Hardware

Virtual Desktop Sizing Guide: With VMware View 4.0 and VMware VSphere 4.0 Update 1

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Executive Summary

On a standard 14-slot IBM, BladeCenter equates to running 2,800 concurrent virtual desktops within a single chassis. The Task Worker testing shows the ability of the IBM HS22 with vSphere 4 to virtualize 200 desktops on to 8 physical cores, or 25 desktops per core. Moving to the CoIP display protocol, the blade server was capable of 120 simultaneous desktop sessions, or 15 desktops per core. VMware indicates that optimizations in the next release of View will somewhat decrease the additional CPU overhead seen in this study. Future testing will be performed to re-validate the performance results of the PCoIP display protocol with the upcoming release. Beyond virtual machine core density, the testing presents key performance metrics to aid in the planning and sizing of a VDI environment. Both user workload and display protocol were varied to decide their own effects on server utilization. These results were analyzed to create usable statistics at both the host and individual virtual desktop level. While these performance metrics are useful for sizing a VDI environment on today's latest server technology, they should never replace a full capacity assessment when more accurate sizing numbers are required. Just as every physical desktop environment is unique, so too is the work load that users generate. Translating the physical desktop into a virtual, hosted desktop environment with its custom applications and power users is increasingly difficult to model without real-world performance data. In addition to the data provided, this paper hopes to stress the importance of properly categorizing users and their respective workloads in any desktop environment, so that a more accurate sizing model can be reached.

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