VMware View 5.x with PCoIP Optimization Controls

VMware in collaboration with Teradici is working hard to improve the rich user experience even more by adding new features and improving existing ones. The vDesktops running on VMware View can be reached through lots of different devices including Apple iPads or Android-based tablets. The VDI solutions on the market are getting more and more mature in a rapid fashion.

New PCoIP enhancements will be released with the next release of VMware View. PCoIP Optimization Controls will be one of them, with these controls you can tweak the bandwidth usage which can result in a 75% bandwidth improvement. This is huge!

What is in the PCoIP Optimization Controls:


Update Build numbers database

VMguruWith everyone being busy it has been some time since the last update of the build numbers database, but now I found the time and now it updated. Apart from some updates on products that where there already, I also added a few other products to the list.

If you think there is a product missing that should be up on the list, let us know in the comments below.

How to license Microsoft Windows 7 for VMware View deployments

I often get questions about how to license Microsoft Windows 7 in a VMware View VDI deployment, I will try to elaborate what is needed in general and for specific scenarios. By understanding how they apply to common VMware View scenarios you can calculate and try to get the most out of existing and new licenses needed.

Every device you want to use to access the VMware View environment, with Windows 7 Desktops, needs to be licensed. It does not matter if it is a PC, a Thin or Zero client, an iPad or similar devices, every device accessing Windows 7 via VDI needs to be licensed.

You have two ways to license the environment, you can utilize the Software Assurance Windows Virtual Desktop Access Use Rights benefit at no additional cost; or you purchase Windows VDA subscription. Windows VDA is licensed per access device. There is currently no option to license Windows VDA per user.

VDA through SA or VDA subscription?

Certain devices, such as thin or zero clients, do not qualify for Software Assurance coverage for Windows. To license these devices for use with VDI you will need Windows VDA subscription. The rule of thumb is that if it isn’t a full blown Windows Desktop Operating System with Software Assurance (SA) you will need VDA subscription licenses to access the VMware View vDesktops.


Updating VMware tools without reboot

PowerCLIA client was asking me if it was possible to install the VMware tools inside VM’s without having to reboot them right after. I knew it was possible and went looking for a way on doing so. During the search I found several scripts made by people which looked good (some out of date), but for most of them you had to made slight adjustments to the script to make them work for your own environment. The client wasn’t really looking for a script to maintain so I continued the search.


vRAM licensing with VMware View

Since the announcement of VMware vSphere 5, the attention for the great new features has been swapped by the discussion on the new VMware vSphere 5 licensing model.

Because of the processor association it looks complicated and expensive but if you do the math, most of the time pricing remains the same. Gabrie van Zanten wrote an excellent article on that.

In short, with traditional virtual infrastructures used for server virtualization, the host servers seldom exceed the 96GB per host. This matches with a dual socket server licensed with VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus. In that scenario the number of vSphere 5 ‘processor’ licenses will equal the number of physical sockets, so the total cost for this environment will be equal with the new vSphere 5 licensing model.

But how about the new licensing model with memory dense servers/blades like we use in VDI solutions. When housing 100-200 VDI desktops on a single server you need immense amounts of memory and with the new vSphere 5 licensing model this would cost much much more that with the old licensing model.


New VMware licensing explained

With the introduction of VMware vSphere 5, VMware introduces a new licensing model. VMware will retain a per processor model but they  removed some restrictions which were in the vSphere 4 licensing model. This is mainly regarding the number of cores per processor and the amount of physical memory in a host on which vSphere 4 could be deployed. With vSphere 5 it does no longer matter how many cores or amount of memory a ESXi hosts has.

Instead of the physical restrictions, VMware introduces a single virtualization based entitlement of pooled virtual memory (vRAM). According to VMware, this will simplify the process of purchasing deploying and managing vSphere while facilitating the move to shared infrastructure as a service.

vSphere 5.0 will be licensed on a per-processor basis with a vRAM entitlement. Each vSphere 5.0 CPU license will entitle the customer to a specific amount of vRAM, or memory configured to virtual machines. The vRAM entitlement can be pooled across a vSphere environment to enable a true cloud or utility based IT consumption model.

The vSphere 5.0 licensing model is per processor with pooled vRAM entitlements. According to VMware, this should offer customers the following benefits relative to the previous vSphere 4 model:

Simplicity – Removes two physical constraints (core and physical RAM), replacing them with a single virtual entitlement (vRAM). Customers now have a clear path to license vSphere on next-generation hardware configurations.

Flexibility – Extends the concept of resource pooling from technology to the business of IT by allowing aggregation and sharing of vRAM entitlement across a large pool of servers.

Fairness – Better aligns cost with actual use and value derived,rather than with hardware configurations and capacity.

Evolution – Allows customers to evolve to a cloud-like “pay for consumption” model without disrupting established purchasing, deployment and license-management practices and processes.


In all fairness, with this VMware introduced the much criticized virtual machine based licensing ‘with a twist’. Because they now license based on the amount of allocated vRAM, you’re much more limited in the total number of deployed virtual machines than you where when you were limited by physical memory and processor cores.

I’m afraid this may backfire on VMware, especially when in competition with Microsoft or Citrix.


VMware announces vSphere 5

Today VMware had planned a webcast named ‘Raising the bar. Part V’. It was a public secret that they were going to announce VMware vSphere 5 and indeed they did. But on top of that VMware also new released new versions of vCloud Director (1.5), vCenter SRM (5.0) and vShield (5.0).

To accomplish this VMware has spent more than a million hours engineering and two million hours of quality assurance to deliver hundreds of additional capabilities which eventually became VMware vSphere 5.

But why this new version of vSphere and additional products?
VMware acknowledges two large transformations taking place. First of all customers are looking for ways to reduce the infrastructure complexity. By using more automation they want to create infrastructures that are easier to operate with lower cost of operation. The second transformation is the consumer who is device independently connected to an information centric world. This is the post-PC age where the PC is no longer dominant and applications can no longer support the ‘Facebook generation’. They need a new platform to build new applications on.

VMware defined three stages, which we already saw at VMworld 2010, the IT Production stage, Business Production stage and finally the IT-as-a-service stage. In 2011 VMware moved well into the Business Production stage with 50% of all x86 workloads being virtualized, primarily on vSphere 4. But there is still 50% left, so we need to continue to accelerate to virtualize those workloads also. Bit in the meantime we need to amplify the value of the virtual infrastructure.

To do this, take the next step and move to the IT-as-a-service stage, VMware now announced their new flagship product, VMware vSphere 5.


Imtech ICT is Cisco Advanced Data Center Architecture certified

Today Imtech ICT announced that it is the first company in the Netherlands which has achieved the Advanced Data Center Architecture Specialization from Cisco.

Cisco Data Center Architecture Specialization tests knowledge in selling, designing, installing, and supporting the Data Center Architecture. This specialization recognizes Data Strategy as having fulfilled the training requirements and program prerequisites to sell, design and deploy comprehensive Cisco Data Center solutions.

With achieving the Cisco Advanced Data Center Architecture Specialization, Imtech ICT has shown that it has the required knowledge to design, supply, implement, maintain and manage the products from the Cisco Datacenter portfolio. It fits the Imtech ICT strategy to integrate various IT infrastructure domains (network, server and storage) into one integral solution. This solution is based on the FlexPod concept, a collaboration with Cisco, NetApp and VMware.

This enables Imtech ICT to support their customers with their issues regarding the data-center, virtualized infrastructures and private- and public- cloud services.

VMware Next Step in End-User Computing roadshow June 2011

VMware Next Step in End-User Computing roadshow June 2011 from Ton Hermes, Senior SE VMware on Vimeo.

The Future of End-User Computing goes much further than just delivering a vDesktop and vApplications to users. Users today are demanding more and more that functionality is available 24/7, where new functionality can be immediately obtained when needed and that they can use a device of their choice to work with.


VMware vExpert 2011

VMGuru.nl is very proud to announce that for the third year in a row, we can proudly wear the VMware vExpert logo on our site.

Alex, Anne Jan and myself have been given the vExpert award 2011 for our contributions to the VMware virtualization community. This is an acknowledgement of our work and we will continue to share our knowledge and expertise with others.

The vExpert program is a way for VMware to acknowledge and help those who ‘go the extra mile’ and give back to the VMware user community by sharing their expertise and time. vExperts are bloggers, book authors, VMUG leaders, event organizers, speakers, tool builders, forum leaders, and others who share their virtualization expertise.

Edwin is still waiting for the second batch of vExpert e-mails to go out tonight and I’m confident he will be a 2011 vExpert too.

Special thanks go out to John Troyer, who had to endure our abuse but in spite of that spent very much time in the vExpert program. Thanks John!

For a list of 2011 VMware vExpert check out the list on the site of Arnim van Lieshout.

Update:2/7/2011 As the second batch went out, Edwin also received his vExpert 2011!! VMguru.nl is vExpert all the way!