This article sums up a couple of free tools which you can use designing, implementing and maintaining a VMware View Infrastructure or any other VDI implementation like Quest vWorkspace or Citrix XenDesktop.
I’ve divided the tools in the following categories:
- Load balancing
- User Environment Management
I would love to hear if you know of any free tools which can be used in or for a VMware View Infrastructure.
Before you even begin to design a VMware View environment, you need to determine what kind of workload your users are going to produce on your VMware View infrastructure. Quest has a free tool available to assess your current environment or your VDI pilot environment: the Quest VDI assessment. This is a free version of Liquidware Labs Stratusphere with a couple of side notes:
- This product is freeware and is not supported by Quest Software technical support. Community support is available on the community page
- The download includes a key that is valid for 5 days. To continue using the tool after the key expires, you must contact your Quest Software account representative for a new key to preserve your data.
- Supports unlimited users (may require multiple appliances)
- No restrictions on functionality
Sizing a VDI environment is one of the most important parts of a VDI infrastructure design. Especially when you don’t know exactly the workload and the type of users (therefore you first need to assess!). Andre Leibovici has created a VDI flash calculator which you can use to estimate a sizing for your VMware View environment. You can use this calculator to get an idea of what you might need for your VMware View infrastructure. There are no guarantees of the results of the calculations. Calculations are based on best practices and the author’s own field experience deploying dozens of VDI solutions.
Last month I wrote an article on how to use Netscaler VPX Express to load balance VMware View. Netscaler VPX Express is a free virtual appliance from Citrix which can be used to do a lot of network related stuff, load balancing is just one of the features. I’ve been looking for free load balancer appliances for a while, but I couldn’t find an alternative to this one. If you have, let me know.
Optimizing your desktop golden image makes a lot of sense. The impact can be huge if you look at the impact on user density (more users on a physical host) and the impact on IOPS (less reads and writes).Project Virtual Reality Check published a whitepaper (phase III) on this topic. Optimizing is easy when you use the free tool from Quest: Quest Desktop Optimizer which includes 40 optimizations to tweak your golden image.