For optimizing the performance and stability of a Mirage cluster it is highly recommended to use a dedicated network interface for the SMB storage traffic. The following article will guide you through the process of getting an dedicated storage network up and running and how to move your existing Mirage volumes to the dedicated network.
Please validate this guide in an test environment before applying any chances to your production environment.
Create dedicated network
It is recommended to use a dedicated network for just the storage traffic. In this example a dedicated virtual switch is created which is only used for storage traffic.
In a productive environment you can use a dedicated network switch, or VLAN. If VLAN is not an option the physical separation of the storage network is the best option. For this scenario you need a minimum of four NICs (2 for storage network and 2 for client network)
A new network card, connected to the dedictated network, was added to each Mirage server.
Mirage server configuration
As a new network card was added to each Mirage servers this cards need to be configured correctly.
First of all the order in which the network cards are accessed by network services needs to be correct.
The primary network card which is used for the general communcation (Active Directory, Mirage server, Backup, Management, etc.) needs to be the first card in the list.
This option can be found under Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Network Connections –> Advanced -> Adapters and Bindings.
After configuring the order of the new network card for the dedicated storage the network needs to be configured.
In this example the IP range 192.168.89.0/24 is used for this cluster network. Therefore the first Mirage server gets the IP 192.168.89.1.
The use of DNS isn’t necessary and it is not recommended to configure an additional default gateway. The storage network should be a none routed network with direct connect tot he storage, if possible.
It is also necessary to leave the services „Client for Microsoft Networks“ and „File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks“ checked for the storage interface. If these services are disabled no access to the network share is possible.
Network share configuration
To use a network share as Mirage storage volume the account used for the Mirage services needs to be granted full permissions on the share.
Also, if a Windows file server it used, it also has to have full permissions granted at NTFS level.
If the network share used for the Mirage storage is provided by the Mirage servers itself, no additional configuration steps are needed. Windows automacially binds network shares on all network interfaces which have the „Files and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks“ enabled.
If a dedicated Windows file server or network filer (like NetApp) is used additional configuration steps are necessary to make the used network share available on the dedicated cluster network. These configuration steps are not covered in this article. Please contact your Windows file server administrator or storage vendor for further information on this topic.
Change path of an existing volumes to use the dedicated network
Before the current path of the Mirage volume can be changed the volume needs to be unmountend first. Unmounting a volume places the volume in a non-operational status but retains the CVD and Base Layer data on the volume. This means for time the volume is unmounted CVDs placed on this volume aren’t centralized or backed up.
As unmounting and changing the path of the volume only takes a few moments this shouldn’t be a problem.
When the storage is unmounted the path can be changed to the dedicated network. In this example the path is change from \\mirage2.fluxhorizon.com\miragelocalstorage$ to \\192.168.89.1\miragelocalstorage$.
After the path is changed the volume needs to be mounted again.
These steps need to repeated on each Mirage volume which should be placed on the dedicated network interface.
A new tool on the VMware Labs website might be interesting for a few readers here. It’s a Windows desktop optimization tool which helps to customize the operating system to perfectly work with VMware Horizon View. The tool includes templates to configure system features and services per VMware recommendations.
Image source: http://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-os-optimization-tool
Germany West VMUG Meeting 16. August 2013 with End User Computing Sessions and THE Celebrities of EUC
The next German VMware User Group is planned for 16th August 2013 in Schwalbach near Frankfurt. So if you’re around please join us for this great event. The agenda is fully packed with technical deep dives! This time the hot topic is ThinApp! The VMUG is a must as we have some special guests! Aaron Black and Peter Björk from VMware are joining this event!
Here’s the agenda:
If you’d like to attend this meeting please register via the VMUG website. Follow this link.
VMware has published a new version of Horizon Mirage with a few new features integrated.
- Endpoint centralization – Performance improvement when a large number of endpoint centralizations are performed, by reducing the number of IO operations required from the storage.
- Vista OS support – Horizon Mirage supports the disaster recovery use case for Vista, and Vista to Windows 7 migration.
- New help desk Web console – Help desk users can troubleshoot and fix endpoints using a Horizon Mirage Web interface.
- Client and file portal localization – The Horizon Mirage client and file portal now supports: French, German, Japanese and Simplified Chinese.
- Windows 7 in-place migration encrypts endpoints with Sophos 5.5 software – There is no need to decrypt endpoints during an in-place Windows 7 migration.
- Aligned Mirage license scheme to the Horizon user-based license scheme – Horizon Mirage no longer enforces license based on device count.
It has been very busy recently with new VMware View related books. This time Daniel Langenhan has a new security book for us about the essentials for a VMware View environment.
The book is expected to be released in July 2013.
What will you learn from this book: (information taken from publishers website)
- Create, use, and install SSL certificates
- Acquire a new skill set in troubleshooting security issues
- Learn about secure tunnelling your desktop connection with RDP and PCoIP
- Understand the concepts of pairing View security and transfer severs with View connection servers
- Understand the key aspects of blocking undesirable USB devices
And in details:
Besides Feature Pack 2 for Horizon View 5.2 VMware released a major update of the Horizon View Client for OS X.
The new client now supports virtual printing and running multiple desktops at the same time (without a workaround).
- Virtual printing - End users can now use local or network printers from a View desktop without having to install additional print drivers in the View desktop. Requires Horizon View 5.2 servers and desktops.
- Running multiple desktops at the same time - End users who are entitled to multiple desktop pools from a server can now have these desktops open on their client system at the same time. The desktop selector window for the View Connection Server instance remains open, so that after you connect to one desktop, you can easily connect to another.
You can download the new client via vmware.com/go/viewclients and find additional information using the buttons below.
Yesterday VMware release Feature Pack 2 for VMware Horizon View 5.2 which introduces two new features called Real-Time Audio-Video and Flash URL Redirection. It also includes some very useful improvements to Unity Touch.
- Flash URL Redirection - Customers can now use Adobe Media Server and multicast to deliver live video events in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment. To deliver multicast live video streams within a VDI environment, the media stream should be sent directly from the media source to the endpoints, bypassing the virtual desktops. The Flash URL Redirection feature supports this capability by intercepting and redirecting the ShockWave Flash (SWF) file from the virtual desktop to the client endpoint.
- Real-Time Audio-Video - Real-Time Audio-Video allows Horizon View users to run Skype, Webex, Google Hangouts, and other online conferencing applications on their virtual desktops. With Real-Time Audio-Video, webcam and audio devices that are connected locally to the client system are redirected to the remote desktop. This feature redirects video and audio data to the desktop with a significantly lower bandwidth than can be achieved by using USB redirection. Real-Time Audio-Video is compatible with standard conferencing applications and supports standard webcams, audio USB devices, and analog audio input.
- Unity Touch improvements - You can now add a favorite application or file from a list of search results, and you can now use the Unity Touch sidebar to minimize a running application’s window. Requires users to connect to their desktops from VMware Horizon View Client for iOS 2.1 or later, or VMware Horizon View Client for Android 2.1 or later.
Also there are several improvements to the View HTML Access feature which now includes localization support for French, German, and Traditional Chinese
To get the lastest features you need to be on version 5.2 of Horizon View and also make sure you use the latest clients on Windows (5.4), iOS and Android (2.1)
Besides the official documentation on the new features I want to highlight two article from Andre Leibovici.
- Understanding Horizon View Flash URL Redirection
- Understanding Horizon View Real-Time Audio-Video (RTAV)
You can find all information about the new Feature Pack 2 on my.vmware.com or directly via the buttons below.
Yes that’s right, Feature Pack 2 for Horizon View! VMware has just released the new pack with loads of enhancements for their Enterprise virtual desktop infrastructure solution.
The new pack includes the following features.
- Real-Time Audio and Video
- Flash URL Redirection
First of all it’s important to know that the Feature Pack 2 is supported with the View Agent 5.2 as the lowest version. So please make sure that your VMWare Horizon View installation is up to date before you try the new Feature Pack. Knowing this now let’s dig into the new features.
Real-Time Audio and Video
VMware supports Video und Audio for View quite a while with dedicated solutions like Microsft Lync 2013 in example. But now their is a broader support including an improved webcam and microphone experience supporting solutions like GoogleTalk, Skype or WebEx. Webcams and microphones are generally supported with Windows based View Clients. The upstream bandwidth for audio/video is compressed to as low as 300kbps. What does this mean? Before USB redirection with Webcams could lead into bandwidth usage of up to 60 MBit per single Webcam. The settings for Real-Time Audio-Vide can be configured via GPO’s.
More information can be found at: http://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2013/07/3370.html
An there are also already two KB articles online:
For configuration and administration of the Feature Pack 2 check this PDF: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/horizon-view/horizon-view-52-feature-pack-document.pdf
Flash URL Redirection
This new feature is supported on Windows and Linux Clients.It allows you to stream i.e. video events to the virtual desktops without affecting the datacenter network and servers.
With more and more x86 based Android tablets coming to the market their is now a x86 Android View Client available. The clients does support tablets and phones and delivers a rich user experience with Unity Touch and Presentation Mode.
To learn more about the new clients and features please visit the VMware website: http://www.vmware.com/support/view52/doc/horizon-view-52-feature-pack-2-release-notes.html
Again there is a new VMware View book available. This time it’s a detailed guide for implementing the virtual desktop infrastructure solution from VMware. The paperback has 390 pages but the book is also available as an eBook in several formats.
Here’s the table of contents:
Chapter 1: Designing a VMware Horizon View Infrastructure
Chapter 2: Implementing VMware Horizon View Connection Server
Chapter 3: Implementing VMware Horizon View Composer
Chapter 4: Implementing VMware Horizon View Transfer Server
Chapter 5: Implementing VMware Horizon View Security Server
Chapter 6: Using VMware ThinApp
Chapter 7: Implementing View Persona Management
Chapter 8: Creating VMware Horizon View Desktop Pools
Chapter 9: VMware Horizon View Client Options
Chapter 10: Performing View Desktop Maintenance
Chapter 11: Creating a Master Virtual Desktop Image
Chapter 12: Managing View SSL Certificates
Chapter 13: Implementing VMware Horizon View Group Policies
Appendix: Advanced Details about Key Horizon View Features
Buy the book at Amazon with this link.
Link: Packt Publishing
Tim has published a great video about a strange behavior which comes up if the ThinDirect.txt is handled in a wrong way. Check his video out to see how you can get around the issue.