PowerCLI Script to Set DNS and NTP on ESXi Hosts

Since joining VMware, I've built, rebuilt and updated several lab environments (home lab and work labs).  One of the problems I keep running into is incorrect/missing/disabled NTP on my ESXi hosts.  Because lab gear is often abused well-loved, BIOS time is not always correct (long periods of being powered off), settings are all sorts of jacked up (it's a lab, we're engineers, let's break stuff!!!), and documentation is non-existent.  The problem is not just in a lab environment - the number of customer environments I've seen that aren't set to use NTP is much higher than I would have thought … [Read more...]

PCoIP Packet Loss? Don’t Blame the Network!

Several months ago I was called into a new customer to diagnose some odd behavior in their VMware View environment. The organization was struggling with constant disconnects and generally poor performance on their View desktops. When users weren’t being randomly disconnected from their desktops, the users experienced lag when dragging windows between multiple monitors, ‘choppy’ graphics/video, and slow application launching. The problems occurred with local and remote users (both WAN and LAN could be involved).  The customer had done some troubleshooting, worked with VMware Support and the … [Read more...]

Configuring VMware VASA for EMC VNX

vSphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) are one of several VMware vSphere Storage APIs.  VASA, new in vSphere 5.0, provides vCenter with a way of interrogating storage array LUNs and associated datastores to gain visibility into the underlying hardware and configuration of the storage layer.  Storage capabilities, such as RAID level, thin or thick LUN provisioning, replication state, caching mechanisms, and auto-tiering are presented through VASA to vCenter (a unidirectional read operation by vCenter against the array).  With VASA, vCenter can identify which datastores possess … [Read more...]

Troubleshooting Slow Logon to VMware View Desktops

I did a bit of troubleshooting today for a customer who was experiencing very slow logon times to VMware View desktops running Windows XP.  I suspect the problem is a fairly common one so I thought I might share my troubleshooting methodology and the solution that got the login time back to normal.  Following a rigid methodology may be overkill for many troubleshooting situations.  If you strongly suspect a root cause to a problem, check the solution before digging in to analytic troubleshooting.  A little bit of Googling may eventually get you to an answer for a particular problem, but having … [Read more...]

CPU Ready Revisted – Quick Reference Charts

I've written in the past about how high CPU Ready values can cause performance problems in VMware vSphere environments.  For those who don't know, CPU Ready is a measure of the amount of time that a guest VM is ready to run, but the VMware ESXi CPU Scheduler on the host is not able to immediately allocate cycles to the guest because it is busy doing work for other VM's.  CPU Ready values are exposed through ESXTOP and in the vSphere Client. I'm often called into customer environments to do performance troubleshooting, and CPU Ready is one of the first performance measurements I check my … [Read more...]

Storage Basics – Part IX: Alternate IOPS Formula

It's been a long time since I published an article in my Storage Basics series - the series has been some of the top content on my site to date.  I sat for a beta version of the VMware Certified Advanced Professional - Desktop Design (VCAP-DTD) test today and was reminded by the test of a post I had in waiting about an alternate way to calculate IOPS (hint hint - memorize these formulas).  I have several more articles sitting in draft form, but a new job, crazy kids, home improvement projects, and a wife with chronic cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) leaks (it sounds bad - and it is - but look on … [Read more...]

Conflicting Guidance on No GUI Boot and Base Video settings for VMware View Desktops

I've been working on writing up a complete guide for optimizing VMware View desktops.  In my research I've come across some conflicting information on using the 'No GUI Boot' and 'Base Video' boot optimizations found in the Microsoft System Configuration Utility (msconfig.exe). Why You Might Use 'No GUI Boot' and 'Base Video' Tweaks No GUI Boot The 'No GUI Boot' option disables visual elements in the Windows boot sequence (the Starting Windows screen with the swirling colored dots that turn into the Windows logo).  The idea with this optimization is that CPU cycles are needed to render, … [Read more...]

Optimize Microsoft Office and Outlook in VDI Environments

I've been working on a VMware View Optimization and Best Practices whitepaper for Clearpath.  The document isn't quite ready for publication yet, but I wanted to share a section that I've been working on as I've had several people ask me about this topic recently.  This section is dealing with deploying Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Outlook in particular in VMware View VDI environments.  Stay tuned for the full document.  In the meantime, I hope this bit is helpful to you. Microsoft Office in View Desktops Microsoft Office, including Outlook, can be deployed as a ThinApp to View … [Read more...]

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