Archive for March, 2011

vSphere Ipad App with Screenshots

The VMware purchase of SpringSource seems to be paying off heavily in the past few weeks.  After the long awaited release of the VMware View App for the Ipad last week, VMware followed up with the vSphere Client for Ipad on Friday  Unlike the View app that connects directly to a current production environment, the vSphere client requires you to install the vCMA or vCenter Mobile Access appliance from http://labs.vmware.com/flings/vcma.

Once you install the vCMA you are able to publish a new web based vCenter management console.  The vCMA will not give full control of your environment but it is great for quick checkups or vMotions.  Once the app is installed you can set the IP address from the console and then access the webserver by browsing to the IP address followed by /vim (http://192.168.1.15/vim as an example).  The next few screenshots are from my iPhone connecting into the vCMA

The first is the home screen with the second being the host and clusters view.  These should look very similar on any smartphone you look at.  One of the biggest features of the mobile app is the ability to migrate machines between hosts as seen below.

Now that the vCMA is installed you can grab the vSphere client for the ipad and get an even more detailed view into your environment.  The first step, once you have the client downloaded and installed, is to set the webserver in the Global Settings screen.  The webserver will be the IP address of the vCMA you installed earlier.  When you open the app you will be asked to enter the vCenter address and username and password.  From there you will see your hosts.

If you select one of the hosts you will see all the VMs it hosts along with basic performance information for the host.

Notice the performance tab at the bottom of the screen.  This screen shows the historic performance stats of your host.

Returning back to the info tab, you can select an individual VM and get information from that VM.

Similar to the host settings you can also see the performance of the individual VM.

Now that you can get the information from VMs and Hosts, the next options are tools.  You can ping or traceroute to the VM.

One of the last notable features is the ability to Suspend, Stop, or Restart the VM from the app.

As these apps mature I am sure we will see more features to include the network configurations, storage integration, and hopefully connectivity to the Public Cloud with the integration of vCloud Connector.

All the ways you can access your desktop

As a premier partner with VMware, we’ve seen a significant uptick in sales and pilots of the VMware View virtual desktop solution. The solution gives you a lot of flexibility for access including the flood of mobile devices hitting the market; iPad 2 anyone?

First, you can re-purpose your existing desktop as what’s called a full or fat client. This involves launching a client application from within the existing Operating System to access the View broker(s). The nice part about this approach is that regardless of your OS, there’s a client available to connect with. The Windows OS client from VMware gives you the advantage of software PCoIP and out of the box functionality. For Mac users there’s now have a native client as well, and you can use the Open Client when working with a Linux machine like Ubuntu (http://code.google.com/p/vmware-view-open-client/). If you’re looking to repurpose the desktops in your company but don’t want to maintain the desktop OS, there are client vendors that provide the ability to convert your existing desktop into a pseudo-thin client. This option allows you to ether completely rebuild the desktop as a pure thin-client platform, or as a dual boot environment. For more on this type of deployment, check out ThinDesktop (http://thinlaunch.com/).

The next option would be to access your virtual desktop from a traditional thin client. A thin client gives you a significant power savings with a product that has no moving parts and consumes anywhere from 6 to 50 watts versus upwards of 350 watts for a traditional desktop. There are a lot of vendors out there that make thin clients, but the granddaddy of them all is Wyse. We were fortunate to be able to speak with Kim Nicola at Wyse at VMware PEX 2011.

The last and most exciting (in my opinion) option for access is through a mobile device. If you are using an iPhone or Android based phone, you can use the Wyse PocketCloud app to get RDP access to your View environment and virtual desktop. For both platforms, the app runs $14.99 and allows you to connect to View as well as traditional RDP or VNC clients. If you have an iPad you can still use the Wyse app or you can use the newly released VMware View iPad App (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vmware-view-for-ipad/id417993697?mt=8).

Take a look at our latest ClearpathTV video below and see the View iPad Client in action.

Tips when upgrading from View 4.5 to 4.6

After working on updating my View 4.5 environment to 4.6, I came to the conclusion that the documentation is not exactly complete. I have listed out a few tips to take note of during your update process.
•All of the base images must have the upgraded View Agent installed. ◦You can install over the existing 4.5 agent, however it might fail if the View Composer Guest Server Agent can’t be stopped. To get around this, disable the service, reboot and reinstall the 4.6 agent
◦Once you install the agent, make sure you check the video card driver version. It should be the VMware SVGA 3D (Microsoft Corporation – WDDM) version 7.14.1.49

•Easiest way to upgrade the connection broker is by adding a replica server. ◦If you are running Windows 2003 32-bit the easiest upgrade path is to add a new server. Simply create a 2008 R2 server and install View as a replica server.
◦If you want to keep your Connection Server as 2003 then you can simply click the option “Use PCoIP Secure Gateway for PCoIP connections to desktop”
◦If you want to have a security server, I found it easiest to create another new server and set the pairing password. If your security server is already 2008 r2 then you could also reinstall the security server and set the password, but that would stop access temporarily from the outside world.

•On the View Admin console, make sure to set the external url on both the Security Server and the Connection Server. This is not needed or possible if you keep a 2003 connection server.
•If you want PCoIP over the WAN you will need to open a few more ports in addition to 443 ◦TCP 4172 Security Server -> Virtual Desktop
◦UDP 4172 Security Server Virtual Desktop
◦TCP 4172 View Client External -> Security Server
◦UDP 4172 View Client External Security Server

•If you think you have all the ports open, but still get a time out when using the Ipad client or through PCoIP, but RDP works fine and you are using a Cisco ASA (and possibly some other firewalls); we have found that you may need to separate the firewall rules. One rule for the UDP 4172, one for TCP 4172, and one for TCP 80 and 443. Having a single rule with all the ports seems to have problems when connecting through an ASA.

Hopefully these few tips will allow your upgrade or deployment to go just a little bit smoother.

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