Monthly Archives: February 2014

vExpert 2014 is here!

Two weeks ago, the VMTN Blog was buzzing with exciting news, the Annual vExpert designation is upon us! What is a vExpert? I’m glad you asked, the VMware Technology Network recognizes “Experts” of virtualization each year in three categories: Evangelist, Customer and Partner. People can either nominate themselves or others during an application period, then vExperts are announced! That is way too simple of an explanation of what it is because there are a ton of benefits with the program, not to mention the honor of being recognized by your peers as a solid contributor to the amazing world of virtualization.

PKGuild has a very thorough breakdown of the vExpert program here.

Applications are being accepted until March 6th @ Midnight PST. If you know someone who has contributed above and beyond the call of duty and feel they should be considered nominate them, if you feel you are one of those contributors then go for it! There are some changes this year regarding quarterly nominations so read the blog post below for more details.

The vExpert membership is a high honor and recognition of those dedicated to serving the virtualization community.

The below information is from VMTN’s Blog Post regarding the vExpert 2014 program and application details:

vExpert 2014 applications are open

Each year, we bring together in the vExpert Program the people who have made some of the most important contributions to the VMware community. These are the bloggers, book authors, VMUG leaders, speakers, tool builders, community leaders and general enthusiasts. They work as IT admins and architects for VMware customers, they act as trusted advisors and implementors for VMware partners or as independent consultants, and some work for VMware itself. All of them have the passion and enthusiasm for technology and applying technology to solve problems. They have contributed to the success of us all by sharing their knowledge and expertise over their days, nights, and weekends.

vExperts who participate in the program have access to private betas, free licenses, early access briefings, exclusive events, free access to VMworld conference materials online, and other opportunities to interact with VMware product teams. They also get access to a private community and networking opportunities.

Changes for the 2014 vExpert Program
This year we are implementing two new changes to the vExpert program. The first change is fast track current vExperts into the 2014 program. If you are a current 2013 vExpert, your 2014 application process has been shortened. Since you are a proven vExpert all we want to know is what you have been doing since the May 2013 vExpert announcement. Simple, right?

The second change is quarterly nominations into the 2014 vExpert program. We will leave the application open year round and at the end of each quarter we will begin the voting process for new vExperts from the previous quarter. So even if you are not picked to become a vExpert 2014 right away, we will allow for quarterly voting and nominations.

Evangelist Path
The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, VMTN contributors, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public or were in a language other than English.

Customer Path
The Customer Path is for leaders from VMware customer organizations. They have been internal champions in their organizations, or worked with VMware to build success stories, act as customer references, given public interviews, spoken at conferences, or were VMUG leaders. A VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public.

VPN (VMware Partner Network) Path
The VPN Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning through accreditations and certifications and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements. A VMware employee reference is required for VPN Path candidates.

Apply for vExpert 2014
Current 2013 vExperts use the 2014 vExpert Fast Track application: http://bit.ly/1ikZ8hi
2014 vExpert application: http://bit.ly/LMJqB5
Recommend a colleague to apply for 2014 vExpert: http://bit.ly/1bobFfF

Questions & Updates

For questions about the application process or the vExpert Program, please send email to  vexpert@vmware.com. Be sure to follow @vExpert for updates on the 2014 vExpert program.

Thank you to all who have participated in years past,
Corey Romero & the vExpert Team

Horizon View & vSGA – Part 3 – Pool Creation and Results

In Part 2, we installed the VIB and configured ESXi to accept the graphics card. Now we need to build a pool of desktops to utilize vSGA and see the results compared to a non vSGA VM. Here’s a detail breakdown of the Pool Settings, I will walk through each step and notate some things I’ve learned about pool creation with regards to vSGA along the way.

  • Pool Type: Automatic
  • User Assignment: Floating
  • vCenter Server: View Composer Linked Clones
  • Pool ID: vSGA_Test_Pool
  • Pool Display Name: vSGA Workstations
  • Pool Description: Pool of Desktops evaluating vSGA Graphics Virtualization
  • General State: Enabled
  • Connection Server Restrictions: None
  • Remote Desktop Power Settings: Take No Power Action
  • Automatically Logoff After Disconnect: Never
  • Allow Users to Reset Their Desktops: Yes
  • Allow Multiple Sessions per User: No
  • Delete or Refresh Desktop Upon Logoff: Refresh Immediately
  • Default Display Protocol: PCoIP
  • Allow User to Choose Protocol: No
  • 3D Renderer: Automatic (512MB)
  • Max Number of Monitors: 2
  • HTML Access: Enabled
  • Adobe Flash Settings: Default
  • Provisioning – Basic Settings: Both Enabled
  • Virtual Machine Naming – Use a Naming Pattern: vSGATest{n:fixed=2}
  • Max Number of Desktops: 8
  • Number of Spare Desktops: 1
  • Minimum Number of Provisioned Desktops during Maintenance: 0
  • Provision Timing: Provision All Desktops Up Front
  • Disposable File Redirection: 20480 MB
  • Replica Disks: Replica and OS will remain together
  • Parent VM: TestGold
  • Snapshot: vSGA Prod SS
  • VM Folder Location: Workstations
  • Cluster: vSGA Cluster
  • Resource Pool: vSGA Cluster
  • Datastores: SynologySSD
  • Use View Storage Accelerator: OS Disks – 7 Days
  • Reclaim Disk Space: 1 GB
  • Blackout Times: 8-17:00 MTWTHF
  • Domain: View Service Account
  • AD Container: AD Path
  • Use QuickPrep: No Options
  • Entitle Users after Wizard Finishes: Yes

From those Pool Settings, there are a few things I want to point out. You must force all sessions to use PCoIP so the Automatic, Hardware and Software options are available. After all the secret sauce to Horizon View is PCoIP!

I set vSGA pools to “Automatic” so if I have other desktops on this cluster of hosts, they aren’t fighting for resources if they aren’t needed. I can relinquish GPU resources for other desktop workloads. The Gold Images we use contain some beefy applications (AutoCAD, Revit, Navisworks, etc) so we like our disposable disks large to handle central model caching and other cached loads to move outside of the persistent disk.

It seems silly but I like when my users can reset their own machine, the delay in help desk resolution depending on the current workload could be minutes, no need to have my users wait on us! For this test I am going to push it to 11 (512MB is overkill for most task workers but our CAD guys have enjoyed the higher GPUs).

Lastly, View Storage Accelerator, is a big help in reclaiming disk space 1GB at a time, I have set the blackout window for normal business hours to protect the SAN from unwanted IOPS spikes. You should see vCenter Notifications at 5:01….it looks like a stock ticker tape!

Now that we have built our Pool, we can entitle our group or users and let them log in and start playing with vSGA enabled virtual desktops.

Our test group of users were impressed with the fluid motion of Google Earth, AutoCAD, Revit and Navisworks. Is it amazing? Yes on the ability to provision multiple workloads to a single GPU and No because it doesn’t get us to that 100% physical experience just yet, is it a step in the right direction for fully virtualizing GPUs? Absolutely! I hope this small 3 part series has been informative, I will be back soon with a 3 part session for vDGA for Horizon View 5.3 but it would be nice to have a walkthrough on how to upgrade to Horizon View 5.3 first…..up next!