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Category Archives: Tech Talk

Deep-dive technical explorations

Introduction to VMware NSX - KBTV Webinars

Continuing on with our current series of KBTV Webinars, here we have the eighth webinar titled: Introduction to VMware NSX which provides an overview of what NSX is, and how it relates to the SDDC (Software Defined Datacenter).

NOTE: This video is roughly 37 minutes in length so it would be worth blocking out some time to watch it!

To see details of upcoming webinars in this series, see the Support Insider Blog post: New Free Webinars.

Overview of Storage I/O Control (SIOC) - KBTV Webinars

This video is the seventh in a series of free webinars for you, our customer. This one is titled: Overview of Storage I/O Control (SIOC) and it goes through what Storage I/O Control is, its requirements and how it works.

NOTE: This video is roughly 40 minutes in length so it would be worth blocking out some time to watch it!

To see details of upcoming webinars in this series, see the Support Insider Blog post: New Free Webinars.

Maintaining the vCenter Server Database

This video is the seventh in a series of free webinars for you, our customer. This one is titled: Maintaining the vCenter Server Database. It provides a high level overview of the vCenter Server Database architecture as well as best practices and tips for maintaining the database.

The video is roughly 15 minutes in length so it would be worth blocking out some time to watch it.

To see details of upcoming webinars in this series, see the Support Insider Blog post: New Free Webinars.

Introduction to VMware vRealize Orchestrator 6 - KBTV Webinars

This video is the sixth in a series of free webinars on various topics. This one is titled: Introduction to VMware vRealize Orchestrator 6. The video is roughly 40 minutes in length so it would be worth blocking out some time to watch it.

To see the details of upcoming webinars in this series, see the Support Insider Blog post: New Free Webinars.

This presentation was originally broadcast live on Thursday 30th April 2015.

VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery - KBTV Webinars

This video is the fifth in a new series of free Webinars that we are releasing in which our Technical Support staff members present on various topics across a wide range of VMware's product portfolio.

The title for this presentation is VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery and it goes through some aspects of Disaster Recovery within vCloud Air. Topics that are covered include "Disaster Recovery Architecture", "Disaster Recovery Additional Features", "A Disaster Recovery Demonstration", "Disaster Recovery Use Cases" and "Disaster Recovery Challenges".

This presentation was originally broadcast live on Thursday 23rd April 2015.

NOTE: This video is roughly 25 minutes in length so it would be worth blocking out some time to watch it!

To see the details of upcoming webinars in this series, see the Support Insider Blog post at New Free Webinars.

KBTV Webinars - Introduction to vRealize Business Standard, Advanced and Enterprise editions

This video is the fourth installment in a new series of free Webinars in which our Technical Support staff members present on various topics across a wide range of VMware’s product portfolio.

The title for this presentation is Introduction to vRealize Business Standard, Advanced and Enterprise editions  and it provides an overview of the various versions/editions of vRealize Business that are available, what their purpose is and what you can do with them.

This presentation was originally broadcast live on Thursday 19th March 2015.

Note: This video is roughly 27 minutes in length so it would be best to book out some time from your calendar so that you can watch it in its entirety and take in all of the valuable information is available.

To see the details of upcoming webinars in this series, see the Support Insider Blog post at New Free Webinars.

vCloud Director Design and Scale - KBTV Webinars

This video is the third in a new series of free Webinars in which our Technical Support staff members present on various topics across a wide range of VMware’s product portfolio.

The title for this presentation is vCloud Director - Design and Scale and it dives into some best practices and recommendations as to how you can design your vCloud Director product infrastructure and how best to scale it out.

This presentation was originally broadcast live on Thursday 12th March 2015.

Note: This webinar is roughly 1 hour in length so it would be best to book out some time from your calendar so that you can watch it in its entirety and take in all of the valuable information is available.

To see the details of upcoming webinars in this series, see the Support Insider Blog post at New Free Webinars.

KBTV Webinars - Journey to the Horizon

This video is the first in a new series of free Webinars that we are releasing in which our Technical Support staff members present on various topics across a wide range of VMware's product portfolio.

The topic of this Webinar is Journey to the Horizon and it goes through several aspects of the Horizon View, Flex and Mirage products.

This presentation was originally broadcast live on Thursday 26th February 2015. To see the details of upcoming webinars in this series, see the Support Insider Blog post here.

NOTE: This video is 23 minutes in length so it would be worth blocking out some time in order to watch it!

Deploying a VMware Horizon View Environment

You are the head of the IT department in your company, and you have just finished a meeting discussing finances and IT budget. The message is clear – it’s time to cut costs. Easy to say, but what can you do, and how do you do it? A VMware View infrastructure can provide significant cost savings as well as simplifying your administration while freeing up IT assets and personnel for other projects. But how do you start?

"VMware Horizon™ 6 (with View) delivers virtualized and remote desktops and applications through a single platform and supports end users with access to all of their Windows and online resources through one unified workspace."

Ok, that product description sounds good, but what does it actually mean?

Think of how a physical computer lab runs. The IT administrator is tasked with the job of managing the computers. The lab requests 10 computers, so on day 1 the administrator sets up 10 PCs. The lab hums along happily and meets all the company’s needs. But wait, there is a big project coming and we need to bring in 5 people for a few months. The administrator puts in a requisition and purchases 5 new PCs for the lab and sets them up too. 3 months later when the project is complete and the extra computers are no longer needed, the administrator packs them up and puts them in a store room.

This is wasteful. 5 computers are just sitting in a closet unused. This is where a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) with Horizon View comes in. A Horizon View implementation can reduce the cost and manpower associated with the physical lab.

Using our previous example, you have configured your lab to use Horizon View desktops. In the physical lab, you can use:

  • Old computers that are past their useful life due to hardware obsolescence
  • Low cost dumb terminals or embedded systemsNon-Windows clients
  • Non-Windows clients
  • BYOD user equipment

Now let’s investigate the same scenario with the Horizon View lab. New user accounts are created and we entitle the new users to the lab pool and that’s it. The pool can be configured to add desktops as required with no admin intervention. The lab requires a far smaller expenditure for workstations due to the low cost of client units, or perhaps the users can even use their own devices. The implementation costs are far less to expand to accommodate new users and there is significantly less labor required to administer.

In part 2, I will cover preparing your environment to deploy a Horizon View implementation.

What is a linked clone? Part II

In Part I, we covered the basics of what a linked clone is, the basic structure, and how a linked clone is provisioned. In this follow-up piece, we’ll look at the 3 major operations performed on a linked clone. Refresh, recompose, and re-balance.

Refresh

As mentioned in Part I, a checkpoint is created containing the individual customizations to the VM that differentiates it from the replica. This checkpoint contains things like the machine password, domain information, Windows name, etc. This checkpoint is a snapshot of the VM post customization. The refresh operation reverts the VM to this checkpoint snapshot.

View Connection Server changes the status of the VM to Maintenance to tag it as unusable, reverts to the previous checkpoint snapshot, and after start-up, the View Composer agent updates the machine account password if needed. View Connection Server then sets the machine back to Provisioned, or Available to meet the pool requirements.

The Desktop is now ready for use.

Recompose

A recompose lets you redeploy an existing View desktop while preserving any persistent or user data disks that may be attached to the VM.

When a recompose is performed with no configuration change (no new snapshot), no recompose will occur because Composer will detect that no changes will be made. The difference between using an existing template/snapshot and a new template/snapshot is a new replica is needed with a new snapshot. The new replica is cloned from the snapshot, and a new checkpoint and difference disk are created.

View changes the status of the desktop to Maintenance and creates the new snapshot if needed. Though the VM hardware is not replaced, this is a new VM and is customized using the same process as a newly provisioned desktop with a new checkpoint and difference disk. View then sets the machine back to Provisioned, or Available to meet the pool requirements.

The difference between using an existing template/snapshot and a new template/snapshot is a new replica is needed with a new snapshot. The new replica is cloned from the snapshot, and a new checkpoint and difference disk are created.

View Connection Server changes the status of the desktop to Maintenance and creates the new snapshot if needed. Though the VM hardware is not replaced, this is a new VM and is customized using the same process as a newly provisioned desktop with a new checkpoint and difference disk. View then sets the machine back to Provisioned, or Available to meet the pool requirements.

Re-balance

A re-balance serves 2 purposes-

  1. It will redistribute linked clones to use available free storage space.
  2. It is the only supported method to migrate linked clones between datastores. Storage vMotion will break a linked clone.

A re-balance will try to ensure all configured datastores are equally used based on the amount of available free space. I will not be discussing the algorithm used here because it is dependent on the version of View and the storage over commit settings. View will investigate each datastore the pool is configured to use, and determine which linked clones to migrate. It is possible during a re-balance that no desktops will be migrated. A refresh operation will also occur on all affected desktops.

When a re-balance occurs, the VM status is changed to Maintenance. View will then detach any persistent disks and move them and the VM to the new datastore. The persistent disks are attached to the VM at the new location. If a replica for the pool does not exist at the new location, Composer will request a new replica to be cloned by vCenter to be placed on that datastore. Composer will then attach the linked clone to the replica and customization occurs with a new checkpoint and difference disk. View will then set the machine back to Provisioned, or Available to meet the pool requirements.

A re-balance can also be used to vacate a datastore. Deselecting a datastore from a linked clone pool settings and then performing a re-balance on the pool will cause all associated linked clones from the pool to be migrating to another datastore (when possible). This is often used to migrate a linked clone pool from one datastore to another.
This covers the basics of what a linked clone is, and what maintenance and administrative options are available.