In fast-changing desktop environments, we are witnessing increasing use of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) deployments due to better manageability and security. A smooth transition from physical to VDI desktops requires significant investment in the design and maintenance of hardware and software layers for adequate user base support. To understand and precisely characterize both the software and hardware layers, we present VMware View® Planner, a tool that can generate workloads that are representative of many user-initiated operations in VDI environments.
Such operations typically fall into two categories: user and admin operations. Typical user operations include typing words, launching applications, browsing web pages and PDF documents, checking email and so on. Typical admin operations include cloning and provisioning virtual machines, powering servers on and off, and
so on. View Planner supports both types of operations and can be configured to allow VDI evaluators to more accurately represent their particular environment. This paper describes the challenges in building such a workload generator and the platform around it, as well as the View Planner architecture and use cases. Finally, we explain how we used View Planner to perform platform characterization and consolidation studies, and find potential performance optimizations.
Banit Agrawal, Rishi Bidarkar, Sunil Satnur, Tariq Magdon-Ismail, Lawrence Spracklen, Uday Kurkure, Vikram Makhija