I've been using linux for years and it is my preference for my desktop and my home systems, however the companies I work with and for usually issue Windows desktops and most of the their applications are windows applications. So, I run windows when I have to, either by dual boot or in a VM. Currently, I'm working for a company that provides a windows laptop that I must us to connect to the corporate LAN via a VPN or I can use the Citrix Access Gateway from any computer.
As a Citix consultant I spend the vast part of my day working with VDI in one form or another and on one device or another. I especially like my iPad, but I digress. Recently, I was tasked with looking at why some functionality worked for some people and it wasn't present for others. Everyone was supposed to be using the same version. However, discovery revealed that this was not the case and there were different versions. What are the versions?
I was recently tasked by an architect to build out several SQL clusters, the first of many with the following configuration:
- Microsoft SQL Clusters
- VMware RDMs and
- Veritas (Symantec) Storage Foundation Windows (SFW).
- Windows 2008 R2
The goal was to create HA clusters for virtualized SQL, and to allow us to dynamically allocate additional RDMs to the cluster as storage needs grew.
There is a lot of talk about the Cloud, but what really makes the whole cloud possible is the hypervisor. The hypervisor is what separates the "workload" from physical hardware. This is what allows us to move the workload around, from hardware to hardware. The hypervisor has been around since 1965 with IBM, but only recently has the adoption become exponential. And with the visibility of the Cloud and discussions about Virtual Desktop Initiatives/Infrastructure (VDI) there is now more emphasis on the hypervisor, and the "two types."
The first thing about Citrix Architecture is to understand the ICA protocol. ICA is a presentation-layer protocol on the OSI-layer (6). ICA is a very thin protocol and is optimized for the WAN with high latencies, it works over SSL and is bandwidth optimized and supports QoS.
Since this is OSI-Layer 6, what does ICA do for optimization. The ICA packet contains the following headers: Frame Head, Reliable, Encryption, Compression, Command, Command Data, Frame Trail. The command is the only required information.
I've written about optimizing Windows 7 and XP for VDI. Recently, I've been getting some questions about optimizing Windows Server. Since Windows 2008 R2 is the most current OS, this is what I'm going to focus on. Alot of the optimizations from Windows 7 can be used with 2008, these are more specific to the "server" OS.
I have to admit that I was very excited to hear the announcement of the VCSA. I've been working with this for a few months, and as a consultant I'm still excited about the VCSA, but not in an enterprise. The VCSA is great for getting your feet wet, doing proof of concepts and lab environments. It has several limitations that make it less than ideal for anything else:
With the deployment of ESX 5 comes the loss of the the ESX console. it actually happened with the advent of ESXi, but now with 5 there isn't an option to have a console. VMware addressed this with the creation of the Virtual Management Assistant (VMA). Powershell is Microsoft's answer to easier administration via CLI (Command Line Interface).
This article is pretty much a reminder for me, and I hope useful for other people. I am always setting the preferred storage path from the default to Round Robin. I do this in two ways: the first is to log into the ESX console, or the "hidden" ESXi console and set the default to round robin; the second is to use a powershell script to make sure that all of the datastores are set to round robin.
The alignment procedure for VMFS and Linux is the same as any other Linux file system. Use fdisk’s expert mode to create a new partition with an aligned starting block and then format the file system. You should use this procedure for not only VMFS, but for your Linux virtual machines as well (changing the type in step 7 "fb" to 83.)