VCP6-DT Exam Review

It has been quite some time since my last post, ironically my last post being about the announcement of the VCP6-DT exam, well I am back to post my opinion about the exam and the steps that I took to study.

Please note: I am not disclosing any information about questions or answers about the exam, all of the information that I will be describing can be found as part of the Exam Blueprint for this exam.

For the past several months I have been conducting a lot of upgrades to Horizon View 6.X for customers, but what I don’t get a lot of time playing with is the Suite based features that Horizon View now includes like Mirage, Workspace and vCenter Operations Manager for View (now called vRealize for View). Workspace specifically has come a long way from its 1.0 iteration to being a simple deployment model that can be spun up in less than 2 hrs. (Believe me, I’ve done it several times now!) All this being said I narrowed my focus on studying for this exam with some of the areas that I don’t play with a lot on a daily basis.

By default, I followed the Exam Blueprint to a “T” because anything that could be considered a question will be covered in this document. I recommend anyone that has a home lab or access to some additional equipment to build up a full instance of vCenter, Horizon View Desktop, Mirage, Workspace and vRealize for View. There are reviewers guides and documentation that will enable you to simulate production scenarios in your lab, I’ve included some below:

The official exam is the VCPD610, VMware Certified Professional – Desktop. The exam consists of 120 questions with a time limit of 120 minutes, with a pre-exam survey of 10 questions that doesn’t count towards your exam time. The typical License Agreements and Legal blah blah is there as well. Scoring for the exam is weighted on a mathematical formula and you can range from receiving a 100-500 on the exam with a passing score of 300.

I felt that the amount of information that could be tested for this exam was pretty large so I felt the 120 question format was appropriate. I thought that flow of the exam and quality of questions was on par for a VCP level exam. I was quite please with the amount of studying and preparation that I did for this exam. I passed the exam and can now add VMware Certified Professional Desktop to my resume.

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Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

First, I haven’t been ignoring my duties to this blog by not posting articles, the time at my job has kept me away from posting regularly scheduled articles but it hasn’t stopped me from producing some great topics for future articles, this being one of these.

ESXi5.5 Purple Screen of Death = Oh My!

In our quest to migrating our environment to ESXi 5.5 and View 5.3 we had to do some maintenance on some of our file servers, the quick and dirty was to build massive TB VMDK’s for robocopy jobs as we migrated to newer File Servers. Part of this process included kicking off Veeam backups of these temporary File Servers. During the course of the reverse incremental job (multiple rounds of robocopy!) we encountered some PSOD’s (purple screen of death) on the temporary cluster where the file servers were located.

Seeing as this was my first experience with a PSOD, yes I know I’m so lucky! I proceeded to establish a SR, support request, with VMware and Veeam. Then I began retracing my steps, trying to understand if it was a misconfiguration, something I didn’t enter correctly, etc. The cause of the host failures surprised me, considering it is such a big selling feature of ESXi5.5. What we discovered is that when you have a VMDK that is larger than 1.9TB, snapshots are in the SESparse format. There can be a memory heap issue related to ESXi5.5 that can cause host failure. So when we kicked off our Veeam Backups, Veeam uses the VMware Snapshot model for backups, the snapshot files were in the SESparse format and after 45 minutes the hosts failed.

The resolution from VMware was to reduce all VMDK’s to below the 1.9TB threshold and to wait patiently for the release of a upcoming patch to ESXi5.5 coming in July. Which brings me to my final thoughts, I have flashbacks of Jerry Springer: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

One of the big selling points for me about ESXi5.5 was the support for larger than 2TB VMDK’s think of the possibilities that this could bring an organization: Large File Servers, Exchange Datastores, SQL Databases, etc. But why? Why would you want to subject yourself, your company to the risk of placing all of your important files on one big drive, why not spread that risk out across multiple stores, servers, etc. It flies in the face of KISS, keep it simple stupid, that my friend Brad Christian constantly reminds me of!

So going forward, tread cautiously with each new feature a software comes out with, it may be great on paper, but does it really fit for your organization, your initiatives, your systems?

Cannot Uninstall View Agent – Persona Management Enabled

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 10.48.02 AM (2)

This morning I had an issue related to a full VM that required a uninstall/reinstall of the Horizon View Agent 5.2, we have been evaluating Persona Management and Folder Redirection on some View Pools. I typically follow these steps when performing a uninstall/reinstall of the View Agent:

  1. Put VM in Maintenance Mode from View Administrator Console
  2. Log in as Domain Admin (or elevated user above normal) to VM
  3. Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Horizon View Experience Agent > Uninstall
  4. Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > VMware View Agent > Uninstall
  5. Shutdown VM
  6. Power On VM
  7. Install Horizon View Experience Agent
  8. Reboot
  9. Install VMware Horizon View Agent
  10. Reboot
  11. Exit Maintenance Mode from View Administrator Console
  12. Confirm Agent is “Available”

So I began going through my 12 step process to repair a bad instance of the View Agent and came across an error I hadn’t seen before:

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 10.46.03 AM

I thought it strange that it wouldn’t let me uninstall the Agent when I wasn’t logged into the VM from a Persona Management enabled user. Upon further inspection I discovered that the Persona Management Windows Service was enabled and running. So now I have added a few steps to my uninstall/reinstall process as follows:

  1. Put VM in Maintenance Mode from View Administrator Console
  2. Log in as Domain Admin (or elevated user above normal) to VM
  3. Access services.msc – Stop VMware Persona Management Service and Disable Service
  4. Reboot VM and Log in as Domain Admin
  5. Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Horizon View Experience Agent > Uninstall
  6. Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > VMware View Agent > Uninstall
  7. Shutdown VM
  8. Power On VM
  9. Install Horizon View Experience Agent
  10. Reboot
  11. Install VMware Horizon View Agent
  12. Reboot
  13. Confirm that VMware Persona Management Service is set to “Automatic” and running
  14. Exit Maintenance Mode from View Administrator Console
  15. Confirm Agent is “Available”

Persona Management is a great tool to protect user data across floating pools for an even better end user experience. Hope this helps someone out, it made me scratch my head for a few minutes before I figured out what needed to be addressed.

Horizon View 5.3.1 is here with VSAN support!

Now that VSAN has become GA (General Availability) it makes sense that VMware will start pushing updates of it’s software offerings with VSAN support, Horizon View is no different!

What’s New in Horizon View 5.3.1

  • Requires vSphere 5.5.0 Update 1 or newer
  • Support for VSAN
  • 100 VM’s per Host using VSAN

Below is a list of links for all the vPieces to make your View VSAN environment come alive (some links require My VMware account to access):

vSphere and vCenter 5.5.0 Update 1

ESXi 5.5.0 Update 1

ESXi 5.5.0 Update 1 Readme

vSphere Client 5.5.0 Update 1

vCenter Server 5.5.0 Update 1 – Windows Instance

vCenter Server 5.5.0 Update 1 – Virtual Appliance

Horizon View 5.3.1 Feature Pack 1

Remote Experience Agent for 32-bit desktops

Remote Experience Agent for 64-bit desktops

HTML Access Web Portal installer

GPO bundle file

What’s Next?

I will be releasing my complete walkthrough of Horizon View 5.3 so stay tuned!

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!

Horizon View & vSGA – Part 2 – Install and Configure

In Part 1, we reviewed all the different options for virtualizing graphics with Horizon View, now it is time to get our hands dirty. First we decided to go with vSGA instead of vDGA for the ability to vMotion workloads to various hosts if needed. The hosts that we started with needed a RAM upgrade and a SAN connectivity card because we are doubling the load capacity on each host and need to connect to our shared storage. Here are the before and after specs for each host:

  • Supermicro X9SRG-F 1U Host
  • Intel Xeon E5-2643 @ 3.30 Ghz
  • 16GB DDR3-1600Mhz RAM (Upgraded to 32GB)
  • Dual Gigabit NICs (MGMT and LAN)
  • IPMI Port (For Console Access)
  • Intel X540-T2 (Installed for SAN Connectivity)
  • USB Flash Drive (ESXi Boot Partition)
  • PNY NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2GB Graphics Card

Lets power down the host, physically install the RAM and Intel X540-T2 card and start preparing to install VMware ESXi 5.1 U1. For future releases of View 5.3 and beyond we will install ESXi 5.5 but for now we are staying on View 5.2.

Next we will install ESXi 5.1 U1, this is a straight forward process.

Everyone has a different way of configuring ESXi, some use Host Profiles some don’t. All I will do for now is configure a single MGMT NIC, set the DNS name and disable IPv6. Once I add the host to my cluster, I will run a Host Profile Compliance Check for the remaining settings. Host will reboot, once I have confirmed that ESXi came up properly I’m going to shut it down and move it back into our datacenter. Now for the fun parts!

Now our host is powered up, I can join it to my cluster and start loading the Intel and NVIDIA VIB’s (VMware Install Bundles). I love using PowerCLI when I can so I will deploy ESXi to all of my hosts and get them joined to the cluster and run this fancy command to enable SSH on all Hosts and start the VIB upload process:

Get-Cluster "CLUSTER NAME"| Get-VMHost | ForEach {Start-VMHostService -HostService ($_ | Get-VMHostService | Where {$_.Key -eq “TSM-SSH”})}

Time to fire up Putty (or your preferred SSH Client) and WinSCP to transfer your VIB bundles in the /tmp/ folder for each host. Install the VIB packages running the following command in Putty:

esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/software-version-esxi-version-xxxxxx.zip

After I installed the VIB’s I need to reboot each host, start SSH and Putty back in to confirm a few things and get the NVIDIA services started. Verify that the NVIDIA VIB was loaded successfully:

esxcli software vib list | grep NVIDIA

Because these Hosts have only once graphics card I need to tell ESXi to release the card and allow it to be virtualized so I will run this command to find the PCI ID of the Graphics Card:

lspci | grep -i display

I receive the following response:

00:04:00.0 Display controller: NVIDIA Corporation Quadro 4000

Then I will set the ownership flag of the Quadro Card in ESXi:

vmkchdev -v 00:04:00.0

Verify that the xorg service is running, if not then run the following commands:

/etc/init.d/xorg status
/etc/init.d/xorg start

Now that everything is set up we can confirm that ESXi has grabbed the Graphics Card and we can start monitoring GPU resources. So let’s see how much Graphics Memory we have reserved for VM’s by invoking the gpuvm command:

gpuvm It shows that there is 2GB of Video RAM and a VM is reserving some already!

Next, I will run the SMI interface in watch mode to constantly monitor the performance of the Graphics Card this allows me to see how much resources I have available.

watch -n 1 nvidia-smi

nvidia smi

Now its time to configure a Pool of VM’s that can utilize the vSGA settings that we configured and see the results of our work in Part 3!

Horizon View & vSGA – Part 1 – Intro

Since we have stepped up storage by throwing SSD’s at the problem, we now are on to the next task of getting the best graphics experience to our end users. For too long people have relied on mammoth workstations with big graphics cards to get the job done. We have  purchased several big time workstations to address our CAD and Modeling Teams. Doesn’t that fly in the face of Desktop Virtualization and consolidating all processes to the Datacenter. So the next logical step in the evolution of VDI is to virtualize 3D graphics.

Now that sounds like an easy task in this day and age of Apple’s motto of “it just works”, but imagine the time and dedication it took to create the first hypervisor. CPU and RAM are one thing, specific processing threads rendering graphics is very specific and takes time to perfect. VMware started with SVGA and Soft3D with View 5.0 and they have made major strides in graphics utilization. That being said VMware announced two exiting features in Horizon View 5.2, vSGA and vDGA. I will give a quick summary of both, but for more detailed information head over to Andre Leibovici’s Blog for a full breakdown of what they mean. Here is also the VMware White Paper of the complete line of Graphics Acceleration Deployment.

vSGA – Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration

horizon view vsga

vSGA gives you the ability to provision multiple VM’s (Linked-Clones or Full VM’s) to single or multiple GPU’s. Graphics cards are presented to the VM as a software video driver and the graphics processes are handled by an ESXi driver (VIB). Graphics resources are reserved on a first come first serve basis so sizing and capacity is important to consider. You can also have various Pool types on a host and not all need graphics, this is important if you have various workstation classifications running in a cluster. vSGA is a great solution for users that require higher than normal graphics needs, rendering 1080p video, Open GL, DirectX, etc. We will get into configuring pools for vSGA but there are 3 options: Automatic, Software and Hardware.

vSGA Hardware Compatibility List
  •  GRID K1
  • GRID K2
  • Quadro 4000
  • Quadro 5000
  • Quadro 6000
  • Tesla M2070Q
vDGA – Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration

horizon view vdga

vDGA differs from vSGA in that the Physical GPU is assigned to the VM using DirectPath I/O so the full GPU is assigned to a specific machine. vSGA allows multiple VM’s to provision resources from the GPU, with vDGA you install the full NVIDIA GPU Driver Package to the VM and the Graphics Card shows up as hardware in Device Manager. In Horizon View 5.2 vDGA is still in Tech Preview but is full availability with View 5.3. Below is the list of compatible NVIDIA GPU’s for vDGA. There are limitation to vDGA including no Live vMotion, once GPU resources are exhausted on your Host no other VM’s can be powered on, also because of the nature of the NVIDIA driver Full VM’s are required not Linked-Clones or View Composer based VM’s.

vDGA Hardware Compatibility List
  •  GRID K1
  • GRID K2
  • Quadro K2000
  • Quadro K4000
  • Quadro K5000
  • Quadro K6000
  • Quadro 1000M
  • Quadro 2000
  • Quadro 3000M
  • Quadro 4000
  • Quadro 5000
  • Quadro 6000
  • Tesla M2070Q

So now that we have a basic understanding of what vSGA and vDGA mean, we can start to realize the pros and cons of both technologies. For this first dive into virtualized graphics we decided to start with vSGA because of the ability to run other VM’s on it, since we are testing in a lab and not production, right! Our test equipment that was used was a re-purposed Supermicro 1U Server. Full Specs below:

  • Supermicro X9SRG-F 1U Host
  • Intel Xeon E5-2643 @ 3.30 Ghz
  • 32GB DDR3-1600Mhz RAM
  • Dual Gigabit NICs (MGMT and LAN)
  • Intel X540-T2 (SAN)
  • USB Flash Drive (ESXi Boot Partition)
  • PNY NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2GB Graphics Card

BOXX Hosts

We will jump into the installation and configuration in Part 2!

SSD’s saved our View Pod

Synology DS3612xs SSDs

I’ve talked with several colleagues in the virtualization arena and one of the things they all say is “VDI is tough, it’s always changing, there is nothing harder than virtualizing desktops!” I have learned this lesson the hard way. Two years ago our company deployed VMware’s VDI solution View (now Horizon View) as a proof on concept (POC) to a group of test users, these users ranged from task workers to advanced users running CPU and Graphics intensive applications. That test group was roughly 10 people, 6 months later we deployed VDI in waves to various departments and grew to over 50 users.

Now before I go any further I want to give you a background of the equipment we used to deploy the POC:

  • Dell Poweredge R620 – Intel Xeon E5-2690 2.9 Ghz, 128GB RAM, (6) 1GB NIC’s
  • HP ProCurve 5412zl L2/L3 Switch
  • Dual Dell PowerConnect 24 Port Gigabit Managed Swtiches (SAN Network)
  • Dell Equalogic PS 6100 (48TB Raw) – Total IOPS – 1300

The POC had been deployed before I joined the company and at the time the VDI experience was very good. But as we continued into production, we started seeing performance hits at random times. I started in April of 2012 and was working in another area of IT but was quickly attracted to the allure of VDI and everything VMware. So in my spare time I started doing research into VDI performance issues, I learned about PCoIP offloading, CPU and RAM issues, sizing Gold Images properly, etc. I threw everything out that I knew and started over with new Gold Images, same performance issues. This all happened over 15 months.

The problem was right in front of us…

Then it occurred to me (read: Google, forums, talking w/ vExperts) that storage was our issue. I started reading everything about Total and Peak IOPS and how it relates to VDI, I started scoring our various Gold Images and discovered that some of our images had Peak IOPS of over 150! Do the math…..the Equalogic that we were running had a peak of 1300 IOPS, at this point we had over 180 users, so do that easy math: 180 users x 25 IOPS (average) = 4500 IOPS!!!!! Houston, we have a problem.

The Solution…sorta

So what did we do? It’s simple but not easy! We realized that as we grew our VDI environment that we improved everything except storage. We upgraded to bigger, more powerful hosts, improved our Core Switch architecture and expanded to larger SAN switches, upgraded our Power and Environmental systems. We did every upgrade except storage. This is not a slight towards our team or myself, we just didn’t have the knowledge and experience to truly understand what we were dealing with in VDI. Getting back to the solution (that is the title of this article right?) we started meeting with and sizing solutions around various vendors and in the meantime I got the idea to buy a Synology NAS load it up with some SSD’s and give us a fairly inexpensive band aid until we can properly implement a permanent storage solution.

In the left corner….Synology DS3612xs

DS3612xs

So let’s talk about the Synology DS3612xs because this thing is a beast! I chose this model specifically because of the 12 bay capacity and its ease of transition into our test lab environment (I’m begging my boss to buy it for my Home Lab!) The specs for this thing are really impressive:

  • 12 Drive Bays (Expandable to 36 with Add On Chassis)
  • Intel Core i3 CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 4 1GB NICs
  • Available PCIe bay (did someone say 10GB?)
  • vSphere 5 support with VAAI
  • SSD TRIM Support
  • Synology Awesomesauce DSM operating system
In the right corner….Intel 520 Series SSD and 10GB Fiber

I went with Intel 520 Series 480GB Solid State Discs because of the reliability, cost and Total IOPS count (42,000 Read/50,000 Write). Because of the Peak IOPS burst, I have heard horror stories about running SSD’s over 1GB so I wanted to have a nice big pipe to our SAN network, I went with a Intel SFP card that supports 10GB fiber. This fit perfectly into our SAN switches and was excited to get everything put together!

Did it fix the IOPS issue?

Yes it has! But that was its intention all along. We took the time, did the research and assembled a reasonable budget and solution that could solve an immediate crisis for our end users. Is it a permanent solution? Absolutely not! But we have seen an immediate performance improvement across the board, from recomposes, pool creation, to end user UI improvements, it has been really nice to finally know but to understand the problem.

The next steps?

Now that we have our band aid we can focus on our permanent storage solution. I am really excited to start working with various vendors and stand up some POC’s to see how the various solutions work with our systems and processes. Until then I get a lot of joy watching the performance metrics every morning during login storms go smoothly. Clone VM’s in seconds as opposed to 90 minutes! I will update this article as I can with some specific performance charts. But for now I am getting ready for our next set of problems after storage….virtualizing graphics. But isn’t that why we are doing this, to learn, understand, solve problems and make things better? I know I am!

Horizon View 5.3 available for download!

5.3 Screenshot

Hot off the Press! View 5.3 Pieces are available to download.

I will have a couple of posts detailing the upgrade process from 5.2 in the next few weeks (holidays will slow this down) but for now here are the download links:

Quick overview of some of the features for Horizon View 5.3:

  • vDGA is no longer Tech Preview, full support for NVIDIA GPU’s passed directly to VM’s
  • VSAN Tech Preview – this will be a lot of fun to play around in the lab!
  • Windows 8.1 Support
  • Multimedia Redirection for H.264 media encoding
  • View Blast protocol now supports Audio, Copy/Paste and GFX improvements (View 5.3 Feature Pack 1 and HTML Access install required)
  • USB 3.0 Support (Thin/Zero Clients must have USB 3.0 for support)
  • VCAI is fully supported (offload composer operations to your SAN – a dream come true!)
  • iOS 7 – New View Client (released last week)
  • and much more!

Andre Leibovici has a great article detailing what really is in View 5.3, you can find it here.

Install and Configure Teradici APEX 2800 Offload Card

apex2800_lowpro

What is the APEX 2800 Offload Card?

The Teradici APEX 2800 is a PCoIP Offload card for your compute nodes. What this means is when PCoIP traffic is detected on your nodes, each node that has a properly configured APEX card installed, the PCoIP software encoding compute cycles can be offloaded (read: dynamically moved) to this card. This benefits the amount of VDI machines (more importantly your displays)  from being crunched by the processors to produce visuals.

Is there a benefit? Absolutely! We have roughly 40-75 Task Worker profiles on each host, that’s 80-150 displays being crunched by the processor on top of Windows, Office and other applications. That is a big load on the processor, by moving the PCoIP processing onto the APEX we can save time and resources for those items that really need the speed of the Xeon platform. For the current firmware only 100 displays can be offloaded, still that is a ton of compute processing saved by moving to this card!

Install the APEX 2800

So now that we understand what it does, let’s get one physically installed into a host and then install the VIB file and enable the offloading.

  1. If this Host is in production, move all powered on/off VM’s to another available host.
  2. Put Host in Maintenance Mode, Shutdown Host, disconnect all cables (power, etc)
  3. Install APEX 2800 card to available PCIe slot (document slot location, try and make location consistent for all hosts in cluster)
  4. Reconnect cables and power Host up
  5. Confirm Host is at DCUI ready screen
  6. Enable SSH on Host, leave in Maintenance Mode
Install APEX 2800 Drivers into ESXi

For this part make sure you have a SSH client like Putty and a SFTP client like WinSCP to transfer the VIB package to your host. Go to Teradici My Support (requires login) to download the latest verified VIB package for your version of Horizon View (we will be using the package for View 5.2) Now that we have all of our stuff, lets load up the VIB package!

  1. SSH has been enabled from the prior steps, SSH into host
  2. Fire up WinSCP and start a session to the host.
  3. In WinSCP browse to the location where you downloaded the ZIP package (i.e. Downlads) on the left pane, on the right pane browse to /tmp/ and move that package in that folder
  4. Back in Putty lets verify the file is there by entering this command: “cd tmp” then “ls” you should now see the .zip file in that folder
  5. To install the VIB package enter this command: ” esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/apex2800-version-esxi-versionxxxxxx.zip” hit enter
  6. After installation it will spit out an install summary, if you had an existing version that was upgraded it will tell you here
  7. Close WinSCP and Putty and reboot the Host from vSphere
  8. When the Host become available again, enable SSH and exit Maintenance Mode
Install APEX 2800 Drivers for Windows

At this point we have physically installed the APEX 2800 card, installed the VIB package to ESXi, the last piece is to install the OS aware agent .  Go to Teradici My Support (requires login) to download the latest version of the OS Agent. Let’s get started!

  1. The VM can be on the Host we just installed the VIB package on.
  2. On your VM locate the OS Agent download and run the “apex2800-version-rel-xxxxx.exe” install package.
  3. Next, next, next!
  4. Finish and Reboot
  5. Time to verify the PCoIP processing is being offloaded!
APEX 2800 Commandlets

Each of these commands can be run from a SSH session, so fire up Putty and let’s verify that it’s working!

View APEX 2800 Status

/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -I

View VM Usage and Monitoring Status

/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -V

Enable/Disable APEX 2800

/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -d <device number> -e
/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -d <device number> -x

Displaying VM Property Values

/opt/teradici/pcoip-ctrl -O

All APEX2800 Commandlets