The good and the bad of Citrix XenDesktop

There is a entertaining discussion on Citrix XenDesktop versus VMware View. Having worked with both, I have my take on it. It is best to know both, both from a marketability and professional side. I like being agnostic when it comes to the hypervisor, compute, storage, or vdi solution. There is value, and let’s face it, it is fun!


Content Based Read Cache (CBRC) and VMware View 5.1

Implementing our VMware View 5.1 solution and enabled CBRC with 2048 MB for each host. This feature is used to provide memory based read cache for the more used portions of the vmdk.

When deploying the linked clone pool, there is a process that builds the virtual disk digest. This take a few minutes, as the replicas are building as well. As soon as those are built the deployment process is very quick. We are also using NetApp FlashCache with the deployment and I am not sure yet how that will work in, but as soon as we have all in place, we can look at some performance metrics.

Storage Optimization New in View 5.1, View Storage Accelerator is a technology that reduces storage loads generated by peak VDI storage reads caching the common blocks of desktop images into local host memory. The Accelerator leverages a VMware vSphere (version 5.0 or later) platform feature called Content Based Read Cache (CBRC) implemented inside the ESX/ESXi hypervisor. When enabled for specific VMs, the host hypervisor scans the storage disk blocks to generate digests of the block contents. When these blocks are read into the hypervisor, they are cached in the host based CBRC. Subsequent reads of blocks with the same digest will be served from the in-memory cache directly.  This significantly improves the desktop performance, especially during boot storms or anti-virus scanning storms when a large number of blocks with identical contents are read. “

Thanks to:

Dan Brinkmann’s blog

And a very detailed explanation, as well as how to configure vSphere 5 from virtually Ghetto

My Virtual Cloud

The ThinApp process with 32 and 64 bit Office Applications

Another victorious day after finding out that 64 bit MS Office 2010 applications are not supported in the ThinApp process, As per the KB article, you have to capture the MS 2010 Office apps in a 32 bit OS. Fortunately, we did have access to the 32 bit apps, captured them on a 32 bit Win7 OS and packaged them to my 64 bit Win 7 linked clones. Specifically we are talking about MS Project and Visio porting to the linked clones with 64 bit MS Office. Seems to work well.

You know, there is much more to designing a vDesktop solution that a server virtualization gig. I am not saying server virtualization is easy, but a vDesktop solution is a thinking man’s game. There are a lot of moving parts to it, and there are a mass of things to consider and plan for during the design.

During a conversation with my co-workers, the discussion was that we should not be responsible for the end to end solution. I have to disagree with that train of thought. As a consultant or engineer, I need to be concerned with the total solution, from end to end. That is what can develop you into a good consultant, engineer and trusted adviser, plus the experience is HUGE!!!!

More to follow on our experiences. This is great stuff!

Symantec and VMware View 5.1 Integration….It works!!!

We have been working on our roll out of View 5.1 using linked clones and were trying determine our AV solution. We are currently a Symantec shop, and were thinking of using the vShield Endpoint with the reported Symantec Plug-in, but at this moment that plug-in does not exist. After much research on the forms and different blogs, I did find referenced to Registry modifications from the “ThatsMyView” blog , but I found a reference to someone using Symantec 11.0.5 and View linked clones without issue on the VMware forums (

The bottom line is that using linked clones and Symantec 11.0.6, and using VMware’s Quickprep does work in our enviroment. We checked out the Symantec console and each linked clone did have a unique and individual identifier.

Also explained in “ThatsMy View” is the difference between Microsoft Sysprep and VMware’s Quickprep. If you are using linked clones, use Quickprep, as it seems to work well in our environment.

I will be following up with using the Content Based Read Cache (CBRC) feature on VMware View, and some experiences with the ThinApp 4.7 Virtualization Packager soon.

VMware View is another animal and it takes a different approach on design and architecture. It does stretch you a bit:)

VMware View Must Reads!!!

If you need a quick primer on VMware View, you must read VMware View 5 Desktop Virtualization Solutions, by Written by VMware experts Jason Langone and Andre Leibovici, as well as Building End-User Computing Solutions with VMware View, by Mike Laverick and Barry Coombs. The two books, plus the VMware View pdfs have been an immense help in getting our project off the ground. As the Lead on the View implementation, I had to get smart on View quickly, and these two publications have saved the day. Must reads!!!
Also waiting on VMware View 5: Building a Successful Virtual Desktop.

Emulex OneConnect OCe 10100 and VMware 4.1iU2

I have checked the HCL, forums, Emulex site and cannot find any information on thw Emulex OneConnect OCe 10100. My dilema is that the customer has many Dell 710 with this card. I cannot find it on the HCL, it causes VM and host lockup in the hardware iSCSI persona, but works with software iSCSI. The upgrade path to vSpere 5 may have issues, and if it is not on the HCL, VMware will not support.

I got a response from Mike Brown referencing Points go to Mike Brown for the first and quickest response.

I also got an explanation from Andreas about the OCe 10100 being a device family rather than a specific card and also referencing this link

I think I will have an answer to this in a few days and will post the results.