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Need Advice on virtualizing 200 xp desktops and implemeting a VDI infrastructure.

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  • Need Advice on virtualizing 200 xp desktops and implemeting a VDI infrastructure.

    Hi,

    I apologize if this has been discussed before. I did do a search.

    The company i work for recently invested in an IBM Blade Center H and San storage via the DS4700. We are running 4 HS21 blades at the moment.

    Ive joined recently and i want to plan to virtualize the 200 Winxp desktops they have to make use of the existing BLADE/SAN architecture.

    What would be hardware requirement to 200 xp virtual machines? I have 10 blade slots free at the moment.

    Any other tips in going forward with VDI is appreciated.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Need Advice on virtualizing 200 xp desktops and implemeting a VDI infrastructure.

    The famous saying "It all depends".

    Just like Citrix, your mileage in VMware is going to depend a lot on the workload inside the VM. Knownig nothing about what applications are running in your XP image, let's talk "rule of thumb numbers" to give you a starting point:

    - 4 VMs per processor core
    - 1GB RAM per VM (or 4 GB RAM per processor core)
    - 10-20+ VMs per SAN LUN depending on how busy these XP VMs will be.
    - Network is rarely an issue assuming Gigabit in your infrastructure so let's not discuss it

    So using the above "rule of thumb" data, what does it take to VDI 200 XP images? It will take:

    - 50 processor cores
    - 200GB RAM
    - SAN LUNs are a constant, you figure out how you want to carve them VMs per LUN
    - Network is a non issue

    I'm not familiar with IBM blades but if for example each blade comes with 8 processor cores, you'll need a minimum of 7 blades. 9 if you want room for N+1 and flexibility in your maintenance and patching of hosts.

    For 7 blades, you'd need 30GB RAM per blade
    For 9 blades, you'd need 24GB RAM per blade
    VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+
    boche.net - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
    My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.

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    • #3
      Re: Need Advice on virtualizing 200 xp desktops and implemeting a VDI infrastructure.

      Thanks for the input...

      I was hoping that the hardware requirement would not be so high... I kind of knew that requirement would be similar to what u recommended but what confused me was the case studies i read on the vmware vdi site.. I mean some institutions were hosting a vdi infrastructure with 600 odd clients and just a few blades.. How was that done??

      Anyways... my requirement is that i want to virtualize my desktops.. The desktops are just xp machines running office and lotus notes..

      IS there any other way i can lower my hardware requirements using VDI???

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      • #4
        Re: Need Advice on virtualizing 200 xp desktops and implemeting a VDI infrastructure.

        you can virtualise a few terminal servers instead of a VM per user
        ________
        Buy scale
        Last edited by DYasny; 6th March 2011, 19:08.
        Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

        BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

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        • #5
          Re: Need Advice on virtualizing 200 xp desktops and implemeting a VDI infrastructure.

          Originally posted by dered View Post
          Thanks for the input...

          I was hoping that the hardware requirement would not be so high... I kind of knew that requirement would be similar to what u recommended but what confused me was the case studies i read on the vmware vdi site.. I mean some institutions were hosting a vdi infrastructure with 600 odd clients and just a few blades.. How was that done??
          32 core blades with 256GB RAM. Who knows. You'd have to provide more details. Could also be some exaggeration in there somewhere.

          Originally posted by dered View Post
          Anyways... my requirement is that i want to virtualize my desktops.. The desktops are just xp machines running office and lotus notes..

          IS there any other way i can lower my hardware requirements using VDI???
          You are certainly more than welcomed to squeeze more VDIs per processor core/blade if you'd like to try that. In addition, you may choose to not allocate 4GB RAM per processor core - maybe you go 2 which cuts your ESX host memory in half and you don't grant as much RAM to your VDIs. Some people are starting to experiment with the cost effectiveness of memory overcommitment and you may wish to give that a try. Like I said, the numbers I gave you are "rule of thumb" VMs to get us into the ballpark. There's some fudge room. Again, it's going to heavily depend on your VDI workloads though. What applications will be running in the VDIs? How much hardware budget do you have to work with here? I mean how much does my "rule of thumb" scenario miss the mark compared with what you have to work with? Don't get the idea you're going to host 200 XP images on just 2 or 3 blades. At a minimum you have to consider/plan for a host being taken out of the cluster for maintenance or unanticipated failure meaning the remaining hosts are now handling that much more load when they pick up the slack.

          Plan and pilot test your implementation carefully. If you deliver a poor solution, you may end up giving virtualization a bad name in your organization and management won't be willing to look at it again for another 5-10 years which would be very unfortunate.

          This is still a much better solution than deploying VDI desktop blades where you have 1 XP image per blade. That would be 200 blades - granted you wouldn't go with 8 way 32GB RAM blades for these but nonetheless it's 200 pieces of hardware to address.

          Citrix Presentation Server (XenApp) is a third avenue but it's a different style of VDI with its own set of unique caveats that I won't go into here unless you want the ugly details.

          Don't forget when all is said and done, you're going to need a brokering mechanism to manage the 200 client connections to their respective VDIs, no matter what solution you choose. You can make this as simple or as complex as you'd like.
          Last edited by jasonboche; 10th July 2008, 16:27.
          VCDX3 #34, VCDX4, VCDX5, VCAP4-DCA #14, VCAP4-DCD #35, VCAP5-DCD, VCPx4, vEXPERTx4, MCSEx3, MCSAx2, MCP, CCAx2, A+
          boche.net - VMware Virtualization Evangelist
          My advice has no warranties. Follow at your own risk.

          Comment

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