Hopefully you have followed along with my other blog posts around the FREE cool vSphere Plugins EMC Offers. In the first blog post I took you through the process of downloading and installing our Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) Storage Viewer plugin (version 5.1) that was recently released in Jan 2012. One of my favorite features of that release was the real-time performance graphing both from a datastore perspective, as well as the ability to drill down into the VM and see real time IOPS and Response Time information. I recently used it to help a customer troubleshoot some performance problems. It was neat watching the response time go from 100’s of Milliseconds to under 2 with a couple of tweaks on the array.
The next blog post was the foundation for which this particular blog post is being built on. In the VSI – Unified Storage Management (VSI-USM) post I took you step by step through the download, install and setting up of the plugin. I thought now I would take you through some of the features of it.
The VSI-USM plugin is packed with cool features and one of them I’m going to walk you through now is the VMware View 5 integration. If you recall back to my first blog post on the VSI, these plugins are really geared towards the VMware/Storage hybrid admin (but not limited to those types of roles) and this plugin isn’t any different. In this case, we can be even more specific to VMware View/Storage Admin role.
Before we get too deep, lets cover a few concepts we need to understand before we provision our first desktop (or VM) with this vCenter plugin.
First concept you need to understand is Fast Clones, vs. Full Clones. This is the basis of which we will deploy our desktops (or even servers if you want). Fast Clone is a NAS feature that creates a file-based snapshot of a VM that maintains a relationship with it’s parent VM. A full clone is a complete and independent copy of a virtual machine. Notice, I didn’t say desktop That means you can clone servers (linux or windows) as well as desktops.
Let me be clear, this does not have to be JUST for desktops. This can really be for any vSphere VM you happen to have. The next part is specific to View.
The second concept is VMware View specific and it has to do with pools. The Pool concept is what drives the way we setup desktops and provision users to these desktops and there are a few different types of pools. Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl – WahlNetwork.com) has done an AWESOME infographic of the breakdown of the pools that is a must “print and hang from your cube” type of drawing. For the VSI-USM feature it’s specifically geared towards “Manual Pools”. Manual pools are typically provisioned from existing desktop sources and can be VM’s that are managed by vCenter Server, running on VMware Servers or another virtualization platform as well as physical computers and blade PC’s. In this case we are going to use a Windows 7 desktop VM template that you would create very similar to a Windows 2008 server VM template. In the template you will need to have installed the VMware View Desktop Agent. Also, unless you are running servers or PC’s with Teradici Hardware, you will be limited to RDP sessions instead of the preferred PCoIP protocol. I’ll show you in the provisioning process where you can specific PCoIP or RDP.
That’s enough of the concepts for now, I’ll make notes throughout the guide on other concepts and if I missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment with your questions.
So let’s get started. Oh ya, and new to vTexan.com HowTo Guides is a video of how this all works Be nice, it’s my first one – no voice over but you should be able to follow along easy enough.
Here is the screen shot by screen shot process, as well as more detail information below.
1. First log into your vSphere Client and go to Home, Solutions and VSI plugin and select Unified Storage Management and click Add
2. Select Enter Storage System or Connection Broker Credentials and then click next.
3. From this screen you will get an idea as to some of the integrations we have. For this blog post, lets select VMware View Manager and then click next.
4. Enter in the credentials for your VMware View Broker and then click Finish.
5. Notice your View brokers IP address is added to the list.
Now lets go have some fun.
1. Lets go deploy those IT Helpdesk desktops. Click on Home and then go to VM’s and Templates.
2. Select the Windows Desktop template you want to use. Remember, it needs to have the VMware View Desktop agent already installed. Right click on the template, choose EMC, Unified Storage and you can choose between Full Clones or Fast Clones.
3. Choose the destination (host, cluster, resource pool) you would like these desktops created on.
4. First thing you will notice is the number of desktops it can create. This is determined by the number or CPU cores on the selected destination. By default, the max number of VM’s per core is 12. You can select the number of VM’s as well as the clone Name. In this case I went with IT_Helpdesk and I checked the box for the leading zeroes as well as the number of zeros I wanted. The preview box shows you what the first desktop name would look like. The Customization Specification is pretty self explanatory. If you don’t have one created, simple go to Home:Customization Specifications Manager and create one. You will have to cancel out of this process to do that. The last step is asking you if you want to integrate this with your View Connection Broker. As that implies, you can choose not to. In that case, you would be creating 5 virtual machines. Lets click next after selecting VMware View integration.
5. Since we did select View integration, this screen asks you to pick the View Server as well as if you want to create a net-new Pool or add these desktops into another pool. In this case, I chose a New Pool (ignore the screen shot, I was simply showing you the drop down menu)
6. Since we chose to create a new pool, this is the place we name the pool. This is very much like what you would see if you were creating a Pool in View Administrator.
7.Finally we can specify a few of the Pool settings. This again is very similar to some of the choices you get when deploying pools from View Administrator. Notice that I’ve kept the default display protocol to Microsoft RDP. That’s because Manual Pools only support PCoIP when you use Teradici PCoIP hardware in the physical computers, or blade PC’s. When you are done, simply click Finish.
8. Once you click finish, you will see the following warning based on the fact that we chose Fast Cloning. This is because Fast Clones use read/write snapshots of the master VM image. That’s pretty thin already Click Yes.
9. Watch it go !
10. You can head over to View Administrator and see how the VSI-USM is “talking” and updating the View Database with the desktop information. I just love seeing these all integrate together ! Open up View Admin and click on Pools. If you had it already open, just hit the refresh symbol on the screen to the right of the window.
11. You can also select Desktops to see them as well.
There you have it. A step by step guide on how to setup the VMware View 5 integration for the VSI-USM plugin EASY PEASY ! As I mentioned these plugins are free and can be VERY useful in managing your vSphere and EMC environment ! Stay tuned for future blog posts on other features of this great plugin.