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Vmware View 4 Application


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Dear forum,

Lately i've been reading alot on PCoIP and VMware View 4 has anyone ever tried this solution ? I'm a bit mixed up on this product as there are many demos out there but all are very brief. Lets say i needed to set up 5 terminals using a mini-itx ion based bare bone system as a thin client, if i had a good server (xeon based) running 5 different VMs which would be used for CAD , CAM , Photoshop and other programs requiring a decent system on which to run will end users connected with VMware View over a gigabit connection have a seamless ( or relatively good) performance with little latency on their bare bone system without having to implement any hardware pci-e cards ? Microsoft's remote desktop client isn't performing that well in my case.

Thanks in advance,

Entity

Ps. if anyone knows of a way to do this using some other software not VMware a solution/idea would also be appreciated :)

Edited by entity
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Dear forum,

Lately i've been reading alot on PCoIP and VMware View 4 has anyone ever tried this solution ? I'm a bit mixed up on this product as there are many demos out there but all are very brief. Lets say i needed to set up 5 terminals using a mini-itx ion based bare bone system as a thin client, if i had a good server (xeon based) running 5 different VMs which would be used for CAD , CAM , Photoshop and other programs requiring a decent system on which to run will end users connected with VMware View over a gigabit connection have a seamless ( or relatively good) performance with little latency on their bare bone system without having to implement any hardware pci-e cards ? Microsoft's remote desktop client isn't performing that well in my case.

Thanks in advance,

Entity

Ps. if anyone knows of a way to do this using some other software not VMware a solution/idea would also be appreciated :)

Maybe if i change the question a bit it could spring some ideas i need to access virtual computers over a network (wired 1 gigabit) but the VMs are going to be used for highly graphical work ... what can i use to access them as Microsoft RDP is quite laggy . The solutions don't have to be based around VMware they can use other virtualization methods/software .

Thanks in advance,

Entity

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Most graphic intensive programs require a native GPU for the processing power. I dont know that any networked solution is goign to give you great results with respect to something as demadning as CAD on a remote server. The screen refreshes would probably be choppy at best from a remote desktop of any kind, thin client or virtual. Thats not to say you cant harness the power of the remote server to do yoru processing, but in my mind rendering should happen natively from the workstations GPU while processing power is clustered or such.

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Firstly thanks for the reply :) , I too use to think that gpu intensive applications need a powerful native gpu but this PCoIP concept got me interested in trying the above setup as it requires less power and all the other benefits that VMs have. The problem is that i haven't come across much on how exactly to set up a "test" so to say to see if this protocol works as they say , which is "much better than RDP"

Regards,

Entity

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If VMware View works anything like nComputing, then you should be fine, but have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NComputing as an alternative if the VMware View doesn't work out for what you are trying to do.

http://www.ncomputing.com/Products/Xseries...US/Default.aspx

Edited by digip
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It works. But the setup that you are tossing out there isn't all that supporting of what your asking. How many CPU and clock rate and RAM and I can help you a bit more. I've played with it a bit and I like it. I use it for more medical based apps that are used with high res x-rays when I have a change. I haven't tossed it into the production field yet but it shows good signs. I wouldn't call it a 100% replacement as I would still leave the heavy hitters to the GPU based machines. This isn't listed in the documentation from what I've noticed "haven't looked" but I would keep at least a 2 to 1 ratio Max 6 to 1 on CPU to thin client setup even thou VMware puts it as a 20 VM to 1 core rule. Also set them as a High Priority on that host and you should be ok... It might be cheaper to get some Wyse clients instead of building out machines with Atom based CPU's at least that way you might be able to get a 30 day loan on a few of them and try it for yourself.

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Thanks for the reply guys :) with regards to the host server i was thinking of setting up a custom server (building from parts) myself. Would you recommend any specific motherboards etc please ? I was thinking of getting a motherboard that supports two Intel Xeon X5680 3.33GHz or would that not be enough ? Also CrYpTiC when u said "Max 6 to 1 on CPU" so if i have a dual socket motherboard with 2 Intel Xeons that gives me 12 workable machines ? Thanks again for the answers and excuse me for the 20 questions !

Regards,

Entity

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Entity- "Also CrYpTiC when u said "Max 6 to 1 on CPU" so if i have a dual socket motherboard with 2 Intel Xeons that gives me 12 workable machines ?"

With the x5680 you might be able to pull off a better ratio. Being that those are nice chips and the HT works awesome in a virtual environment think more along the lines of 24 machines per physical CPU 6physical cores 6HT cores "MAX 72 Degradation in performance noticeable I would guess". I miss typed on that I meant Core not CPU may bad. It was a little late and beer was getting warm rushed a few words... As far as motherboards nope cant help on that one I haven't built high end ESX boxes from the ground up. I like HP at the moment for there servers. Get a good solid Intel e1000 Nics would aim for 2 4 head ones "$1200 each".

How large are the assemblies that you plan on pushing thru these? I did a little cad work some odd 3 years back and I'm not certain nor do I have the budget to try this out with objects that are 1000+ parts in size. Memory is key on this if you plan on pushing these I would set each VM with at least 3GB RAM. I've only had to set each of mine at 2GB as some of the xrays are in the 70mb range each one. Going thru them and a few medicial apps fells just like your on a real machine and I've never noticed any bad effects in the graphics department.

If you do it let us know how it turns out I would love to see what its like and how hard you can push it with CAD you should be fine. Maybe a little youtube video lol.

20 questions are always good thats how we learn :) Some of us just have to ask a few more times...

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Ok so before going full scale i scrambled some old pc parts together just for the sake of testing before investing.I've got a quad core q6600 8 gig of ddr3 ram and 3 free pci slots. How can we proceed from there using this as the host just to test 1 or 2 VMs. I'm not expecting much out of this machine but i suppose it will be a nice test.

Regards,

Entity

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A general walk threw on a quick setup? First things first you need a few nic's that are supported under vmware changes are if you have hardware like that sitting around you have them. Even if its an old nForce board the nics work. I just did it the other day so a quick guide I can do lol.

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A general walk threw would be great :) well the parts i have are from my friend's old game station got an 790i ultra SLI motherboard he might use it after if the results are good hehe just for his own home use though . Another question that sprung to mind is what graphics card would work best and if there is some way to use nvidia's tesla cards with a setup of this sort (maybe use its processors to be assigned to VMs ) just a random thought :)

Thanks for the help / interest CrYpTiC,

Entity

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I'll get a quick one written up on Saturday. Nice busy day today. There are no support 3d acceleration devices that are supported with in ESX or ESXi. This would be where you have to dedicate additional memory and allocate it as video. Not to sure how it will do... If this doesn't work out then you'll have to aim for the HP thin client with blades as a back end running the stuff "Or try DigIP's idea". Which doing that is AMAZING just hard and out right expensive to setup and get running it would be cost effective if you have over I would guess 2000 work stations all high-end. Glad to toss in a few tips I wonder what it will turn out in the 3d side as well, its kick butt for what I use it for some people hate going back to desktops lol.

As a quick start you will need 3 computers minimum to get it running. 1 is vCenter. 2nd is the View Manager "connection server". 3 Is the test machine that you are trying from.

vCenter must will be needed for various things it will also help in coordination of clones.

View can be a VM and works just fine.

Third machine will have the PCoIP client installed.

Last is the VM with the CAD stuff installed I assume you already have this setup.. Install the view agent on this machine doing it before vm tools makes life a lot easier.

Blah back to work

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Agreed. I did a few test over the weekend before I decided to write up a how too. 3D did work after many hours of tweaking but to be honest at 9+ hours of tweaks to get 5fps or so was a total waste of time. It was unreliable at best and I don't expect to see support anytime soon but it would be cool. It works amazing for my stuff but anything past was a little funny to watch lol.

To be honest VMware might not be the best if you are going to run it on top of another server. I would aim for Sun VirtualBox as it dose have 3D support and is very nice. I'm totally unsure if you would be able to strap a few of cards in server and have it use all of them for 3D rendering. That I would have to ask someone else to try. At this point I would say it might be easier to go the HP route as that dose work out very nice just expensive or stick with high end desktops as always. If you still have the urge to use view I'll toss a quick guide together but for CAD it dose work it's just no ware near as good as a desktop or many other solutions out there.

Tried and true GPU = Best Choose Still!!!

Sun Virtual = Not to bad as a 2nd place for virtual

HP Thin with Blade = Pretty Good third option expensive

VMware = After testing 3d will work kind of you must be despite to use

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I tried it this weekend too hosted ontop of a win server 2008 platform and 3d work quite good almost flawless with no tweaking at all on the host, my problem is how to transmit that performance over a network which is why i was looking at PCoIP as the standard Microsoft RDP just delivers "screenshot" performance.

Regards,

Entity

Edited by entity
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If VMware View works anything like nComputing, then you should be fine, but have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NComputing as an alternative if the VMware View doesn't work out for what you are trying to do.

http://www.ncomputing.com/Products/Xseries...US/Default.aspx

Digip in your post why did u reccomend the above and not

http://www.ncomputing.com/Products/LSeries...tconnected.aspx

Also CrYpTiC could you still please post a quick guide :) will try it and report back the results !

Thanks in advance,

Entity

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Digip in your post why did u reccomend the above and not

http://www.ncomputing.com/Products/LSeries...tconnected.aspx

Also CrYpTiC could you still please post a quick guide :) will try it and report back the results !

Thanks in advance,

Entity

I was recommending nComputing in general, not a specific product they offer. That new one you linked to looks awesome though.

** The L-300 requires specific multi-user single OS server licensing for Server 2003, 2008 or Multipoint 2010, as where the X550 I believe works off normal workstations running XP, Vista, 7, with no additional licensing.

Edited by digip
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Super Quick Guide

Assuming you know the simple stuff like installs that are just that with no options...

First things first you'll need at least a minimum of 3 machines and these components.

1. VMware view connection server

2. VMware vCenter Lab Manager-4.x.x.x

3. VMware Composer

4. vCenter

5. VMware view Agent\Client

First part is finding a machine that will host Connection and Lab Manager. This machine can be a VM as it's just a broker box. Prerequisite must be meet before install. Enable ISS support with ASP. SQL doesn't not need to be installed on this box. ASP 2.0 is the one that tripped me up the most http://quickstarts.asp.net/QuickStartv20/a...ment/tools.aspx scroll to the bottom and follow the enable in security console. "Done in command line". Have the machine fully patched and .NET 4 works just fine so don't worry about that one messing anything up.

Install VMware view connection server on the one that you are going to use as the brokerage server "Connect To". This is a very straight forward one and is a lot of next. Onces this one is complete install VMware vCenter Lab Manager on the same box again this is a lot of next. Onces both are completed reboot and while that one is rebooting log into the vCenter server for the next part.

This part is what is killing me. I'm not a SQL guy and I always ask for help... On the vCenter box install VMware Composer. Composer is the best part of this setup as it allows for your master copy of the image to remain read only and all changes are only saved in delta's "Snapshots". Click next until you get to the part where you need to specify the DSN that you wish to use. Considering I'm not sure on anyone else setup I have a smaller setup that is used for testing at the time. SQL is installed local so it made it very easy for me. Create a DB and put whatever name you like in it. For example I created one that was VMwareComposer nothing original :) Make the DSN connection under ODBC it can be 64 or 32. I made mine as a 64 and it worked out pretty well so far. Onces you enter the DSN info in the setup along with a user name and password you wont be asked anything more just next and finish. It will close out without anything else and that is the only time you will have any configuration chances. If you mess up uninstall and reinstall its only 46MB or so and takes 2 seconds.

Back to the brokerage server for now... Let's do this part on your desktop it's easier. Open IE and go to server name/admin this will pull up the View Manager login. Log in with admin rights on that box which will have to be a domain account. Click on Configuration on the top the 3rd icon box over from the left and move right. The windows always show up in 3 panes so I'll call that one top the other is left and then right. Right is where most of the configuration takes please. In the left there is 5 options Product Licensing and Usage that is your first stop. Click it and then move over to Edit License and enter the trial license from VMware. It will be a 100 machine with View and Offline desktops set to expire in 60 days from initial request. Next click servers on the left. Click on add on the right in the vCenter Servers section. Add the vCenter server name which is also the server with composer installed. Leave SSL check and then click the big box that says Check For View Composer Compatility then wait and select the Enable View Composer box. Say ok and that part is good. If the link between fails its the database connection. Creating an ODBC connection on broker as well can help.

Create a windows XP/Vista/7 VM in vCenter. I'm not going to go thru details on that lol. Onces completed install the VMware Agent before you install the VMware tools. Either way it works I've just found it's quicker with the agent first as it doesn't lock files. Onces completed watch the magic happen. "You don't see jack"

Now lets create a connection to a VM. Click Desktops and Pools in the top section. The main window on the Right will be selected as Desktops and Pools. There is an option to Add. Select it and start reading each type. This is were you can go nuts and do whatever you want. I did Manual because it was the quickest way to get it running without a headache and it's tired to a single user. Select Next and then you get persistent or none persistent. Again your choice. Next is safe to leave at Virtual machine manages by vCenter, keep going until done. At that point you will have an entry below the add button select it and then click Entitlements and a group that is allowed to use it. I used tie these down to only IT staff as its a first time run and shouldn't be viewed by everyone. Click ok when done.

Now this is the fun part you can use the client on your local workstation or with a thin client. The workstation is a little easier to use for testing. Its another click thru install. Open the agent and type in the name of the VMware connection server/view and then hit connect. You should see the name of the VM that you entered when you were in the Desktop and Pools section when you hit Add. And from here its all on you. I spent hours tinkering with settings to get 3D to work. While it works kind of its defiantly better at 2D because it doesn't chock up on large images like some of my workstations. Play around and have fun I'm back at getting a few VMware appliance ready :)

I know this is very simple and that there is more then likely hundreds of guides on blogs and such all over the web but this was a quick one anything else fell free to ask unless it's database or exchange that's that two things I fall on my face and admit failure..

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Thanks for the replies guys :) will be trying this very soon CrYpTiC as some urgent work just came in :) but i'll take a bit of next week off just to try it thanks again for the help ! also i'll look more into the x550 Digip the only down side to the pci ones are the resolution ... only 1440 x 900 max.

Entity

Edited by entity
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey CrYpTiC,

To be honest i was searching around but i have not found the perfect solution till now ... i guess your "Tried and true GPU = Best Choose Still!!!" still is the best solution. The product digip talked about in his post looks promising but with only 1440 x 900 max resolution as a said in my last post ,which didn't exactly satisfy what i wanted. Maybe i was being a bit of a pig with that respect but what i actually wanted was a 1920x1080 output i'm still looking though :) . The virtual machine emulation worked perfectly with regards to VMs hosted on a server 2008 r2 with a graphics card in it even tried some modern games on the VM to make my friend who lent me the parts (q6600 and mobo) happy hehe ,and they all worked marvelously one was starcraft 2 which could be run on ultra graphics except the texture filtering which had to be set at medium but it didn't lag with regards to graphics with the stated settings. The problem is still the the "transmission" part of this equation ie. how to get a remote connection over a a wired lan that provides true desktop performance with no latency.

Regards,

Entity :)

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  • 5 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Update...

VMware View 4.6 on a full 4.1 environment will do the job of CAD with a twist!

Doing a Full VM install AKA Windows x.x.x with all applications install will be rather slow. To a point it's next to useless. On the other hand you can pull a rather nifty trick to save some IOP's on your SAN by getting your application as a ThinApp much like Citrix dose for there remote applications. While I can't give you a write up on how to do each application I can give a generic overview on some benefits.

Currently in the process of getting a few medical driven apps moved over "NOT EASY". Lost of legacy code from years of horrible programming.

The applications recommended to be run on a decent CPU any duel core will do just fine. 4GB or RAM per workstations "3.25GB". While it doesn't seem like much as it's the standard now on just about everything you buy. It can be rather difficult and cost adds up when you are forced to replace machines.

I have moved to a VM WinXP or Win7. 1 CPU with 768MB RAM. With 7 AERO is able to run very smooth with those specs on the same hardware I've had before which is now 2 years old. Normally the app took about 40 seconds to load on a decent desktop which is now down to 15 and very little lag within the app.

Start with a fresh VM. Patched to the lowest level you will be running the app on.

Install thinapp packager. Clear all windows temp yours and machines.

Take snapshot.

Run the thinapp manager to get the prescan done.

Install app.

Postscan for the goods.

Tinker with package that is created to your hearts content and learn how to use links!

Build the app.

Copy the bin folder to another location prefer a high quality storage.

Point workstation and the exe and have fun. When it's done right you will see the application is your central update point for all VM's and Workstations. I haven't found anything yet that has stalled out on 4.6.x where 4.0 was a dog slow.

Hope anyone enjoys as it was a blast getting a few different things running under this set up. If you happen to know of any free applications that do the same please share I would love to set up something along this line for home use. No more patching 20 machines at different locations.

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Hey CrYpTiC,

I've recently installed the 4.1 infrastructure and am currently installing view 4.6 to test it :) will try to find a guide to the ThinApp part to give that a shot too :) for now the whole ESX environment is proving to be quite stable and fast especially over the gig ethernet will post some links as to what tutorials I found useful if I manage to get the ThinApp up and running :)

Regards,

Entity

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