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Posts Tagged ‘CPU’

FINALLY!! Nutanix Community Edition (CE) is here and it’s FREE!! – #Nutanix, #EnvokeIT, #Virtualization via (@andreleibovici

This is so cool! I know that a lot of people out there has beeen waiting for this, including myself! 😉

Nutanix CE is a great way to get you started with Nutanix in your own lab environment; and it is now available to everyone now. CE is a fully working Acropolis + Prism stack that enables you to not only host your virtual machines, but enjoy all the benefits of Nutanix. The features available with CE are the exact same enjoyed by paying customers, being the difference that it is a community supported edition and there is a maximum limit of 4 nodes.

Some of the features available with CE are:

  • De-duplication
  • Compression
  • Erasure Coding
  • Asynchronous DR
  • Shadow Cloning
  • Single server (RF=1), three servers (RF=2) or four servers (RF=2)
  • Acropolis Hypervisor (all VM operations, high availability etc.)
  • Analytics
  • Full API framework for development, orchestration and automation
  • Self-Healing
  • ToR integration

Metro Availability, Synchronous Replication, Cloud Connect and Prism Central as not part of Nutanix CE.

Since you will be providing the hardware there are some minimum requirements:

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Nutanix CE extends the Nutanix commitment to fostering an open, transparent and community-centric approach to innovative solutions for mainstream enterprises. Nutanix CE enables a complete hyperconverged infrastructure deployment in just 60 minutes or less on your own hardware and without virtualization or software licensing.

To get started access “Getting Started with Nutanix Community Edition”, create an account and you will be able to register for download. The first…

As usual your more than welcome to contact me at richard at envokeit.com or contact us at EnvokeIT if you want to know more about Nutanix!

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#VDI Calculator v5 is Now Available with Major New Features – #IaaS, #Storage, #BYOD via @andreleibovici

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

This is awesome! Great work by @andreleibovici!

I am happy to announce the General Availability of the new VDI Calculator v5. This new version is the single biggest release since I started delivering the calculator. I have completely re-architected the way the calculator works, allowing multiple types of desktops to be configured in a single calculation for a single solution.
 
All existing features have been retained and will work in the exact same way you are used to, but you now have the ability to select different  options for different types of desktops or desktop pools.
 
As an example, you may choose Desktop Type 1 to be a ‘student’ desktop using Linked Clones with 10 different pools; conversely you may choose Desktop Type 2 to be a ‘professor’ desktop using Full Clones with 5 individual pools. This new calculator gives you much more granular control over your calculations eliminating repetitive tasks when sizing larger environments.
 
To enable multi-desktop pool calculations just select ‘-’ and ‘+’ in the top bar menu.
 

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Another additional feature is what I call ‘Ask for Help‘. During the application session when you select the Update option a new screen will show up asking if you would like to be contacted by VDI solutions vendors that can help reduce costs, improve performance or improve manageability of your VDI solution. If you are interested…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Why huge IaaS/PaaS/DaaS providers don’t use Dell and HP, and why they can do VDI cheaper than you! – via @brianmadden

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Yes, why do people and organisations still think that they can build IaaS/PaaS/DaaS services within their enterprise’s and believe that they will be able to do so with the “same old architecture” and components used before? It’s not going to be comparable to the bigger players that are using newer and more scalable architectures with cheaper components.

Enterprises just don’t have that innovation power that companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon has! And if they do then most of the time they are stuck in their old way of doing things from a service delivery point of view, stopping them from thinking outside of the box though the service delivery organisation isn’t ready for it..

This is a great blog post on this from Brian, great work!!

Last month I wrote that it’s not possible for you to build VDI cheaper than a huge DaaS provider like Amazon can sell it to you. Amazon can literally sell you DaaS and make a profit all for less than it costs you to actually build and operate an equivalent VDI system on your own. (“Equivalent” is the key word there. Some have claimed they can do it cheaper, but they’re achieving that by building in-house systems with lower capabilities than what the DaaS providers offer.)

One of the reasons huge providers can build VDI cheaper than you is because they’re doing it at scale. While we all understand the economics of buying servers by the container instead of by the rack, there’s more to it than that when it comes to huge cloud provider. Their datacenters are not crammed full of HP or Dell’s latest rack mount, blade, or Moonshot servers; rather, they’re stacked floor-to-ceiling with heaps of circuit boards you’d hardly recognize as “servers” at all.

Building Amazon’s, Google’s, and Facebook’s “servers”

For most corporate datacenters, rack-mounted servers from vendors like Dell and HP make sense. They’re efficient in that they’re modular, manageable, and interchangeable. If you take the top cover off a 1U server, it looks like everything is packed in there. On the scale of a few dozen racks managed by IT pros who have a million other things on their mind, these servers work wonderfully!

Read more…

Sizing #XenDesktop 7 App Edition VMs – #Citrix

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment

A good update on VM sizing by Daniel Feller!

In the Mobilizing Windows applications for 500 users design guide, we made the recommendation to allocate 8vCPUs for each virtual XenDesktop 7 App Edition host (formerly known as XenApp). Spreading this out across a server with two Intel Xeon E5-2690 @2.9GHz processors and 192 GB of RAM, we were yielding about 200 users per physical server and roughly 50 users per virtual server.

Of course, the design guide is the end result of a lot of testing by the Citrix Solutions Lab. During the tests, we had the Solutions Lab compare many (and I mean many) different configurations where they changed the number of vCPU, RAM size, and RAM allocation (dynamic/static) as well as a few other things. All of these tests were done with Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V. We ended up with the following:

A few interesting things:

  1. Dynamic vs static RAM in Hyper-V appeared to have little, if any, impact on overall scalability. The only time when the RAM allocation had a negative impact was when not enough RAM was allocated (no surprise there).
  2. The 8vCPU and the 4vCPU configurations resulted in very similar user concurrency levels. Get ready… The battle is about to begin as to whether we should use 8 or 4 vCPU. (Is anyone else besides me having flashbacks to 2009?)

A few years ago, we debated about using 2vCPU or 4vCPU for XenApp 5 virtual machines. A few years later, the debate is resurfacing but this time, the numbers have doubled: 4 or 8. Here is what you should be thinking about… VMs are getting bigger because the hardware is getting faster, RAM is getting cheaper and the hypervisors are getting better…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

#Rackspace launches high performance cloud servers – #IaaS via @ldignan

November 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Rackspace on Tuesday rolled out new high performance cloud servers with all solid-state storage, more memory and the latest Intel processors.

The company aims to take its high performance cloud servers and pitch them to companies focused on big data workloads. Rackspace’s performance cloud servers are available immediately in the company’s Northern Virginia region and will come online in Dallas, Chicago and London this month. Sydney and Hong Kong regions will launch in the first half of 2014.

Among the key features:

  • The public cloud servers have RAID 10-protected solid state drives;
  • Intel Xeon E5 processors;
  • Up to 120 Gigabytes of RAM;
  • 40 Gigabits per second of network throughput.

Overall, the public cloud servers, which run on OpenStack, provide a healthy performance boost of Rackspace’s previous offering. The performance cloud servers are optimized for Rackspace’s cloud block storage.

Rackspace said it will offer the performance cloud servers as part of a hybrid data center package.

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Simplified VDI Architecture – #Citrix, #XenDesktop

This is a great start of a blog series from Citrix!

There’s a perception that VDI is complicated.  I’m far from being a rocket scientist, and I’ve managed to implement many successful VDI projects over the past ten years.  I truly believe that VDI is one of those things that is only as complicated as you make it.

It’s like saying that driving is complicated.  You’d have to be crazy [or very brave] to take your first lesson in Manhattan…during rush hour.  That’s why your driving instructor starts you off on a quiet street.  You need to know your boundaries.  Being successful with VDI is the same – keep things simple to start with and slowly increase complexity at your own pace, when you’re ready for it.

This raises the question – what’s the quiet street equivalent of a beginner’s VDI architecture?  It might not be the most optimized and efficient solution, but it would be quick to implement, do the job well and wouldn’t require specialist knowledge or skills.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I’d like to share my thoughts.

There’s a lot to consider, so I’m going to break this up over four different blog posts:

  1. Simplified VDI Architecture – Introduction & FlexCast
  2. Simplified VDI Architecture – Storage
  3. Simplified VDI Architecture – Provisioning
  4. Simplified VDI Architecture – Reference Architecture

Martin Zugec will be helping me out with this blog series and will be referring to his experience on actual customer projects that followed many of these recommendations.

XenDesktop or VDI in a Box?

First up, you need to make a decision on VDI in a Box or XenDesktop.  VDI in a Box is easier to setup but does have some limitations.  Check out Allen Furmanski’s excellent blog post for guidance on how to make this decision.  I’m going to concentrate on XenDesktop for this post.

FlexCast

Although each FlexCast model has its own unique advantages, each additional model included adds complexity to the overall project.  There is a great table in the Virtual Desktop Handbook (FlexCast Model Selection – Table 11) that provides guidance on the capabilities of each model.  The main thing to note is that all scenarios, apart from offline, can be accommodated using the Hosted VDI model (XenDesktop), either with or without a Personal vDisk.  It may not be the optimal selection in every instance, but it is almost always a viable solution.

There are a number of reasons why I think that XenDesktop is simpler than XenApp, including:

  1. Desktop applications are developed to run on desktop operating systems such as Windows XP or Windows 7.  There aren’t many developers that test their applications on Windows Server 2003 or 2008.  Therefore, you’re far less likely to run into application issues with XenDesktop than you are with XenApp.  Even if your applications run okay on 2008 with XenApp, you’re probably going to have issues getting support from the application vendors.
  2. Hosting applications on multi-user operating systems can introduce additional application compatibility challenges.  Users may share the same configuration files and registry hives, especially if the applications are not multi-user aware.  This means that one user may change a setting that affects all other users of that server.  There are a ton of tips and tricks to get these apps working correctly but we want to keep things simple and choosing XenDesktop helps us achieve this goal.
  3. As multiple users are hosted on the same operating system, it is important that XenApp desktops are locked down to prevent security breaches and misconfiguration that could impact all users sharing the environment. Typically, this results in an extremely controlled and restricted user experience, hindering user satisfaction and acceptance.
  4. With XenApp desktops, a single user can consume a disproportionate amount of resources, impacting the performance of other users sharing the same XenApp server.  XenDesktop, on the other hand, allows vCPU and RAM assignments to be controlled on a per-user basis.  For this reason, I strongly recommend that heavy users are hosted on XenDesktop rather than XenApp.
  5. With XenDesktop, it is possible to provide users with fully personalized desktops.  This includes the ability for users to install their own applications.
  6. Unlike XenApp, XenDesktop supports generic USB redirection:

I’m a huge fan of Remote PC, especially when you consider just how simple it is to deploy.  However, there are some things Remote PC just can’t do, including:

  • You don’t have the flexibility to quickly provision or de-provision desktops based on business demands.
  • Image management is more complicated than a virtual desktop because you can’t use MCS and PVS can be challenging with desktops outside of the data center
  • You need to have a good connection between your XenDesktop Controllers and the physical desktops.  Something not always available for WAN users.

Regardless, Remote PC is a great solution in many scenarios.  Consider deploying Remote PC at the very start of your project.  It allows you to realize immediate value while you’re designing and implementing your full VDI solution.

If XenDesktop is so much simpler why do so many projects still standardize on XenApp?  It all comes down to cost – XenApp offers significantly higher levels of scalability than XenDesktop (some sources quote 300% more users).  Let’s take a look at this in more detail.

Processor

The Virtual Desktop Handbook provides us with guidelines on processor requirements for both XenApp and XenDesktop (Processor Requirements by Workload – Table 22):

If processor is the bottleneck, we can estimate the scalability of XenApp and XenDesktop for a fairly typical server configuration (2×8 cores):

As you can see, XenApp offers between 17% (heavy user) and 28% (light user) more users than XenDesktop – but nowhere near 300%!  Let’s put this into context, if you had 1,000 concurrent normal users, you would need seven physical servers for ‘XenDesktop: Windows 7’ and six physical servers for ‘XenApp: 2008 R2’.  Is one additional server per ~1,000 users enough to justify the additional complexity of XenApp?

RAM

For RAM, the Virtual Desktop Handbook table (Memory Requirements by Workload – Table 23) shows us that ‘XenDesktop: Windows 7’ requires significantly…

Continue reading here!

//Richard

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