VMware View 5 Desktop Virtualization Solutions Book Review

VMware View 5 Desktop Virtualization Solutions CoverI recently received a copy of VMware View 5 Desktop Virtualization Solutions by Jason Langone and Andre Leibovici.  I had a few hours of flying time yesterday and decided to read the book.  The book is billed as ‘A complete guide to planning and designing solutions based on VMware View 5’.  Included in the contents of the book are the following topics:

  • Components of VMware View, including View Composer
  • Solution Methodology, including assessment worksheets, use case definition help, basic View design principles, and design validation using the VMware View Planner tool.
  • Persistent vs. Non-Presistent Desktops – the differences between the two and how to choose.
  • End Devices, including Thick, Thin, Zero, and other clients.
  • PCoIP Protocol: Protocol overview, benefits, and offload using the Teradici APEX card.
  • Sizing the VDI, including network, compute, and working around vSphere configuration maximums.
  • Redundancy, including using VMware High Availability (HA), Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and vCenter Heartbeat Server.  Design of View components (Connection Servers, Security Servers, etc.) for redundancy was discussed.
  • Sizing of Storage for View: This is probably the most challenging part of a View implementation.  The authors provided great insight into the storage performance profile of View VM’s and the intricacies of the split storage profile when using Linked Clones.  Capacity sizing is also included, with considerations for often overlooked sizing for video swap, virtual machine swap, and CBRC digests.
  • Security of VDI, including device control (USB), smart card authentication, and forensics.
  • Migration from physical desktops to virtual desktops, including the use of VMware View Persona Management.
  • Backing up the View infrastructure for disaster recovery.
  • New features and functionality in View 5.1.

All of these topics were covered with a good mix of high level overview and deep-dive details based on the authors’ extensive experience with VMware View.   I’ve been helping Clearpath customers with View implementation, upgrades and troubleshooting for some time.  I found the book to be factually accurate and well written.  I recommend VMware View 5 Desktop Virtualization Solutions for anyone preparing to implement View.  I’ve found that folks who rushed into a View implementation without understanding the nuances of VDI can run into problems, be it performance, capacity, or user experience, and often end up calling us in to diagnose and correct those problems.  While it’s great to be the hero, I much prefer working with customers from the inception of their View projects to correctly plan, size, and design the virtual desktop infrastructure.  This book will be a good resource for customers to read to get up to speed on the View solution they are considering, and will help to foster richer discussions with my team at Clearpath during planning and design phases of View projects.

Bottom line: Get this book to get you started on correctly sizing a View environment, including the necessary compute and storage resources for the solution, before purchasing and implementing.

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