Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Didja Know? - VSC for Non-Persistent Desktops

Ahoy Ahoy!

Yesterday I talked about using NetApp clones for persistent desktops and I didn't mention a valuable feature in VSC because it really doesn't fit in with persistent clones.  But what if you're not set on persistent and you do want non-persistent or some sort of hybrid between persistent and non-persistent?  Want to use XenDesktop or View as the connection broker, but not as the cloning mechanism?  Remember, one size does NOT fit all!  While you've got VSC, why not try our Redeploy feature?  If you want to update your non-persistent or semi-persistent clones with new patches, virus updates, applications, etc. this is an easy way to do it.

Yep, another cool feature built into VSC!

**WARNING**  This feature will overwrite your existing clones with the golden image.  All customizations and data saved to the clones will be GONE!  Make sure this is what you want to do!

To get there, click on your home screen in vCenter and than click on the NetApp "N" under Solutions and Applications.  You'll be presented with the NetApp tool and this is where you do most of your beginning work with the tool.

From the image you can see we have a lot of choice and I'll quickly go over some of the VSC goodness.  Under Monitoring and Host Configuration you get some great metrics regarding ESXi and your NetApp controllers.  This is also where you can apply NetApp best practices to your ESXi hosts.

Under Optimization and Migration you can fix miss-aligned clones!  Lots more on this functionality, it deserves a post just for itself.

Backup and Recovery we've looked at before, and it will allow us to backup and restore datastores, machines and/or files.

Under Provisioning and Cloning you'll find the Redeploy feature.  When you open it VSC will scan to see what virtual machine has been used as a baseline for other machines.  Select your master image and click the Redeploy link at the top.

The next screen you'll be presented with virtual machines that have been deployed from your golden image.  Select the machines you want to redeploy and click Next.  Here we can see all of these virtual machines were created using the Windows7 Customization Specification, this will be important in just a second.

Select apply new settings if you want to use a new customization specification.  If you're happy the customization specification, just select Use current settings and click Next.

On the next screen, make sure you're happy with everything and click Apply.  The desktops will be redeployed and anything on them will be GONE, and they will exactly like the golden image accept they will retain their names, MAC addresses, etc.

So what about semi-persistent?  With that you'll need some sort of profile tool.  I've talked a little bit about this in the past and will be writing a blog about Liquidware Labs Profile Unity very soon!  I know I'm repeating myself, but remember ALL customizations and data on those clones will be GONE, so you'll want to make sure any user data or profile settings have been saved using some sort of profile and data redirection.

Until Next Time!

1 comment:

  1. I recently purchased a new computer and I have been looking for the easiest way to perform a backup & recovery over to my new computer. My old computer crashed before and I was almost sure I lost everything, but thankfully I didn't. Thanks for sharing this.