250 and theB400 blades in a chassis. The right choice of blade is dependent on CPU and memory requirements of theapplications hosted on the system.EMC‟s Symmetrix VMAX and infrastructure technologies provide administrators with the tools to manage andmaintain each end user‟s data and applications in the virtual desktop infrastructure. Using the Symmetrix VMAXstorage array and a host of best-of-breed software applications, administrators have a comprehensive set ofsolutions to maintain administrative and security policies. Users of the Symmetrix VMAX will benefit from provenVMAX 99.999 percent availability and innovative technologies like Enterprise Flash drives, Fully AutomatedStorage Tiering (FAST) and Virtual Provisioning. The virtual matrix architecture of the VMAX provides bothscalability and resiliency by ensuring that there is no single point of failure when a component fails.VMware‟s vSphere 4.1 provides the cloud operating system. The Vblock 700 converged infrastructure adopts theESXi Hypervisor Architecture. ESXi has an ultra thin footprint and sets a new bar for security and reliability. Withnew memory management and expanded resource pooling capabilities, VMware vSphere 4.1 accelerate theevolution of datacenters and service providers into cloud computing environments.PowerPath V/E is included for intelligent path routing and optimized load balancing across all Vblock platforms.EMC PowerPath/VE enables customers to improve performance, and simplify, standardize and automate pathmanagement across physical and virtual environments.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 6
  7. 7. The following diagram shows the Vblock 700 infrastructure for the VMware View 4.5 Solution Architecturetopology. Figure 1. The Vblock Series 700 and VMware View 4.5 Solution ArchitectureVMware View 4.5 ArchitectureUsing VMware View‟s virtual desktop infrastructure technologies, which include VMware View Manager‟sadministrative interface, desktops can be quickly and easily provisioned using templates. The technology permitsrapid creation of virtual desktop images from one master image, enabling administrative policies to be set, andpatches and updates applied to virtual desktops in minutes, without affecting user settings, data, or preferences.The VMware View 4.5 key components are: View Connection Server: This acts as the broker for client connections. It authenticates the users through the Active Directory and then directs that request to the virtual desktop. View Client: Client software for accessing the virtual desktop, from a Windows PC, a Mac PC, or a tablet. The administrator can configure the client to allow users to select a display protocol such as PcoIP or RDP. View Agent: Enables discovery of the virtual machine used as the template, for virtual desktop creation. Additionally the agent communicates with the View client to provide features such as access to local USB devices, printing, and monitoring connections. VMware View Manager: an enterprise-class desktop management solution that streamlines the management, provisioning, and deployment of virtual desktops. The View Manager is installed at the same time as the connection server, and allows the user to administer the connection server. For this SA a single instance of the view manager was used for deploying and managing both the 768 and 1536 desktop environment.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 7
  8. 8.  Centralized Virtual Desktops: a method of managing virtual desktops that enables remote sites to access virtual desktops residing on server hardware in the datacenter VMware View Composer: an optional tool that uses VMware Linked Clone technology employing a master image to rapidly create desktop images that share virtual disks. This conserves disk space and streamlines management.The following figure illustrates the VMware View physical architecture. Figure 2. VMware View ArchitectureValidation and Workload CharacterizationThe “Test Harness” describes the environment, the choice of tools used for validation, and the procedures usedfor the workload characterization. The “User Profile” describes the end user workload environment and simulationused in the validation. The “Validation Results” presents the results for the ESX host memory and CPU utilization,and the storage metrics, using both IOPS and Response time.Test HarnessThe objective of the validation and workload characterization was to define a workload and run profile for runningvirtual desktops on the Vblock 700. The View Planner tool was used. VMware View Planner is a virtual desktopworkload generator and sizing tool that enables the measurement of the performance characteristics of thevarious components of the VDI deployment such as ESX servers, virtual desktops and the backend storage.There are two steps involved in using View Planner:1. Define a workload profile – The first step is to define a workload where the user can specify the applicationsthat need to run. These applications can range from simple applications such as a web browser to applications© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 8
  9. 9. such as Microsoft Excel, Word etc. For this SA a list of applications and operations that are representative of a 1knowledge worker were chosen . In addition to defining the applications to run, the user also needs to define thenumber of iterations that the defined workload needs to process along with a „think-time‟. This is the time betweenvarious operations; examples of operations are editing a document or closing a web browser. These twodefinitions together form the workload profile as shown in the figure below.2. Define a Run Profile – The second step of the procedure is to create a Run Profile that is used to associatethe workload profile created in the previous step with a set of VM‟s that will execute the defined workload. Thefollowing parameters were specified when creating the Run Profile: Number of VM‟s – Number of VM‟s to run the workload Run Type – The run type can be Local, Remote or Passive. The Local run type runs the workload locally on the virtual desktop. The Remote run type executes the workload through a client such as a physical desktop connected to a virtual desktop. The Passive run type runs the workload on several virtual desktops using a single physical or virtual desktop client. Display protocol – The display protocol can be specified as either RDP or PCOIP and is associated with a set of Active directory groups. Each active directory group consists of a set of users on the VM‟s.1 Appendix, 2: Applications and operations representative of Knowledge Workers.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 9
  10. 10. User ProfileIn the context of this Solution Architecture a virtual desktop user is assumed to a be high-end knowledge worker 2whose characteristics are described in the appendix . Each virtual desktop is equipped to run a workload thatsimulates typical user behavior, using an application set commonly found and used across a broad array ofdesktop environments. Each virtual desktop user was created on a 64-bit Windows 7 desktop with 2 GB of RAM.The View Planner workload profile was defined as an application set, which consisted of Microsoft Office 2007applications – MS Word (Document editing), MS Outlook (Email), MS PowerPoint (Presentations) and MS Excel(Spreadsheets) and Adobe Acrobat Reader, Internet Explorer, WinZip, Mozilla Firefox and Windows MediaPlayer. The think time for this workload was defined to be 20 seconds and the number of iterations was defined as8. Based on the think time and the words per minute used for this validation, this workload can be consideredequivalent to that of a high-end knowledge worker.Two workloads were run 768 desktop users on one UCS chassis and other common hardware, and 1536 desktop users on two UCS chassis of the same kind and other common hardware.The later workload was executed to show the linear scaling capabilities of the Vblock 700. The hardware is 3described in detail in the appendix section of this document .2 Appendix, 1: Characteristics of Knowledge Workers.3 Appendix, 3: Vblock configuration details.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 10
  11. 11. This SA presents results of testing 768 desktop users per chassis of UCS blades. The UCS B-series bladechassis used in this testing and validation effort is capable of supporting 8 half-width blade servers at full capacity.Each blade had two 10G converged network adapters to carry network and storage data. Each chassis waspopulated with eight B200-M2 blades running the Intel Xeon 5600 CPU chipset and 96 Gb of RAM. The eightblades in each chassis were configured as a VMware HA cluster managed by a single VMware vCenter 4.1server. The virtual desktops were hosted on datastores, which were mapped to LUN‟s on the Symmetrix VMAXstorage array.The Symmetrix VMAX system was setup so that the configuration can scale with the number of desktops. For the768 desktop configurations, 4 VMAX front-end ports were used along with a cache partition of 25% and 48backend Fibre Channel 450GB disks. For the 1536 desktop configuration, 4 VMAX front-end ports were usedalong with a cache partition of 50% and 96 backend Fibre Channel 450GB disks. 4This testing and validation effort employed two VMware View desktop pools . Each desktop pool consisted of 768desktops and was deployed on a single UCS chassis consisting of 8 blade servers. The validation infrastructure 5fits the profile of a small to medium-scale VMware View deployment. For this testing, 12 to 24 datastores (12datastores for 768 desktops and 24 datastores for 1536 desktops) were created and used to store the Windows 7-64bit linked clones. All of the linked clones were created from the same parent virtual machine. This configurationresulted in 64 VMs on each datastore as per VMware‟s best practice recommendation. 6A separate cluster consisting of two ESX hosts was used to host the common infrastructure components, suchas Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, and VMware View Manager, needed for an enterprise desktop environment,.Each desktop infrastructure service was implemented as a virtual machine running Windows 2008 R2. Theinfrastructure cluster also hosted load clients (also known as "witness" clients). These witness clients had theView Client 4.1 installed in a Windows XP VM. An automated approach was used to launch a View client on eachwitness VM and then establish a session with a corresponding Windows 7 desktop. This closely simulates anactual deployment of View 4.5 within an enterprise.Validation ResultsThe most critical metric in a virtual desktop validation is the end user application response time. In this envelopetesting, the system was optimized such that the end user response time for any application activity was less than3 seconds. As expected, when the number of users was increased by adding an additional blade the applicationresponse time increased only marginally. The validation effort also focused on ensuring that the backend storagearray response time was lower than 1 ms, in order to ensure exceptional I/O performance characteristics. TheCPU and memory characteristics provide information on the behavior of a representative blade used in thevalidation.Application response timesThe overall application response times as measured by the open and close times of the various MS Officeapplications are shown in the charts below. When 768 desktop sessions were hosted on the UCS chassis, itmeant the 96 Windows 7 desktops were running the end user simulation workload on each blade in the chassis.Similarly, the 1536 desktop sessions show the response time characteristics when the number of Windows 7desktops running on each blade remained the same due to the addition of another UCS Chassis. The increasedload on the front end ports of the storage array resulted in increasing the application response time as illustrated4 Appendix, 8b: Virtual desktop pools.5 Appendix, 7c: Virtual Infrastructure - Datastores.6 Appendix, 7a: Virtual Infrastructure – VMware Vsphere ESX/ESXi server.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 11
  12. 12. by the charts in the figures below. The average response times increased by an average 15% when the numberof desktops increases from 768 to 1536. Figure 3. Application response time with 768 users Figure 4. Application response time with 1536 users© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 12
  13. 13. vSphere Server UtilizationThe charts below show the resource utilization of one representative blade server during the steady state. Similarcharacteristics were observed on the remaining blades of the test harness.CPU UtilizationFigure 5 illustrates the CPU utilization of a representative ESX server. Each server hosted 96 user desktops. It isevident from these figures that the CPU utilization is high and close to 95% in both cases (768 users and 1536users). It is worthwhile to note that the high CPU utilization is due to the fact that the ESX servers are seeing astable workload from many users who are all running similar types of applications, due to the workloads generatedby View Planner. The workload generation tool, View Planner generates stable workloads from multipleapplications simultaneously, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Windows Media Player etc. Figure 5. CPU UtilizationMemory UtilizationFigure 6 illustrates the memory utilization of a representative ESX server from the cluster hosting the virtualdesktops. Each UCS blade was configured with 96 GB of physical RAM. With each blade running 96 desktopsessions, respectively, memory is being over-committed. ESX allows for the over-commitment by usingtechniques such as page sharing, ballooning, and swapping to disk. All of the above memory over-commitmenttechniques were observed during the testing and validation effort. Ballooning and swapping activity were observedin each test case and were found to be the same as the desktop environment scaled from 768 desktops on oneUCS chassis to 1536 desktops on two UCS Chassis. Although the ballooning of memory appears to be very highin the above figures, architects should not be worried that this is a problem. User experience in desktopenvironments is affected only if the swapping activity is high and in our test environment, the swapping activitywas low, and there was no degradation in perceived user experience.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 13
  14. 14. Figure 6. Memory Utilization© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 14
  15. 15. Storage MetricsVMAX Front End IOPSFigures 9-14 plot the Symmetrix VMAX front-end IO characteristics with 768 and 1536 users. Figures 15-18provide storage characteristics on the backend directors and disks of the array. 7 Front End Ops/sec Minimum Average Maximum (Peak IOPs / Activity) 768 Desktops 134 573 1651 1536 Desktops 258 1250 7640 15% Front End Busy 8 Figure 7. Symmetrix VMAX Front End IOPS (4 Front End Ports) with 768 users7 The maximum number within the table represents the IOPs experienced during peak activity (boot-storm) on the FEports of the VMAX. The above and proceeding graphs show the maximum IOPs experienced on all FE ports during thedesktop „steady‟ state.8 The graph displays the IOPs on each VMAX FE port (see Legend) during the desktop „steady‟ state.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 15
  16. 16. Figure 8. Symmetrix VMAX Front End %Busy for 768 Users Figure 9. Symmetrix VMAX Front End Throughput for 768 Users© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 16
  17. 17. 25% Front End Busy Figure 10. Symmetrix VMAX Front End IOPS with 1536 Users Figure 11. Symmetrix VMAX Front End %Busy for 1536 Users© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 17
  18. 18. Figure 12. Symmetrix VMAX Front End Throughput for 1536 UsersBackend StorageThe charts below show the corresponding statistics from the backend of the Symmetrix VMAX storage array. Itcan be clearly seen that as the number of virtual desktops is scaled from 768 to 1536, the backend disk statisticsscale almost linearly – the backend IO‟s increase about 80% when the number of desktops is increased from 768to 1536 while the %disk busy remains the same at about 35%. This is due to more disks were added when theenvironment was scaled from 768 to 1536 desktops.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 18
  19. 19. 35% Disk busy Figure 13. Symmetrix VMAX Backend IOPS for 768 users Figure 14. Symmetrix VMAX Backend %Busy (Average) for 768 users© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 19
  20. 20. 35% Disk busy Figure 15. Symmetrix VMAX Backend IOPS for 1536 users Figure 16. Symmetrix VMAX Backend Disk %Busy (Average) for 1536 usersThe steady state IOPs on the Symmetrix VMAX front-end ports are approximately 573 for 768 users and 1250 for1536 users. The utilization (%busy) of the front-end ports is an average of 15% for 768 users and 25% for 1536users. It is important to note that the front-end utilization and IOPS increase significantly when all the desktops are© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 20
  21. 21. booted at the same time (boot storm event). The back end IOPS scale linearly as the number of desktops doublewhile the disk utilization remains almost the same. This is due to 48 additional disks were added when the desktopenvironment was scaled from 768 to 1536 desktops. From the above charts, it is clear that as the environment isscaled from 768 desktops to 1536 desktops, by adding a new UCS chassis and storage resources, the IOPS andother storage operations on the Symmetrix VMAX system scale linearly.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 21
  22. 22. Scaling ConsiderationsIn this SA we have seen that virtual desktop environments can be scaled by either scaling the Vblock platform byadding additional UCS blades and VMAX engines or using the next generation of UCS blades which offer betterperformance characteristics. One of the goals of virtualizing a physical desktop/laptop environment is to providean optimal user experience. The user experience in a virtual desktop environment is a function of the performanceof the server on which the virtual machines are running and the performance of the storage IO subsystem.Further, the performance of a server depends on the bandwidth supported in its CPU and memory as well theconcurrency of the applications that are running on it. Virtualized desktop environments have a mix of applicationswith varying degrees of concurrency. For such environments the number of users that a single blade can supportwill increase.Key FindingsOur findings indicate that a fully populated Vblock 700 with Symmetrix VMAX containing four ports on the frontend and supporting up to 24 Datastores on the backend and two chassis of UCS blades can supportapproximately 1536 Windows 7 virtual desktop users with 100% concurrency (All users are generating IO‟s withtheir workloads at the same time). The test results demonstrated, as expected, that CPU utilization scales linearly as additional users are added with an additional chassis and additional storage resources. These tests were performed with Windows-7 desktop VMs configured with 2 GB of RAM, which is the high-end configuration for a virtual desktop. As such, memory resources are over-committed and there is ballooning and swapping activity on each vSphere host. From a practical standpoint, a typical enterprise desktop deployment will see a mixture of desktop operating systems, each configured differently. As such, a lower CPU and memory utilization can be expected in such deployments. 9 The storage architecture utilized during this validation effort leveraged advanced features of the Symmetrix VMAX array. These features allows for capacity and performance being available for secondary storage capabilities including backups, replication and maintenance. The Vblock platform provides flexibility at the hardware layer by allowing a choice of CPU and memory configurations that can benefit the underlying virtual desktop infrastructure. The Vblock 700 platform with VMAX storage is thus an ideal platform for running virtualized desktops and provides operational efficiencies that will help drive down TCO and increase ROI.The results above demonstrate that a Vblock 700 with 2 UCS chassis, 4 front end VMAX ports and 96 disksis capable of running 1536 Windows 7 desktop sessions running the knowledge worker user profile workloadwith View Planner. Scaling up to 3072 desktops can be achieved by adding 2 more UCS chassis along with4 more front end ports and 96 more disks. With a single engine Symmetrix VMAX one can implement avirtual desktop environment of 3000 desktops. Further scaling can be achieved by adding more VMAXengines and UCS Chassis. A fully configured Vblock 700 with 8 UCS chassis and 6 VMAX engines cansupport up to 6144 concurrent desktops. This is based on the assumption that each B200 M2 blade in theUCS chassis can support 96 desktops/users with 100% concurrency and applications that have high IOrequirements. If further scaling is desired on a single blade in the chassis, then architects should considerusing the next generation B230 blades, which have the next generation Intel Westmere CPU as well asexpanded memory.9 Appendix, 6: Storage Array configuration.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 22
  23. 23. If the level of concurrency is changed, for example only 80% users may be concurrent in an enterpriseenvironment due to geographic location of users, or if many users run applications that do not have highrequirements on the disk IO subsystem, then an even higher number of desktops can be supported. Itshould be noted that the 96 desktops per UCS blade (B200 M2) and by extension 6144 desktops on a fullypopulated Vblock 700 is a limiting/maximum value with 100% concurrency. Knowledge workers who havehigh expectations from the disk IO subsystem, and this solution will not accommodate any failures such as ablade failure or bursts of IO‟s from a few desktops in the architecture. To accommodate component failuresand bursts of IO activity from a few desktops in the deployment, architects should insure that the Vblock 700is provisioned appropriately and not to the limits mentioned in this paper.As discussed earlier, architects should note that if the level of concurrency or the demands on the disk IOsubsystem is reduced, each blade could support a higher number of desktops. All these considerationsshould be part of the architecture for a virtual desktop deployment.Additional ConsiderationsIn any virtual desktop deployment, data center services such as backup, recovery, security and businesscontinuity aspects need to be considered. These considerations may impose additional restrictions on scalabilityand performance. VCE provides in-depth discussions on solutions that address these use cases.Conclusion 10The SA for VMware View 4.5 powered on Vblock 700 enables organizations to quickly, and predictably, deploycentrally managed, secure, server-hosted virtual desktops. The VCE Vblock 700 validated infrastructureenvironment is a key enabler because the compute, network, and storage environments are tightly coupled, whichin turn drives IT simplicity and greatly eases manageability. The technical validation of VMware 4.5 on Vblock 700confirms the capability to host a large number of virtual desktops running knowledge worker type workloads, witha high degree of concurrency that is characteristic of large enterprise environments.10 Appendix, 5: LAN Cloud configuration.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 23
  24. 24. ReferencesWorkload Considerations for Virtual Desktop Reference Architectureshttp://vmware.com/go/view4rawcVMware View Reference Architecturehttp://www.vmware.com/resources/techresources/1084VMware Viewhttp://www.vmware.com/products/view/VMware vSphere 4http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/VMware vSphere 4 Guidance for Modifying vSphere‟s Fairness/Throughput BalanceFurther tuning of the Intel Xeon processors is possible to reduce high CPU utilization. Setting the fairness CPUalgorithm can drop the CPU utilization by up to 15%. The following KB article provides guidance on setting theCPU optimization parameter.http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&externalId=1020233&sliceId=1&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&dialogID=130531572&stateId=0%200%20130535567Cisco UCShttp://www.cisco.com/go/unifiedcomputingCisco Data Center Solutionshttp://www.cisco.com/go/datacenterCisco Validated Designshttp://www.cisco.com/go/designzoneEMC Symmetrix VMAX Familyhttp://www.emc.com/products/family/symmetrix-family.htmEMC PowerPath/VEhttp://www.emc.com/products/detail/software/powerpath-ve.htm© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 24
  25. 25. AppendixThe appendix is included in this document to provide the characteristics of knowledge worker, configuration,networking, and storage details.1. Characteristics of Knowledge workersThe table below outlines the various characteristics of a knowledge worker type user who is the primary user typefor the virtual desktop environment described in this paper Characteristic Knowledge Worker CPU (Cumulative) of moment of decline 60-65% I/O Pattern (Cumulative) R/W 40/60 IOPS (Per User) Range 7-59 IOPS (Per User) Average 22 Block Size Average 16K Block Size Standard Deviation 4K Application Mix (Number of Apps) 15+ Number of Apps Open Concurrently Many Sizing Difficult High2. Applications and operations representative of Knowledge WorkersThe following chart depicts the applications and operations on them performed by a knowledge worker.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 25
  26. 26. Since the operations in a desktop typically happen at discrete intervals of time, often in bursts that can consumelot of CPU cycles and memory, it is desirable not have all desktops to execute the same sequence of operationsas it is not representative of a typical VDI deployment and can cause resource over commitment. To avoidsynchronized swimming among desktops, view planner randomizes the execution sequence in each desktop sothat they are doing different things at any given instant of time and the load is evenly spread out..The following chart represents the sequence of workloads among a set of desktops.3. Vblock Configuration DetailsThis section provides the VDI environment configuration details. Vblock 700 with Symmetrix VMAX Storagecontains the following components:a. Hardware Cisco Unified Computing System with B200 M2 Series Blades with 3.33 GHz Intel Xeon 6 core CPU, 96GB RAM Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switch EMC Symmetrix VMAX Storageb. Software Cisco UCS Manager EMC Symmetrix Management Console EMC Powerpath/VE VMware vSphere ESXi 4.1 VMware vCenter Server VMware View 4.5 VMware View Planner Required in addition to the above components is an environment with Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, and Microsoft Exchange. The Microsoft threat management gateway was used as a proxy server.4. Unified Computing System ConfigurationFollowing are the configuration details of the Service Profiles Template used for creating Service Profiles fordeploying VMware vSphere ESXi 4.1.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 26
  27. 27. Assumptions: UIM has been pre configured on the Vblock platform according to the installation guide.5. LAN Cloud Configurationa. VLANsThe following figure shows the list of VLANs configured in the Vblock and usable by UIM. The VLan16 VLAN isused for accessing the Internet and View Clients. The VLan20 VLAN is used for the vMotion network. Figure 17. VLANs global to the Vblockb. WWN PoolsVerify that the WWN pool is defined in UIM Figure 18. UIM WWN definitionsc. SAN Pin GroupOne SAN Pin group was created in the UCS manager using the port channels configured to segregate traffic for a2 chassis configuration. To scale, create one more SAN Pin group and segregate traffic between the remainingchassis. This configuration is done to optimize traffic and is transparent to UIM.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 27
  28. 28. 6. Storage Array (EMC Symmetrix VMAX) ConfigurationA single engine Symmetrix VMAX system in the Vblock was used for testing the virtual desktop deployment. TheESX clusters, which contained hosts from a single chassis, were mapped to 4 front-end ports of the VMAX systemthrough the pool definition. All the desktops on the ESX clusters were laid out on Fibre Channel disks at the arrayback-end. These were presented as virtually provisioned LUN‟s to the front-end of the Symmetrix VMAX system,and then presented to UIM as a storage pool.a. Symmetrix VMAX LUN’sStorage used for the datastores is provisioned automatically from UIM on the Vblock with the Symmetrix VMAXstorage system. The defined storage pools for UIM on the VMax are used by UIM to automatically provisiondatastores for vCenter.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 28
  29. 29. b. Symmetrix Virtual Provisioning Pool and LUN’sA single virtual provisioning pool named „vcevdipool‟ was created from Fibre Channel Back End storage devices,which were FC disks of 15K RPM 450GB capacity. The thin pool consisted of 48 data devices for the 768 desktopdeployment and 96 data devices for the 1536 desktop deployment. The pool was used for storing the linked cloneuser desktops. For testing a configuration of 1536 user desktops, 24 FC LUN‟s were created for use by UIM usingthe vcevdipool with RAID5 protection. The details of the virtual provisioning pool and the LUN‟s are shown below.c. Symmetrix VMAX (VMware Datastores)A second pool was created for use in UIM to provide the Datastore capacity. Below is a picture outlining thedetails from a vCenter perspective.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 29
  30. 30. 7. VMware Virtual Infrastructurea. VMware vSphere ESX/ESXi ServerIn this VDI environment, there are a total of 8 ESX servers dedicated for testing 768 Virtual Desktops and thereare 16 ESX servers dedicated for testing 1536 Virtual Desktops. Additionally, there are 2 more ESX servers formanaging the entire VDI environment. The VMware View connection server insures that all the desktops aredistributed equally amongst the 8 ESX servers in the cluster. The following figure shows two ESXi Clusters. „Infra‟is used for hosting management components required for the VDI deployment and VBLOCK-2A is used for VirtualDesktops.b. VMware vSphere Advanced ParametersNo specific advanced parameters were tuned for this testing. All the VAAI parameters were left turned on as thatis the default.c. DatastoresThere are a total of 24 datastores for (1-24) for storing the linked Clones. The size of each datastore is 939 GB.The datastore VCE-VDI-Infrastructure is used specifically to store Gold Images of Windows 7 Desktops and theswap files for all the virtual machines© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 30
  31. 31. 8 VMware View 4.5In this environment, a single view connection server was used to handle 1536 Virtual Desktops. The followingfigure shows vCenter Server Integration with VMware View 4.5. It also shows that VMware Composer is enabled.The following figure shows that the instance of View Manager which is in a healthy state. Tunnelling is disabled onthe connection server.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 31
  32. 32. In addition, the event database was configured for logging all the events occurring. The following figure shows theconfiguration details.a. Virtual Desktop PoolsFor testing the virtual desktop environment, 2 Desktop pools were created to accommodate 1536 users. For easeof scaling, 2 pools of 768. The test was run with 1 pool of 768 desktops on a single UCS chassis and 2 pools witha total of 1536 desktops. The following figure shows the list of pools.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 32
  33. 33. ABOUT VCEVCE, the Virtual Computing Environment Company formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel,accelerates the adoption of converged infrastructure and cloud-based computing models that dramatically reduce thecost of IT while improving time to market for our customers. VCE, through the Vblock platform, delivers the industrys firstcompletely integrated IT offering with end-to-end vendor accountability. VCEs prepackaged solutions are availablethrough an extensive partner network, and cover horizontal applications, vertical industry offerings, and applicationdevelopment environments, allowing customers to focus on business innovation instead of integrating, validating andmanaging IT infrastructure.For more information, go to www.vce.com.Copyright © 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. Vblock and the VCE logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of VCE Company,LLC. and/or its affiliates in the United States or other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.© 2011 VCE Company, LLC. All rights reserved. 33

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