EUC1513 – Stress Testing Your Horizon View System (VMworld 2014 – US)

By | October 17, 2014

Overview (by VMware)

Many companies build a VMware View infrastructure, and test it lightly, and then begin putting production users onto it, believing they will catch the system before it hits the limits. The other common scenario is the system is overbuilt to protect it from running out of resources, driving up the cost dramatically. The reality is this neither generates the load needed to confirm the system is correct or it is an expensive design that quite often creates such sticker shock it never gets past a Proof of Concept or a Pilot. Using tools that are already inside of the Horizon 6, along with our View Planner tool, you can test more thoroughly the architecture before users are placed onto it and measure the resources to more accurately determine where the weaknesses are or what the max capacity really is for the system. View Planner allows the architect or system administrator to put a load on the hardware, and vCOps for View can measure the load to ensure it can handle it and save the organization from either having a flop or an extra expensive solution.

My notes

  • Stress test your environment – Validation for yourself (IT) and bosses
  • 50% of VDI projects fail in first 90 days of production – End user dissatisfaction
  • Performance issues can be typical of requirement for a stress test
    • Or planning to test new hardware or storage system
  • Help prove and validate your VDI can do, what it says on the tin
    • Understand maximums and set buffer around this
  • View Planner – Two modes
    • Benchmarking mode (for public) – 9 different apps in standard install, 44 operations, video apps, archive apps &web based apps.
      • x5 iterations. Remote mode only – Needs x clients launching View Client against View desktops.  Like for like infrastructure
    • Flexibility\Passive mode (available to Partners & PSO)
      • Could run 200 VMs each launching 5 sessions. Custom applications and switch off Office applications.  More flexibility.
  • Build a Test Plan – Standard tests
    • Group A Operations – Processor intensive (apps with graphics) 1 sec or less threshold (pass)
    • Group B – Disk intensive (file opens & file saves) 6 sec or less theshold (pass)
    • Group C – Background applications (video play)
  • Benchmarking and stress testing, run multiple iterations (over 4-5 hrs), ramp up stage, steady state and ramp down stages.
  • Make sure you have included all the different groups (organisation), so your test will be accurate. Ask users what applications they use.  Understand what they are using, tools like Liquidware and Lakeside
  • Why use vCOPS? Stress testing is only a short term test. vCOPS can forecast problem before they happen.
    • If desktop VMs are important and users do work on them, need to consider a tool to monitor
    • Session information (PCoIP) – Latency
  • Tail on View Planner appliance to monitor logs during testing (login via root)
    • cd ViewPlanner
    • Tail –f viewplanner.log
    • Also use ViewPlanner admin console and client connections to observe activity
  • Create scripts – AutoIT built in for automation
    • View Planner configuration file. Edit one line:-
    • CUSTOMAPP_SCRIPT_PATH = C:\ViewPlanner_Custom_Scripts
    • Can add your own custom applications using above, in addition to default apps used by View Planner
  • Built in workload (medium) – Pretty good overall, used for Reference Architectures
  • VDIMark – How many desktops can we reach before QoS – Pass mark.
    • Used against Group A, B and C operations. View Planner observes how long various operations take.
  • View Planner Configuration
    • Test AD environment if possible. Production AD not recommended.
    • AD connector created, so tool can provision accounts in AD. You create groups of accounts, therefore View Planner goes away and creates these.
  • Test – New Run Profile
    • Number of VMs, Ramp up time (max of 600 secs), AD Group
    • Connections per clients
  • vCOPS for View (V4V) – To monitor

Note:  The above is my understanding and interpretation of the information presented, whilst scribbling down these notes quickly through the session.  The usual VMware disclaimer also applies from the session.  I encourage you to either watch the session if you have access, alongside performing your own research on the technology.

I hope the above proves useful and provides further clarity into View Planner.

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