I have just been assigned to assist one of our partners design a VDI environment using VMware View 4.5 with 5000+ Virtual Desktop. At this number of desktops every small bit has to be counted for while putting the design out. Some of the info required for the design was not ready in my mind nor obviously documented on the web. For that I had to contact our PSO team, & they have shared the answers with me. I am really thankful to the bright consultant who helped me with these info (requested not to mention his name so I will respect that). As these tips were not easy to find I thought I will share it with all of you.
Before I start I should mention a great document to look at when designing such an environment the VMware View 4.5 Architecture Planning Guide shows a clear architecture of how to design for 2,000 users, but missing some details when you go beyond 2,000. Below are few tips that I hope you will find useful.
For such huge environment where shall I install VMware View Composer?
You will still have to install VMware View Composer on the same machine as vCenter as that the only place its supported to be installed as per the following paragraph from the installation Guide for View Composer at page 34 you should find the below statement:
“To use View Composer, you must install the View Composer service on the vCenter Server computer. View Manager uses View Composer to create and deploy linked-clone desktops in vCenter Server.”
This has been confirmed to me as well by a VDI expert.
How many Virtual Desktop can a single VMware View Composer support in a VDI environment?
A single VMware View Composer can support up to 2,000 Virtual Desktops. If you have to run more than 2,000 virtual desktops in your environment you will require an additional vCenter where a new instance of VMware View Composer is installed. Keep in mind that you can use virtual center linked mode to easy the administration of the virtual desktops across multiple Virtual centers though watch out for the limitations if you are doing so. If you have multiple locations where the virtual desktops spread across geographically separated locations then you might want to have a VMware vCenter with its VMware View Composer per location. When your design is large enough, then you will have to think of it as multiple blocks with each block supporting 2,000 virtual desktops.
I have just been noticed that the 2,000 is not actually a limit, but a recommendation and that seems the max tested per composer though personally would stick to it.
Does VMware View 4.5 have any extra limitation on VMware Cluster?
Yes, although VMware HA & DRS Cluster support up to 32 host you should limit it to 8 ESX Hosts per VMware View Cluster Because of View Composer limitations, the cluster must contain no more than 8 servers, or nodes. Though always you can create multiple clusters per virtual center to host as many VMs as required up to the limit of VMs vCenter can handle.
Does View Composer require SQL? & can it share the same vCenter SQL intance?
Yes, VMware View Composer require SQL & it can be shared with the same vCenter SQL instance. Actually View Composer database is installed on the same vCenter SQL instance most of the time. Though its recommended to install SQL for vCenter & VMware View Composer on a separate machine from the vCenter machine either physical or virtual. for larger environments.
Does VMware View Connection Server require SQL server?
The answer to this question from our VDI consultant has actually surprised me. VMware View Connection Server do need SQL if you are going to keep events. I could not find this stated in the installation guide neither the architecture guide. So this is a one more SQL to count for.
Can multiple VMware View connection servers share the same SQL instance for keeping events?
Yes, multiple VMware View Connection servers can share the same SQL instance but each must has its own database.
How many SQL licenses do I need?
well, this will only depend on how large is the VMware View environment you are building. Though you can save a good amount of licenses if you follow up on my previous article: http://www.virtualizationteam.com/virtualization-vmware/be-smart-not-a-retard-save-huge-on-microsoft-licensing-with-virtualization.html
I hope these tips help, & I will try to keep updating it. Please leave comments, corrections, or extra tips in the comments area.