Posts Tagged ‘vdi’

The VMworld Fringe Tech Talks by #vBrownbag

August 22nd, 2013 No comments

vbrownbag VMworld starts next week and up to 22,000 people are descending on San Francisco.

VMware as expected has a massive schedule of talks, discussion groups and labs for you to attend all carefully orchestrated to ensure VMware and their partners get their message out.

But VMware does have a wild side that isn’t just the parties.

The fabulous #vBrownbag crew have put together a schedule of lightning 10 minute talks which are not part of the official program. This means VMware or even the #vBrownbag crew don’t get to decide what is said, the only rule is there isn’t any blatant company marketing.

So, you can get independent community content from your peers who feel they have something to contribute to VMworld that could be unsupported, unconventional, uncensored and unbelievable!

There are some serious industry titans presenting so make time in your official schedule to see them.

The list of talks is in this post which is being refreshed as presenters confirm their times.

I’ve been very lucky to be accepted for 2 talks:

  • Help, my VDI project is hell! on Monday at 17:15
  • HP Virtual Connect Quick Deep Dive on Tuesday at 15:00

A few generous sponsors are contributing to make this possible so have a look at their products which help to keep independent community content alive.

BTW the reference to the fringe is from the city of Edinburgh which hosts is a huge official Edinburgh International Festival in August. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is not part of the official program and is now the largest arts festival in the world. The Society that runs the fringe festival is not allowed to vet the festival’s program so anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them can take part resulting in the weird and the wonderful having their say.

Categories: Flex-10, HP, VDI, VMware, VMworld Tags: , , , ,

Optimise your VDI image with a new OS optimisation tool

July 31st, 2013 No comments

VMware has released a new Fling called the VMware OS Optimization Tool for Windows 7.

One of my bugbears with the whole VDI industry is the I in “VDI”, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Many people often focus too much time and effort designing the infrastructure part of delivering virtual desktops: hypervisors, clusters, brokers, security, storage, networks, streaming, provisioning etc. and don’t pay enough attention to the actual OS build.

The OS build is absolutely critical for the success of any VDI project. If you don’t optimise your OS image you will use more CPU, memory and critically storage IOPS than you actually need which can ramp up your costs or cause your whole project to fail.


VMware has released the VMware OS Optimization Tool to assist with just this for Windows 7 desktops and VMware Horizon View. There are customisable templates to enable or Windows services and features to ensure you have optimum performance.

There is also a Remote OS Optimization Tool which allows you to connect to a remote Horizon View broker to optimise images.

Although this tool is specifically written for VMware View and uses VMware’s recommendations and best practices, the OS settings are as applicable when using Citrix XenDesktop or other brokers or in fact when running any Windows 7 workstation even without a broker when your users connect using just RDC.

If you are wanting to get more information on your current Windows desktop (not only limited to VDI) performance, I would also suggest looking at Helge Klein’s fantastic UberAgent for Splunk which gives you all sorts of information to help find out what’s taking too long.

To really ensure you cover all bases I would suggest using this new VMware tool in conjunction with other scripts and tools:

VDI Optimizer

VMware Horizon View Optimization Guide for Windows 7 and Windows 8

IT Blood Pressure’s EUC Tips

Quest vWorkspace Desktop Optimizer

Citrix Windows 7 Optimization Guide for Desktop Virtualization

Project VRC White Papers (free registration required)

How to Optimize XenDesktop Machines

Best Practice: Group Policy for Virtual Desktops Infrastructure (VDI)

VDI Group Policy Optimisation Template and Script

London VMUG, Independence Day Edition – Thursday 4th July 2013 – Register Now!

June 18th, 2013 1 comment

The London VMware User Group (VMUG) is meeting in an independence day extravaganza  on the 4th July 2013 at:

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
33 Queen Street

It doesn’t cost anything to attend and is a full day event stuffed to the gills with interesting content and people. Lunch is included so you won’t even go hungry and its well worth arranging time away from your desk for access to so much more information than you can possibly find by trawling the web. You can register at

I’ll be hosting a VDI roundtable so if you have anything you’d like to share or something you need answered, come along and join in the discussion.

Community Speakers: 
• Fernando Frediani – Build Your Own Shared Storage
• Steve Bruck and Stuart McHugh – SSO SOS
• Sam McGeown – PowerCLI Tips and Scripts
• Seb Hakiel – 4000-seat VDI Lessons
• Julian Wood – VDI roundtable Discussion
• Simon Gallagher – Hybrid vCloud Reaction

Sponsor Speakers: 
• Hans de Leenheer – Veeam
• David Cumberworth – Atlantis Computing
• Dell Wyse

Special Guest: 
• Frank Denneman – Pernix Data

You can see the full agenda here.

After filling your head with superb technical content, it’s time to fill your tummy with a tasty beverage so we’ll all be heading on to the pub to catch up and solve the worlds EUC and cloud issues!

See you there.

Categories: VDI, VMUG, VMware Tags: , ,

London VMUG – January 2013 = EUC + VXLAN + BigData +Certs = Register Now!

January 15th, 2013 No comments

The London VMware User Group (VMUG) gathers again following the great success of the UK National VMUG last November. The meeting is on the 24th January 2013 at:

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
33 Queen Street

It’s a free to attend full day event packed with interesting useful content with even lunch included and certainly worth a day out of the office. You can register at

Brian Gammage who is VMware’s chief market technologist will be speaking about VMware’s vision for End User Computing (EUC) in Journey to the Post-PC Era and will also be chairing what promises to be a very interesting panel discussion EUC Panel with VDI Gurus which I’ve been asked to participate in.

From VMware, we have Spencer Pitts doing a What’s Here and What’s Coming Soon all about VMware’s EUC products and Kim Raynard will be talking about ex-Dynamic Ops, now vCloud Automation Center (vCAC).

Dan Senior who is Colt’s lead architect for their vCloud platform will be speaking about Deploying vCloud Director 5.1 and VXLAN.

VMUG regular presenter Stu Radnidge will be talking about Big Data for the Uninitiated.

Gregg Robertson will be letting you know about VMware Certification Updates.

Eric Sloof will also be jetting over from the Netherlands to give us an HA deep dive.

There are also sponsor presentations from Nutanix, Zerto and 10Zig.

You can see the full agenda here.

After filling your head with superb technical content, it’s time to fill your tummy with a tasty beverage so we’ll all be heading on to the pub to catch up and solve the worlds EUC and cloud  issues!

See you there.

Categories: VMUG, VMware Tags: , ,

VMworld Europe Independent #vBrownBag Tech Talk Sessions

October 12th, 2012 2 comments

The official VMworld Barcelona session catalogue was huge and full of VMware sanctioned content. However running in parallel there was a fantastic community run fringe event.

The #vBrownBag guys stepped up to the plate and spent a lot of personal time to put together a whole series of short Tech Talks where anyone with something to say could have the spotlight.

Now, this wasn’t some soap box in the corner of a room with some nutters yelling into a megaphone but a super organised, livestreamed sponsored event with some serious content.

There were VMware employees and engineers talking about how you can run some seriously awesome yet unsupported VMware configurations as well as some seriously brainy and very highly regarded community members who have a passion for virtualisation and in their own time put together presentations that they thought the VMware community would be interested in.

Luckily these were all recorded so you can take some time out and see for yourself what the VMware community has to contribute.

Read more…

NetApp releases Virtual Storage Console for Citrix XenServer

August 17th, 2012 No comments

NetApp has now released a version of its Virtual Storage Console for Citrix XenServer as a plug-in to XenCenter. The VSC allows you to provision, resize and destroy storage repositories, manage deduplication and provision VMs using FlexClone and then import them into XenDesktop.

One of the nice things about XenServer and XenCenter is you create storage at the pool level and it is automatically mounted to all hosts in the pool rather than having to provision the storage for each host individually like you need to do in vSphere clusters. This VSC now makes it even simpler by being able to create the volumes and exports on the array as well.

You can read all about the release from the DataSheet.

Looking into the future at VMworld

August 13th, 2012 No comments

VMware’s US mega conference, VMworld kicks off in San Francisco in just over 2 weeks time. 19000 people attended in Las Vegas last year (we will have to see whether the choice of venue affects the numbers for this year!)

This will be my first time attending VMworld US as living in London I have attended VMworld Europe previously so am excited to see the differences, enjoy the bigger conference and meet some more fellow vExperts and other community members.

There’s obviously a huge amount that goes on at the conference from the keynote speaches, breakout sessions, panel discussions, labs, formal and informal meetings, and general networking so working out what to actually see with so much going on is harder than many people would assume.

Read more…

Help, My VDI Project is Hell! – a London VMUG presentation

May 17th, 2012 2 comments

Today I have the pleasure of talking at the London VMware User Group.

My presentation is called Help, My VDI Project is Hell!

There are many complexities with VDI projects causing many to fail at the planning stage, at the POC or testing stage or even worse during the implementation phase.

I go through some of the Magic Fixes that VDI is meant to solve and what the reality often turns out to be with all this new technology you need to consider.

Looking at some research stats, many companies are doing VDI for the wrong reasons with many thinking they should do VDI to save costs and then realising this often isn’t the case.

VDI is great for many use cases, remote connectivity, security, quicker provisioning, containing your VM info, maybe availability, maybe easier management but can be also terrible in many circumstances with performance, user experience, cost, peripherals, licensing, flexibility, support and general complexity issues.

I then go through the 3 things you need to work out, your strategy, your apps and your users.

Read more…

Categories: VDI, VMUG, VMware Tags: , ,

I’m talking VDI at the London VMware User Group, 17 May 2012 – register now!

April 27th, 2012 No comments

Check your diaries, the next London VMware User Group will be on the 17th May 2012 at the.

I have the lucky task of presenting again at one of the sessions. I’m going to be talking VDI with a presentation I’ve  called for fun “Help, My VDI Project is Hell!” I’ve found many VDI projects fall apart at some stage so I’m going to be dolling out some of my strategic musings on tackling the VDI minefield and then hopefully offer some practical & useful tips to help you make your project a success if you decide VDI is for you.

Even if you don’t want to hear me drone on again and VDI isn’t something you are interested in, there’s plenty more to find out during the day with presentations from 6 community members! I think this may be a London VMUG record which I’m very proud to be part of. I’m very keen on ensuring there’s plenty of U being put into VMUGs  along with all the other presentations from VMware and other vendors.

The presentations by users are:

  • Darren Woollard: Over to You: Design Me a Highly Available Virtualised Infrastructure
  • Chris Kranz: Flexpod: The Flexible Converged Infrastructure
  • Ricky El-Qasem: Writing VMware Apps for Novice Programmers
  • Neil Mills: The vMarket – Skills in Demand for the Next Five Years
  • Steve Bryen: Management and Orch’n – What, Why & How

Read more…

Categories: VMUG Tags: ,

Citrix XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1 is not supported with XenDesktop 4 & 5

April 6th, 2011 No comments

Citrix XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1 is the latest release of XenServer but it is not supported as a hypervisor with either XenDesktop 4 or XenDesktop 5.

Have a look at the Citrix eDocs for Host Requirements / Hosting Infrastructure.

XenDesktop 4

XenDesktop 5

XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1 has been out since 15 December 2010 and the release notes specifically mention enhancements to Provisioning Services and XenDesktop (only coming in a future release)

Provisioning Services improvements to Windows volume license (MAK and KMS) support.

XenDesktop platform enhancements. Provides local host caching of VM images to reduce storage TCO for XenDesktop VDI deployments. (Note: these platform enhancements will be enabled by a future version of XenDesktop).

XenDesktop 5 was released on 3 December 2010. OK, that’s only 12 days before XenServer FP1 but surely Citrix would have made the enhancements to XenDesktop 5 to support XenServer 5.6 FP 1…obviously not.

I’ve heard from Citrix that XenServer 5.6 Service Pack 2 is due for release soonish and will be supported by both XenDesktop 4 and 5. This does contradict somewhat with the release notes which state support will be in a newer version of XenDesktop rather than a newer version of XenServer.

If you are running XenDesktop 4 or 5 with XenServer 5.6 as the hypervisor, don’t upgrade to Feature Release 1, rather wait for Service Pack 2.