VMware Service Manager as a front end portal to VMware View sugguestion

Something that I get asked about often when working with customers on their VDI designs is a portal to request virtual desktops. Much like “The Cloud” IT organization seeking more automation when it comes to virtual desktop environments. All the major vendors are adding automation around the creation of the desktops within the pools of desktops and have been for some time now. But the business people that are consuming the virtual desktops want a portal or store that they can go to check out or request a desktop.

To give an example a marketing manager hires 3 new people and needs to have them added to the VDI environment. There may be forms to fill out to request or maybe its a ticket that needs to be submitted to request the desktops. But it would be much simpler if he could go to a web portal and fill in the new user details and make a couple of selections from options provided and BANG! a few minutes later he gets an email saying the desktops are ready and this is how his people can connect to them.

Now I don’t think this is that far off of an idea and with VMware already having the right tools to make this happen. I think that with a little hard work and the use of VMware Service Manager something like this could be created. Now some of you might have not heard of Service Manager (SM) before or maybe you’ve heard the name but don’t understand what it does. It seems like SM is a bit like Orchestrator in that people have heard the name but no one is using it. If you search the web there are almost no blog post written about SM and very few videos about SM even by VMware.

As of today I’m not sure if this would be possible in the current version of Service Manager or if it would require VMware to add this as a new feature. But it would be a good selling point for a misunderstood product that is not much different than a Unicorn right now. As of today SM has replaced VMware Request Manager as the tool used to provide VM request management for vCloud designs. So if a user wants request management in their VMware cloud they need to use SM. So this is right in the same ballpark and would be a big competitive advantage that Citrix is not offering right now.

I plan to try and setup SM in my lab soon and see if this is possible with the current version and provide any feedback on whether I was successful or not.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Voting for Top Virtualization blogs is now open

This has become a tradition now for the last couple of years. Eric over at vsphere-land.com has opened up the voting for top virtualization blogs. This year brings the idea of special categories for blogs that focus on certain topics like scripting, VDI or something else.

I would appreciate your votes if you have the time please fill out the survey. I am listed in the full blog list and in the VDI category. So remember to cast a vote for VirtualizeTips.com. You can vote HERE

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/786135/Top-VMware-virtualization-blogs-2012

 

Thanks,

Brian

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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How to monitor PCoIP performance in View 5 with WMI counters

Along with the many other features that are new in VMware View 5, there are now WMI counters to monitor and report on PCoIP performance. In this post I will highlight some of the ones that I think are most valuable. At first I was kind of mixed about how I felt VMware choose to implement these features. But for those of you that have tools that can monitor Windows PC’s via WMI or are used to using Perfmon you will have no learning curve for this.

You can view these counters in Perfmon if you have access to the PC or the end user is familiar enough to help collect the data. Or if you have a tool that is capable of monitoring or collecting this data you will be able to add these to your standard monitoring rules. I plan on setting up some of the common monitoring tools in a lab when there is time and testing how they work with these new counters.

In the image below you can see the 5 new PCoIP sections that are available in Perfmon. Each of these has a number of counters that will help you monitor and trouble shoot PCoIP sessions for your View 5 users.

In the next image I am showing the counters available under the PCoIP network statistics section. This will give you details about network stats within the View session. You can monitor bandwidth, latency and packet loss for example.

On the next image I fired up a session and started to monitor the network settings for my PCoIP session. You can see below that I was looking at my latency and it was all over the board. This is because I was running from my house and the internet there is line of sight and well lets just say it sucks. But it is fairly useful for testing things like this because I get to see how they perform on bad connections.

 I have take shows of the remaining counters available for monitoring and shown them below. These counters focus on general PCoIP stats, Audio, Video/Image and USB related statistics for the View session. Over all I’m glad to see these new features added to view. Now I am waiting to see how tool makers adapter their products to take advantage of these new features. I am very eagerly waiting to get a look at vCenter Operations for View coming out in early 2012.

Update December 22, 2011:

I have listed out the different WMI classes and their explanations below. This should help you with understanding what each does.

PCoIP Network Statistics

RoundTripLatencyms Round trip latency in milliseconds between the PCoIP server and thePCoIP client.
RXBWkbitPersec Overall bandwidth for incoming PCoIP packets averaged over thesampling period, in seconds
RXBWPeakkbitPersec Peak bandwidth in kilobits per second for incoming PCoIP packets over aone-second sampling period
RXPacketLossPercent Percentage of received packets lost during a sampling period
TXBWkbitPersec Overall bandwidth for outgoing PCoIP packets averaged over thesampling period, in seconds.
TXBWActiveLimitkbitPersec Estimated available network bandwidth in kilobits per second. Thisstatistic is updated once per second
TXBWLimitkbitPersec Transmission bandwidth limit in kilobits per second for outgoing packets.The limit is the minimum of the following values:n GPO bandwidth limit for the PCoIP clientn GPO bandwidth limit for the PCoIP server

n Bandwidth limit for the local network connection

n Negotiated bandwidth limit for the Zero Client firmware based on

encryption limits

 

TXPacketLossPercent Percentage of transmitted packets lost during a sampling period

 

General PCoIP Sessions Statistics

BytesReceived Total number of bytes of PCoIP data that have been received since thePCoIP session started
BytesSent Total number of bytes of PCoIP data that have been transmitted since thePCoIP session started
PacketsReceived Total number of packets that have been received successfully since thePCoIP session started. Not all packets are the same size
PacketsSent Total number of packets that have been transmitted since the PCoIPsession started. Not all packets are the same size
RXPacketsLost Total number of received packets that have been lost since the PCoIPsession started
SessionDurationSeconds Total number of seconds that the PCoIP Session has been open
TXPacketsLost Total number of transmitted packets that have been lost since the PCoIPsession started.

PCoIP Audio Statistics

AudioBytesReceived Total number of bytes of audio data that have been received since thePCoIP session started.
AudioBytesSent Total number of bytes of audio data that have been sent since the PCoIPsession started.
AudioRXBWkbitPersec Bandwidth for ingoing audio packets averaged over the sampling period,in seconds
AudioTXBWLimitkbitPersec Transmission bandwidth limit in kilobits per second for outgoing audiopackets. The limit is defined by a GPO setting 
AudioTXBWkbitPersec Bandwidth for outgoing audio packets averaged over the samplingperiod, in seconds. 

PCoIP Imaging Statistics

ImagingBytesReceived Total number of bytes of imaging data that have been received since the PCoIP session started
ImagingBytesSent Total number of bytes of imaging data that have been transmitted since the PCoIP session started.
ImagingDecoderCapabilitykbitPersec Estimated processing capability of the imaging decoder in kilobits per second. This statistic is updated once per second
ImagingEncodedFramesPersec Number of imaging frames that were encoded over a one-second samplingperiod.
ImagingActiveMinimumQuality Lowest encoded quality value on a scale from 0 to 100. This statistic is updated once per second. This counter does not correspond to the GPO setting for minimum quality 
ImagingRXBWkbitPersec Bandwidth for incoming imaging packets averaged over the sampling period, in seconds. 
ImagingTXBWkbitPersec Bandwidth for outgoing imaging packets averaged over the sampling period, in seconds. 

PCoIP USB Statistics

USBBytesReceived Total number of bytes of USB data that have been received since the PCoIP session started.
USBBytesSent Total number of bytes of USB data that have been transmitted since the PCoIP session started.

 

USBRXBWkbitPersec Bandwidth for incoming USB packets averaged over the sampling period, in seconds

 

USBTXBWkbitPersec Bandwidth for outgoing USB packets averaged over the sampling period, in seconds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Recap of Chicago VMUG User Conference 2011

Well October 31st and Halloween have come and gone and I’m just getting around to writing my recap. It was a busy day all round between the overwhelming success of Chicago’s first VMUG user conference and sugar overload from candy. I can’t say how proud I am of the turn out that the VMUG had. We broke an attendance record for a first time user conference with 500 people showing up at the conference. I believe the previous record was 390, so we have something to be proud of Chicago VMUG members.

The conference had speaking tracks from VMware and Partners on some great topics. I was able to attend sessions on View 5 and related products and a deep dive on ThinApp. Both were really good sessions with great speakers from VMware. I know that the VMUG leaders would like to thank everyone that came out to the conference and the Vendors that sponsored for making it all possible. But a huge thanks goes to VMware and the VMUG organization for helping plan this big event and making sure things went off without any issues.

I was able to meet a bunch of new VMUG members from Chicago and look forward to staying in contact with you all and meeting more. I hope that people that attended the user conference are able to attend our quarterly VMUG meetings that we hold. Growing our membership and creating a community around VMware in Chicago is a big part of the VMUG.

The Picture below is a view from the View 5 session that was presented by Josh from VMware. He covered all the infrastructure parts of View 5 and what roles they play. There were several good questions from the audience and he covered some real world implementation stories.

The image below is a picture from the exhibit space at the VMUG conference. We had tremendous vendor interest in the meeting. There was 55 boots in the space and some really great vendors and partners were there talking with VMUG members and helping them with products and solutions.

a

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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More VMware iPad app goodness at VMworld Copenhagen 2010

Some people were hoping to hear that the VMware iPad app for vSphere Management would be released at VMworld Copenhagen but that was not the case. We did get another look at the applications and a glimpse at a new VMware product that works nicely with the iPad also.

In the first section of the video we get another peek at the VMware vSphere management iPad app. There are some improvements that were made since we first say it at VMworld San Francisco. In the video he mentions that they hope to release a Beta version in a few weeks and then the final version late 2010 as a VMware Labs Fling. We get to see how you can now power cycle or restart a VM, get a look at home much CPU and Memory it’s consuming and some other details.

The next part of the video shows us the VMware View Client for iPad. We see a demo of it logging into the View portal at VMware corporate and connecting to a Windows 7 VDI machine. He then showcases the virtual Touch Pad that we had heard about in the last video from San Fran. The improvements that were made to the virtual keyboard are pretty cool. I like how they have added the Windows function keys and other standard keys that will make using a Windows VDI on an Apple iPad easier. VMware is definitely stepping up the level for portable VDI with this application.

In the final part of the video we get to see the web interface for the newly announced vCloud Request Manager from the iPad. This allows for requests to be made inside of vCloud Director that will require a managers approval. You are able to view all of your prior requests and see what is pending, approved or denied. This looks really cool and will go a long way for improving the mobility for people working with VMware and vCloud.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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