Looking around the various VDI forums, there's usually some discussion of VDI clients that don't require any additional plug-ins, add-ons or installation of any kind on the end user device – a zero-install solution. While this discussion is usually focused on access via web browsers, I've recently been playing with ThinApp to deliver a zero-install VMware View client.
At the risk of this sounding overly like a sales pitch, I was pretty impressed by the elegance of this solution; I was able to easily pull my thinApped View client from the web, network share and USB drive and launch a Remote Desktop using PCoIP on pretty much any Windows device with a simple double click. Maybe not as quick as double clicking on Firefox, but pretty close.
Are there any downsides? I found application launch time to be a little longer than achieved with a traditionally installed client. Also, USB redirection and virtual printing aren't supported, but then these problems plague web clients too. The main benefit I see is that I get away from the install/update hassles, but keep the performance, bandwidth and user experience benefits associated with PCoIP.
As a final note, I would add that I found the process associated with creating a ThinApped version of the View Client to be extremely straightforward and it took me less than 15 minutes.
We recently worked with EMC's internal IT organization to study the performance of their largest Oracle RAC instance on vSphere 5. The results revealed that Oracle RAC, when virtualized with vSphere 5, performed within 7% on average of a corresponding physical environment. The chart below highlights the results from these tests.
The blue bars are for tests done at a regular level of load and the green bars are for tests done at a 2x level of load. Results are reported in terms of sum total response time in seconds for the variety of different transactions in the tested workload.
For full details about the tests please refer to the paper – Performance Study of Oracle RAC on VMware vSphere 5.
This paper also provides the performance best practices developed and implemented for Oracle RAC on vSphere 5 for these tests. This information can be used to optimize existing and new installations of Oracle RAC on vSphere.
A white paper has been published that examines how VMware vCenter 5.0 performs in a remote offices, branch offices environment where VMware ESXi hosts are distributed over large geographical distances. These types or networks are wide area networks (WAN) and have low-bandwidth and high-latency links. This white paper shows that despite this challenge, vCenter tasks perform well in terms of both time taken to perform a task and bandwidth consumption used to perform a task.
Types of WAN studied include dial-up, DSL, Satellite, and T1. Data was also collected from LAN for comparison.
Tasks measured include:
- For hosts:
- Add and remove a host
- Enter and exit maintenance mode
- For virtual machines:
- Power on and off
- Create and delete a snapshot
- Create, remove, and clone
- Register and unregister
- Reset and reconfigure
- Suspend and resume
- For a virtual distributed switch (vDS)
- Create and remove a vDS
- Add and remove a static port group
Testing shows that vCenter effectively and efficiently manages the hosts and virtual machines in a ROBO environment. For a vCenter task, when network latency increases, the time it takes to complete the task increases at a much slower rate. For example, when network latency increases by 4 times, time consumption increases by only 1.5 times. Network bandwidth is not saturated even if it decreases from 1.5 Mbps to 64 Kbps. The bandwidth of current networks is enough for vCenter to monitor and manage hosts and VMs. The results also show that the bandwidth consumption of a host increases linearly (consistently and as expected) with the number of powered-on VMs on a host.
For the full paper, see Performance of VMware vCenter 5.0 in Remote Offices and Branch Offices (ROBO).