Monday, December 23, 2013

VDI on Hyper-V References

To get started some quick tips from the resources linked below.
  • RD Connection Broker needs access to shared storage hosting virtual machines, enable access by editing the IP whitelist in the Nutanix UI (see #2, blog Part 2 below)
  • RD Connection Broker must have permissions to join virtual desktops to the domain (see #2, blog Part 2 below)
  • Hyper-V defaults to deploying 1 VM at a time, edit the Concurrency setting via regedit or powershell to increase the concurrency to as many as 5 VMs
  • Hyper-V can provide hardware acceleration up through DirectX 11.1 with GPU virtualization (see #4 below)

Microsoft terminology for the newbies:
  • Remote Desktop Services (RDS) - Microsoft VDI offering with 3 options
    • Virtual Desktops - dedicated virtual desktop session
    • Session-based desktops - shared hosted desktop (previously terminal server)
    • RemoteApp programs - application publishing and delivery
  • Remote Desktop (RD) Connection Broker
  • SCVMM - System Center Virtual Machine Manager (think vCenter)
  • Remote Desktop Virtualization Host - role required on Hyper-V hosts providing virtual desktops
  • RDS Collection = Desktop Pool/Group
  • Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) = VMDK

Remote Desktop Services Overview (from
  1. Great Hyper-V and RDS content from @dlink7
  2. What's New in RDS Server 2012 R2
  3. Remote Desktop Services Overview
  4. RemoteFX vGPU Improvements in Server 2012 R2
Thanks for reading, you can follow me on Twitter @dgfallon

RDS + Hyper-V + Nutanix Hangout Today

Updated with Hangout Link

For those who missed it, Hangout YouTube link,…

Jason Langone and I will be hosting a hangout this afternoon discussing VDI options on Hyper-V and Nutanix, with a focus on Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS). Thanks to Dwayne Lessner for all the great content.

For anyone in the office trying to kill those last few hours before holiday break or those sitting at home in their sweats, either way, join us at 1:30 PM EST today to learn how to dramatically decrease the cost of deploying Virtual Desktops on Hyper-V. We'll also be giving away gift cards to those actively participating through Twitter.

What: Tech Hangout - How to decrease costs, reduce time to deploy, and scale your VDI environment
When: 1:30PM EST Today (12/23)

Thanks for reading, you can follow me on Twitter @dgfallon

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nutanix - Supporting the Federal Mission From Day 1

Nutanix has enjoyed extraordinary success in the Public Sector for a company at our stage and a dinner conversation at Citrix Synergy go me thinking, “why is this?” Unfortunately there was a light federal presence at Synergy, and due to Sequestration and government travel restrictions this has been a common theme at many industry conferences this year. In this tough economic climate how is Nutanix still seeing such great traction across federal customers? I think the answers lies in a combination of some decisions Nutanix made early on and some key trends prevalent across the Federal Government.

Nutanix made a conscious decision to invest in the federal space. Some of our first customers happened to be federal agencies and integrators and rather than shy away from this complicated sector we dove straight in; hiring a team who is comfortable speaking in acronyms, achieving a GSA schedule, as well as having an engineering team that was willing to invest in government compliance items like STIGs and Common Criteria. These decisions weren’t made on a whim but driven by a vision that the capabilities provided by the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform would perfectly meet the needs of emerging trends in the federal space.

Datacenter Consolidation
Federal Datacenter consolidation is an Executive Order and has had a ripple affect across departments and agencies with “virtualize first” policies, agency-wide license agreements, and a concerted effort towards private clouds. Federal IT buying and building has traditionally been done in silos, with departments or individual programs controlling the process. This trend has led to thousands of datacenters and I’m sure an untold number of servers hiding in basement rooms and comms closets. This model is inefficient both from a procurement and an operations and maintenance perspective. Government leadership has realized to reduce costs and drive datacenter efficiencies that consolidation is needed.

This consolidation is well under way and on a massive scale. Private clouds are being built across departments, agencies, and even DOD branch levels. These “Federal clouds” will rival the largest of Commercial Enterprises and demand a flexible, modular, and scalable approach. By adopting practices and technology from hyperscale companies like Google and Facebook, Federal agencies can keep their data in-house and still realize great efficiencies with private clouds. Nutanix, with roots in the Google File System can deliver these kinds of efficiencies. 

Thanks for reading, you can follow me on Twitter @dgfallon

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Citrix Synergy 2013

Im eagerly writing this post from 36,000 ft on my way to Anaheim for Synergy 2013. This will be my third Synergy, and I've now been to Synergy as a customer, partner, and a vendor (orange lanyard this time). Im looking forward to catching up with industry friends, and seeing what announcements Citrix has in store for us this week. 

There is a lot happening through out the week, from the Synergy Welcome Reception tonight, to the final party on Thursday. There is the Tweet-up on Wednesday and a bunch of other vendor and partner parties throughout the week. Some of the can't miss sessions that Im looking forward to this year are listed below, and include veteran speakers Shawn Bass, Gunnar Berger, Dan Brinkmann, Mike Stanley, and Jarian Gibson.
I'll be hanging at the Nutanix booth (#420), starting tonight and be bouncing around through out the conference, between sessions, customer meetings, and booth time, I expect this to be my most hectic Synergy yet! If you'd like to meet, ping me on Twitter, or just drop by the booth. For those that missed yesterday's Press Release, Nutanix is now Citrix Ready Certified across all of our hardware models, for both XenDesktop and XenApp, and I look forward to diving into our Reference Architecture with anyone who is interested.

Thanks for reading, you can follow me on Twitter @dgfallon

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

View vs. XenDesktop - POC Config

It's been a while since this blog had any activity, meaning I broke my pretend New Years resolution of blogging once a week, to which I never really committed. I guess life gets in the way, and by life, I mean a combination of work and play.

At work a large amount of my time is spent on VDI. I've been focusing on VDI for the last 5 years and there is no question, VDI is hot right now, but I feel like there is a lot of FUD floating around regarding what components are required for a functional XenDesktop or View environment. The heated competition between the leading End-User Computing (EUC) vendors creates lots of contradicting material. Which product is simpler? Which is easier to setup? Which has more third-party component drag? Which can get your VDI pilot online quicker? Lets start by looking at the minimal configuration required to stand-up a basic VDI Proof of Concept (POC).

Monday, February 18, 2013

Don't Fire Your Desktop Techs, Promote Them

I started off my life in IT as a Desktop Tech, covering the helpdesk during my Junior year in college. My first full-time roll was supporting a research lab of 400+ desktops as the lead support tech, eventually moving on to Enterprise Sys Admin, and eventually my current and awesome gig at Nutanix. I have nothing but respect for all helpdesk and support techs on the front lines of IT, patiently troubleshooting everything from the user's favorite pic of their kid suddenly disappearing from their desktop background to the occasional PC-Load Letter issue.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fusion-io Beyond Hardware - Part 2

In Part 1of the Fusion-io series I ran through the ioDrive, ioFX, and recently announced ioScale hardware lines. Rather recently FIO has expanded into software as well which I’ll break down in this post.

ioN Data Accelerator

When you hear ioN you can think high performance flash array. ioN allows you to put multiple Fusion-io PCIe cards in a standard server and share the storage through traditional block-based protocols. Redundancy within a single server can be provided by RAID and redundancy across servers is created by synchronously replicating LUNs over a 40Gb/s Infiniband connection. ioN is a first generation product from Fusion-io, released in October of 2012 and there are currently no data management features like thin provisioning, snapshots, replication, etc.