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VDI Architecture. Chris House, VCP Senior Network Analyst DataCenter Team. Quick facts. 1,500 Windows XP SP2 “sessions” 1 or more statically assigned to users 2 datacenters, 750 sessions per datacenter 2 VirtualCenter servers (1 per datacenter) 38 ESX servers (19 per datacenter/VC)

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vdi architecture

VDI Architecture

Chris House, VCP

Senior Network Analyst

DataCenter Team

quick facts
Quick facts
  • 1,500 Windows XP SP2 “sessions”
  • 1 or more statically assigned to users
  • 2 datacenters, 750 sessions per datacenter
  • 2 VirtualCenter servers (1 per datacenter)
  • 38 ESX servers (19 per datacenter/VC)
  • 4 ESX clusters (2 per datacenter/VC)
  • 15 datastores per cluster/server
  • 25 sessions per datastore
  • 2 HP StorageWorks XP1024 Fibre-Channel SAN Arrays (1 per datacenter)
concept
Concept
  • Concurrent VDI and blade PC deployment
  • Complete desktop replacement for office and clinical staff
  • Reduce PC maintenance costs/time
  • Provide fastest possible access for roaming users to desktop and apps
  • All sessions run 24x7
  • Users encouraged to leave apps running
  • Sessions statically assigned (no pooling)
  • Support multiple sessions per user (software testing)
  • Wyse dual-monitor & HP thin terminals, 19-inch LCD monitors, biometric keyboards, Windows XP Embedded
  • Manually failover sessions to remote datacenter if disaster
sessions
Sessions
  • Windows XP SP2
  • 10GB C: drive
  • 512MB RAM (pagefile 768-1536MB), 1 vCPU, 1 NIC
  • Sessions never suspended/shut down
    • Will reboot every 2 weeks once idle for 8 hours
  • Reimaged as needed using Altiris (PXE boot)
  • “My Documents” redirected to network drive
  • Sessions not backed up
session deployment
Session Deployment
  • Sessions deployed once using ESX service console shell script (bash)
  • VM name & hostname same as custom MAC address
    • 00:50:56:0A for VDC sessions
    • 00:50:56:0D for BDC sessions
  • Deployment process
    • Create directory, customize new VMX
    • vmkfstools clone sysprep-ready VMDK
    • register with server and power on for sysprep
location based computing
Location-based computing
  • Sessions aware of user location within the enterprise
  • Printing & applications require user location to function properly
  • Specific printers dynamically installed at RDP login depending on user’s location
    • “Roaming Printer Agent”
      • Custom solution developed in-house
    • Microsoft Terminal Services API used to obtain thin terminal hostname, correlate to a location
application deployment
Application deployment
  • Initially considered SVS/Appstream
  • Currently use Novell ZENWorks, Altiris
  • Application objects assigned to users in eDirectory
  • Icons for ZEN applications presented on desktop
  • Application installed at first launch
  • Moving to ZEN 10 for Active Directory
broker
Broker:
  • Custom broker developed in-house
  • Brokers RDP connections to VDI and other endpoints:
    • VDI
    • CCI (HP blade PCs)
    • Desktop PCs
  • Assignments made in Active Directory
  • Based on “Remote Operator” property of computer object in AD
  • Supports multiple endpoints per user
clusters servers
Clusters & Servers
  • 38 x ESX 3.0.1 Enterprise
  • 2 x VirtualCenter 2.0.2
  • 40 sessions per server (DRS balances load)
  • 4 clusters, 9-10 servers per cluster
  • HA & DRS enabled
  • 375 sessions per cluster
  • HP BL480c G1 c-Class blades
  • Dual Intel Xeon Quad-Core processors @ 2.666GHz
  • 24 GB memory
  • 4 x 1000MB NICs
  • Dual-port 4GB FC HBA
network
Network
  • 4 x 1000MB NICs
  • c-Class enclosures with two Cisco switches
  • ESX vSwitch vmnics uplink to ports on both enclosure switches (two nics per vSwitch)
  • Cisco switches have 2 x 1000MB Etherchannel uplinks, link state tracking enabled
  • vSwitch0
    • Service Console (VLAN for servers)
    • VMKernel (VLAN for VMotion)
  • vSwtich1
    • Multiple Virtual Machine portgroups (separate VLANs)
storage
Storage
  • Dual-port 4GB Qlogic FC HBA
  • c-Class enclosures with two 4/12 Brocade 4GB switches, single uplinks to core switches
  • HBA connects to each switch
  • Metro has dual-fabric FC ‘star’ layout (core & edge switches, 32 total)
  • 15 datastores per cluster
  • 25 sessions per datastore
  • 263GB datastore size
  • 9-10 hosts per datastore
storage1
Storage
  • 2 x HP StorageWorks XP1024 arrays
  • 7.89TB dedicated to local datacenter VM disks
  • 7.89TB dedicated on remote array for synchronous continuous replication of local VM disks
  • 15.78TB/array, 31.5TB total
  • Dedicated array ports for VDI ESX (4 per fabric, 8 total)
  • Datastores balanced across all paths (8)
  • 18 RAID5(7D+1P) disk groups per array
    • Local VDI LDEVs
    • Replicated VDI LDEVs from remote array
  • 1 LUN per datastore (no extents)
  • Datastore LUNs are XP LUSEs of 17 LDEVs (from different disk groups - 136 spindles per LUN)
achievements
Achievements
  • Staff appreciate lightning-fast access to applications and improved mobility
  • Performance on par with and sometimes faster than PCs/BladePCs (server-class hardware)
  • Decreased time to access information – improves patient safety
  • Very convenient
  • Information secure in Datacenter
  • Reduced PC support calls
  • Reduced electricity usage through fewer PCs/CRTs
  • Streamlined infrastructure
  • Safe from ESX server failure with HA
  • Safe from runaway CPU/memory hogging apps in sessions affecting servers with DRS load balancing
  • Service desk has more tools to manage sessions (VM reset and View console through VC WebAccess)
  • Able to perform server maintenance during the day by utilizing VMotion to shuffle sessions around
issues
Issues
  • Multimedia limits of RDP
    • streaming video/Flash
    • high-res images/animation
    • Currently using Wyse multimedia redirector, supports only few codecs
    • USB support
  • VDI performance suffers when all sessions perform high disk I/O at same time
    • Windows Updates – disabled, failing retries
    • Antivirus – randomized across week
    • Large software deployment/updates – Epic
    • Re-imaging
vmware vclient vdm3
VMware vClient / VDM3
  • Metro invited to private beta at Palo Alto HQ
  • Several features of VDM could be beneficial for our environment
  • Herculean effort to move existing environment to VDM
    • rip & replace would be quickest (versus migration)
    • What to do with 1,500 displaced users?
  • Conflicts exist between current session management processes/configuration and VDM’s methods = retraining
future
Future
  • Software vendors working on multimedia improvements for RDP
  • Considering switching to RGS or another protocol
  • Introducing session pooling
  • Eliminating array replication or switching to asynchronous
  • Finding cheaper storage that performs
  • Continuing to evaluate VDM
questions

Questions?

housecs@metrogr.org

http://communities.vmware.com/people/chouse