Monday, December 5, 2016

VMware App Volumes - The Next Evolution in VDI - Step 1 AppStacks

Hi Friends,

I've been busy learning all about VMware's new cool VDI technology, App Volumes.  Let's set the Wayback machine to the dawn of virtual desktops.
















In the early days, VDI was easy.  You had a bunch of non-persistent desktops that reset themselves after each use, didn't need customization or special user applications or profile settings.  These were created for call centers, libraries or wherever someone just needed a desktop for temporary use, logged in, logged out and everybody was happy!

But what happens when you need to create a desktop for someone like me?  I have specific applications I need, save data to my computer, have a certain look and feel I've come to expect.  Sheesh, what happened to simple non-persistent desktops?  I had to go and make it all complicated!

Okay, so how do I get the non-persistence and ease of use administrators need, but the customization and persistence users demand?















VMware App Volumes!  That's right, VMware has done a really awesome job balancing out the ease of non-persistence and the customization of full persistence Knowledge Workers have come to expect.

App Volumes is pretty packed with cool stuff, so I'm going to break the technology out into a few blogs.  Today I'm going to talk about AppStacks.  AppStacks allow administrators to install and assign applications to individual users or desktops as needed.  Yep, that's right, if you're a VDI admin and you've got users demanding certain applications or departments bugging you to install certain apps, this might be the answer!

The first step is to choose a desktop to install the application on.  Here I've chosen to install on a desktop called AppVolumes2.  I think it's a good idea to take a snapshot of the desktop before you start making changes just in things don't go to plan.  Tintri snapshots would be a good choice, they're fast and space efficient!

Okay, after you've selected which desktop will be the install desktop, go to the App Volumes GUI and select Create AppStack.


















Give your AppStack a name, what storage it will use, the path and where the template lives.  Here I'm using a T5080, Tintri's top of the line all flash array.

























One the AppStack has been created, next we need to attach it to our install desktop so the application can be installed and put under control of App Volumes.  Here we've got our newly created AppStack and I select Provision.























Remember when I said to pick a machine to be the install machine?  Here's were we search Active Directory for that machine.  When you find your machine, click on Provision.


























Here we can see the AppStack is being attached to appvolumes2.





Okay, the AppStack is attached to appvolumes2 and as the message says, it's time to install our application.
























We're connected to appvolumes2 and we can see the App Volumes message telling us we're in provisioning mode and to click OK after the install is done.

I've chosen to install Notepad++.  If you haven't had a chance to take a look at Notepad++ it's a really cool program that gives Notepad like capabilities but MUCH MUCH more!!  Definitely worth a look if you're looking at logs and opening text files a lot.


































The next step is to install your application like you normally would.


































Awesome, our application has been installed!  Click on the OK button and we'll proceed to the next step.

FYI, I didn't show it, but I deleted the installer because we're done with it.


































The application is analyzed by App Volumes and then a dialog box will pop up telling you to click the OK button to complete the process and reboot the computer.



















If everything works okay you'll be greeted with this dialog box that tells you the provisioning was successful.












Back to our App Volumes GUI, we can see the application installed and it's time to assign the application.  Wait a second, I thought we installed it on appvolumes2?!?!  Well, yes and no.  We did install it on appvolumes2, but it wasn't really installing it on that machine, it was recording the installation procedure so we can put the app on any computer we want.
























Now, this part is cool!  We can assign the application to certain machines AND/OR users.  Pretty cool huh?  So here I'm going to assign the appliation to avtest1.  This way the user will get Notepad++ regardless of which computer they log into.



























Now, the test!  If I log into appvolumes2 as user avtest1 will Notepad++ be there?

Yep, there it is.  But, here's the big test, what if I log into appvolumes3 with user avtest1?

















Yep, there it is!! How cool is that?!


















Okay, but what happens if I log back into appvolumes2 as a different user?  Here I'm logging in as avtest2.  Now remember, avtest2 wasn't given access to the application.

No application!  VERY cool!
















Now this is just the tip of the iceberg, there's TONS more for me to show you.  Writable App Volumes, backup and recovery, the list goes on!

Be on the lookout for the continuing saga of App Volumes!!!

Until Next Time
-Brain

Friday, October 14, 2016

Introducing The Tintri Demo Series - Webinars for Cool People

Hi Friends,

I've got great news for you!  Over here at Tintri we've started an awesome webinar series called the Tintri Demo Series.

So what's it all about?  Twice a week the Tech Marketing folks have a 30 minute webinar where we demo some really cool technology.  Some will be existing tech and some new and upcoming features!

Every month we'll be presenting a new topic, so come on back to my blog on a regular basis to see what we'll be talking about from month to month.

This month we're demoing a tech preview:  Tintri 1:many replication!

Watch how easy it is to configure Tintri Global Center (TGC) to protect Virtual Machines by replicating their snapshots to multiple Tintri VMstores.

If endless boring babble and slide presentations scare you, don't worry, they scare us too!  And if you have questions/thoughts/concerns/criticisms, the TME's are available live to ask.





Tell me this isn't cool?!  So when and where do you go to listen to these awesome webinars?




















Monday at 11:00 AM Pacific

Thursday at 8:00 AM Pacific

Be there or ummmm, be uninformed!




Tuesday, October 11, 2016

1000 User VMware Horizon View 7.x Best Practices Doc Available!! (Windows 10 with Office 2016)

Hi Friends,

If you attended VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas this year, stopped by the Tintri booth and heard me give my VDI on Tintri theater presentation, I mentioned I was working on a whole new architecture and the paper would be ready shortly.  I'm happy to announce the paper is ready for download!

I'm really excited about this paper because it's a whole NEW architecture!  Here's what we've got:

VMware Horizon View 7.x running 1000 Microsoft Windows 10 desktops with Microsoft Office 2016, hosted on VMware ESXi 6.x and running on a Cisco UCS with B200 M4 blades and a Tintri VMstore T5040 all flash array.  Here's a cool picture of the stack.







































I wanted to do something a bit different for this paper.  It's not quite a reference architecture, but more a lab guide on what I built, best practices AND Login VSI performance charts!  I hope you like it!

I'd really enjoy hearing your feedback on the paper.  If you think it sucks or think it's great, let me know!

Head over to the Tintri website, click on Resources and select the 1000 User VMware Horizon 7.x Best Practices paper, or you can just click the link here.  :-)

Until Next Time!
-Brain



Thursday, August 25, 2016

VMware OS Optimization Tool

Hi Friends,

I'm working on some really cool stuff that I can't wait to show you!  Here's a small glimpse of what's to come.  While I was working on this big project of mine I came across a new tool written by the folks at VMware.  It's part of their Flings program and I think it's genius!  They're applications written by their engineers in their spare time.  There's all kinds of really cool tools available.  Check it out when you get a chance!

A little while back I wrote a blog called Windows 7 Optimization Guides for VDI - View and XenDesktop.  Optimizing your Windows golden image has always been lots of fun and challenging, so I was so excited to see the VMware OS Optimization Tool available!  It's designed to help you optimize not only Windows 10, but Windows 7, 8, 2008 and 2012!!  How cool is that?  It includes customizable templates to enable or disable Windows services per VMware's recommendations and best practices.

Just me being paranoid, but I'd suggest backing up, cloning or taking a snapshot of your golden image before applying any optimizations.  That way if you're not happy with the changes, you can easily revert back to your pre-optimized image.

















Let's take a look!  Here's the tool running below.  Start up the application on your golden image and select a template name, here I've chosen Windows10_beta (built-in).  Click on the Analyze button and the tool will populate the right hand side with optimizations it would like to apply to the golden image.  You can un-select optimizations if there's a setting you don't want applied.  Click Optimize and the tool will apply the chosen optimizations.




























And PRESTO you're done!


















But wait, there's MORE!  While searching around I found an article written by Login VSI - The Ultimate Windows 10 Tuning Template for any VDI Environment #VDILIKEAPRO.  If you're not familiar with Login VSI, you MUST take a look.  I've been a huge advocate of their product for years and I still can't say enough good things about it.  In a nut shell, you set up your VDI environment, golden image and all, and their tool automates users logging in and running desktop workloads.  So no synthetic loads, just users logging in, checking email, getting coffee, writing documents etc.  After the run is complete you're presented with charts and an analysis.  One of the metrics is the VSImax, which is a number for your VDI system as a whole where a certain number of users will start to cause degradation in the VDI environment.  Pretty neat huh?

I was really happy to see Login VSI had a template for Windows 10, so I downloaded their template and loaded it into the VMware OS Optimization Tool.  You'll be greeted with a new template that you can select from the template pull down.

From there, your golden image should be ready to roll!

So what did we learn today?  Neil is working on something with Windows 10 and that VMware and Login VSI are cool!  :-)

Until Next Time
-Brain

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Top vBlog 2016 Results!

Hi Friends,

Wow, can you believe it?  Glick's Gray Matter went from 137 to 51!  I can't believe I moved up 86 spots!!!





















I JUST missed the commemorative coin by 1 place!!  Ah well, we'll get it next year!!!






Thanks to everyone that voted for me!!  And thanks to Eric Siebert for hosting the Top vBlog!  Be sure to check out his site vSphere-land.  I'll keep doing my best to bring you great content if you keep reading!

Best,
Neil

Monday, June 20, 2016

Top vBlog of 2016 - It's Not Too Late To Vote!!

Hi All,

It's not too late to vote for the Top vBlog!  Have you been enjoying Glick's Gray Matter?  Why not cast a vote for me!  :-)

Here's a link to the site that explains the contest:
http://vsphere-land.com/news/voting-now-open-for-top-vblog-2016.html

Here's a link to the voting site:
http://sgiz.mobi/s3/TopvBlog2016

I'm not above pleading!!!

Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, PLEEEEEEEEEAAAAASE!!!



Microsoft SMB File Sharing on Tintri - Best Practices Guide

Hi Friends,

Why do Monday's always happen on the worst day?  Uggggggh......

Anywho, here's something to brighten up your day!



Are you thinking about setting up a Microsoft SMB file share?  Do you have a Tintri VMstore that you want to host that file share, but aren't sure where to start or how to dial in the dials?

Well look no further friends, Dr. Brain has got you covered!





















In the document I talk benefits, architectures, networking, setting up the file share, compression, deduplication, backup and recovery!  So much good stuff it shouldn't be allowed on a Monday.

All this and MORE can be yours!

https://www.tintri.com/resources/whitepapers/microsoft-smb-file-sharing-best-practices-guide?form-level=1

Until Next Time!
-Brain

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tintri VM Scale-out Explained in Detail

Hi Friends,

Recently I posted a link to my new video on Tintri VM Scale-out.  I thought it would be a good idea to explain the different functions and capabilities in the blog so I can go into a bit more depth, cause that's the sorta guy I am!



















So, where was I?  Oh yeah, Tintri VM Scale-out!

Here's the front page of Tintri Global Center or TGC that we all know and love.  If you haven't had a look at it, I highly recommend checking it out!

Sorry for the little images, if I made them bigger they would go off the page, so if you want to see them in more detail, just click on them.

I won't go into detail on this image cause I'm going to focus more on VM Scale-out.  Maybe if you ask reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally nicely, I'll do a TGC in depth blog!!

To get to the new VM Scale-out tool, just click on the Pools tab.


















Now remember, VM Scale-out allows you to seamlessly expand your Tintri VMstore infrastructure using analytics, predictive modeling and proactive resolution!

Woo Hoo!  Check out all those cool numbered bubbles!  Yep, I'm going to discuss each one of them!





Unfortunately I have to explain somethings out of order cause I'm a ding dong and numbered the bubbles without really thinking about how I was going to write the blog!  Ah well.























So the way this works is you create Pools.  A pool consists of VMstores and VMstores are added through TGC.  It's super easy to create, modify and delete pools.

#12 +:  Yeah I know, 1 comes before 12.  Ugh....  To add a Pool, just click on the + sign!

All you've gotta do is name the pool and select the VMstores you want in it.  If only everything in life was this easy!!




















#11 Pencil:  Hey, let's continue on the backwards trend!  The pencil edits the pool.  Let's say you want to change the name or add or remove VMstores from the pool.  No problem, just click on the box to add or X to remove.  I know what you're thinking, "It can't be that easy!"  Well my friend, I'm afraid to tell you, it is that easy.






















#3 VMstores:  If you click on this, it will take you to the page in TGC that shows details on your VMstores.

#4 Virtual Machines:  Click on this and you'll go to the TGC page that shows in depth metrics on your virtual machines in that pool.

#1 Recommendations:  This is the one I really like!  VM Scale-out analyzes your VMstores, virtual machines, IOPS, Throughput, Latency, Performance Reserves and Space Remaining.  From all this information it comes up with recommendations according to how the environment is doing.  Let's expand the recommendations and take a closer look.  How do you expand it?  Just click on it.  Want to execute the recommendations?  Click on Execute.





Things are broken into three categories, Current Issues, Recommended Actions and Outcomes.  A LOT of stuff is clickable, so let's click around!

In the current issues we can see our Tintri 820 is running out of space and is experiencing heavy load.  Want to go to that VMstore directly, just click on the name of the VMstore.  Want to see more information about the current issue?  Just click on View Details.

We can see we have a 3.1% chance of running out of space on the VMstore and that it's 62% full and how much it's increasing per week.  Pretty cool huh?
























Let's move to Recommended Actions.  VM Scale-out is recommending to migrate 41 VMs to solve our space and heavy load issues.  If you want to see what VMs those are or if you want to tell VM Scale-out certain machines shouldn't be migrated, you can do it!

I've clicked on the 41 VMs and here's what I see.  I can filter, search, sort, all kinds of good stuff, but what's really cool is I can tell VM Scale-out whether one of the selected machines should be migrated, don't migrate right now, not to the selected VMstore or never!




#2 Notifications:  This one is pretty cool.  While VM Scale-out is checking space and performance it's also checking for issues in the environment and not just the VMstores!  Remember, Tintri is VM-aware so it's checking for issues there too.  For VM Scale-out to successfully migrate machines from one VMstore to another the datastore paths need to match.  Here I've got a notification telling me that my Tintri 880 has a unique path and problems could arise from that.




















#3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 I talked about in #1 Recommendations.

#7 Latency:  If I click on Latency, I can see the overall latency of all the VMstores in the pool.  Here we only have 0.6ms of latency and it's coming from host and flash.  The cool thing is you get an over all understanding of where the latency is coming from in your environment.  This really helps us understand where the latency is coming from and hopefully stop it before it becomes a problem.
















#10 Migration Rules:  Remember in recommendations where I could delay the migration of certain virtual machines or choose to never migrate them?  If I want to set up rules like that even before VM Scale-out does it's analysis, I can do it here.  Here I've got a virtual machine called r_grow_space1.  It shows where it currently lives and I can set rules to never migrate it or never migrate it to a certain VMstore.  This is very handy if there are virtual machines you just want to live on a certain VMstore.


















Well, I think that's all the numbers!  Neat stuff huh?  I think so!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tintri VM Scale-out with Tintri Global Center (TGC)

Hi Friends,

I've released a cool video on Tintri VM Scale-out!

What is VM Scale-out you ask?  It allows you to seamlessly expand your Tintri VMstore infrastructure using analytics, predictive modeling and proactive resolution!  It's built right into Tintri Global Center or TGC and it's pretty cool.

I think you'll really enjoy the video, plus you get to hear my sexy video voice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27ZtGiyTkRI





Thursday, May 5, 2016

Top vBlog of 2016

Hi Friends,

It's that time again, Top vBlog voting has opened and Glick's Gray Matter is on the list again.  I didn't win last year and I was totally bummed, but it just makes me that more determined to place in the Top 50 this year!

If you've enjoyed Glick's Gray Matter or it's helped you out, I sure would appreciate your vote!

Here's a link to the site that explains the contest:
http://vsphere-land.com/news/voting-now-open-for-top-vblog-2016.html

Here's a link to the voting site:
http://sgiz.mobi/s3/TopvBlog2016

Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, PLEASE!!!!!




Monday, April 25, 2016

Brain and Sport Show LIVE!

Hi Friends,

I'm very excited to share my new podcast with you!!  The Brain and Sport Show!  Have questions about technology, storage, virtualization, databases, VDI or how cool a new smart watch is?  So do we!

The first show is now available:

Non-itunes

itunes

If you have suggestions about what you'd like us to discuss, add a comment!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Finding and Fixing Noisy Neighbors - The Tintri Way!

Hi Friends,

Happy Friday!  Noisy neighbors got you down?  Tired of trying to get them to turn the loud music down?!
















Well, that noisy neighbor problem is a little tough, but if you've got virtual machines causing havoc in your production environment, Tintri storage can find and FIX it!

Take a look at a video I just posted onto Youtube that demonstrates how to find and throttle those naughty VMs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbKFlduZSac

Until Next Time!
-Brain