A shout out to my compatriots on the VMware View team, and congrats on the VMware View launch two weeks ago... Congrats! I've been heads down with our Quarterly Business Review and Quarterly Technical Reviews at VMware this past week, so a bit delayed on this post.....
We've been slaving away on a lower-scale VMware View building block, something more broadly useful for the last couple of months at the Santa Clara Lab I mentioned here: ; and where we have done 10K client scaling testing and 250 user building block VDM 2.1 reference architectures I mentioned here.
BTW - If YOU are looking at a large scale (let's say 5K clients or more) Client Virtualization project, reach out to your EMC and VMware account teams and ask for some time with the engineering teams in Santa Clara - we built it to openly share our learning.....
Back to the subject at hand... So, I'm happy to say you can get it now - a VMware View Manager/VMware View Composer 1000 client Building Block Reference Architecture. Read on for more!....
You can click on the page below to get to the documentation. Click on the doc below to get it (warning, it's one of those registration WPs - but just ask not to get any email followup and you're golden :-).
This is a set of 4 docs (with 2 more to come) that are very useful for someone deploying VMware View. The work was done on EMC storage platforms, so one of the docs is the joint storage joint reference architecture - in a 1000 user building block. Those building blocks can be deployed in multiples or "Pods" where this has been qualified to 5000 clients. On a side note - we're finding that this "building block/pod" deployment model is very helpful in general (for server virtualization, virtual datacenter design, as well as for client virtualization) for customers trying to rapidly deploy, it makes getting a good predictable/fast deployment and scaling up that much more simple. You don't, BTW, need to have separate shared storage for each building block - the NS20FC used for example, can go up to that 5000 user mark - but you have to scale up the spindles (the layout is described in detail in the docs, and is itself in the "building block" model, so just add drives with the 1000 user model to scale up).
Now, one of the documents details the core steps for using VMware View on EMC Mid-range storage. We didn't leverage every single advanced feature (though we did thin-provision the storage objects), as the purpose was to create a document that while specific to the given config, was also extremely useful with a broad set of storage you might be using - so don't be off-put if you're not using an EMC Celerra - a lot of the information is still useful). The storage platform used starts at around $30K USD - so it can be very cost-effective. It's also the same platform we have provided as our free, unlimited Virtual Storage Appliance for customers to learn and play with.
Also note that it's a GOOD IDEA, IMHO to profile your own client workload. We did our best to have a "average desktop", but everyone varies.
There are lots of good detailed technical notes - here you can see some of the client workload results.
What's next on this front?
- We think we have one big missing piece which is Outlook being part of the workload. It's a big component of the end-user workload, and a SOB to simulate at scale. EMC has a lot of experience here (see how many Microsoft ESRP submissions we have here), but it's harder than it appears at first glance. You could do a Loadgen-type test, but it's not designed for that model (i.e. normally you have many simulated clients per workstation, and to make this work, you would need to have one simulated client per workstation/VM)
- We're in the process of doing a CX4 version (though I have to say, you could use the same storage building blocks we used in this one)
- We're in the process of doing a very high end configuration to hit the 20K or 40K client mark (i.e. we're going to publish a tech doc on what we did for VMworld, but that was using VDM 2.1 and no VMware View Composer - but we've added another workstream to do an update with VMware View Manager/Composer0
- We're also working on an update that will highlight exactly how to leverage every cool, neato feature we have together, and we want to test out some production dedupe on the user data and the boot images for further cost reduction.
- We're getting our heads wrapped around client backup - is it needed? Only in the persistent use case? I've always thought that it doesn't make sense to "backup" a Virtualized Client, but recently customers have disagreed with me. Is Mozy a good idea for this scenario? What do YOU think?
But, this is good - basic, simple, executable info for anyone looking at Client Virtualization! Let us know what you want to see more of, and we'll go off and do it!