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This blog has been created to share technical information, interesting innovations that I notice on daily basis and Architectural/Consulting overview of various technologies. My areas of interest, on which I would be blogging, are VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Technologies. I hope you will enjoy this blog and share your experience with me.

Disconnect, Log Off, and Reset option under VMware View vs. Windows 7 Virtual Desktop

Recently, some customers have been asking me: “What is the difference between the Disconnect, Reset, and Disconnect and Log Off options available under the VMware View client vs. the Log Off and Restart option under Windows 7 virtual desktop?”

ViewVSWin7

Well, the only way I can answer that is by comparing the two options in the following table:

Options under the VMware View Client

Options under the Windows 7/8 Desktop

  • Reset Desktop: When an end-user selects Reset Desktop under the VMware View Client, it shuts down and restarts the desktop. Any file that is open on the View desktop is closed without getting saved. Typically, this option is used when the desktop operating system stops responding. It is the equivalent of pressing the Reset button on a physical PC to force the PC to restart. The end-user will have to wait an appropriate amount of time for the system to start up before attempting to connect back to the View desktop.
  • Disconnect: When an end-user selects Disconnect under the VMware View Client, it disconnects the session immediately without logging off. But the applications that were running before the Disconnect would remain open when the end user logs in again. In the backend, the Desktop is switched on and consumes compute resources in the datacenter. The end user may notice that the re-connection to this desktop is extremely fast as the entire log-in procedure of the profile doesn’t take place and the disconnected session is picked and presented back to the user.

For example, if you have opened a Notepad or Word Document and typed something and pressed Disconnect. After the re-connection, you will see the same screen where you left the document.

  • Disconnect and Log Off: When an end-user selects Disconnect and Log Off under the VMware View Client, it disconnects the session immediately and further logs off without saving any open files or applications on the desktop. All important work is lost if the end user presses this option under the client. In the backend, the Desktop is in log-on screen (Ctrl-Alt-Del) and consumes compute resources in the datacenter. The end user may notice that it will take longer to login compared to the disconnect option, due to the normal Windows log-in process that takes place.

For example, if you have opened a Notepad or Word Document even for a second it will prompt you to Save the open files. However, in a couple of seconds the session force fully logs off and all the unsaved work is lost.

  • Log off: When an end-user selects Log off under the virtual Windows 7 desktop, it logs off the session but before that provides an option to save any open files and then logs off. There is even a choice to Force logoff, if the user decides not to save any open files.

For example, if you have opened Notepad or Word Document, it prompts you to save your work before logging off; once the work is saved, the user can initiate the log-off. There is an option to Force log off, if the user wishes not to save files.

  • Restart: When an end-user selects Restart under the virtual Windows 7 desktop, it restarts the desktop but before that it provides an option to save any open files and then restarts. There is even a choice to Force Restart, if the user decides not to save any open files and reboot the machine.

For example, if you have opened Notepad or Word Document it will prompt you to save your work before Restart. Once the work is saved; the user can initiate the reboot. There is an option to Force Restart, if the user wishes not to any save files.

I hope this information will help the customer in making the right choice and provide clarity on choosing the right option to disconnect/logoff/reset.

Feel free to post your comments down below.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

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DaaS/WaaS Service Providers: Time to Drink Your Own Champagne!!

Every Service Provider in the market today wants a piece of the DaaS/WaaS pie. Desktop-as-a-Service or DaaS and Workspace-as-a-Service or WaaS (fka VDI) are the newest buzzwords. I honestly feel it is high time we started drinking our own champagne. I believe all service providers should consume their DaaS/WaaS internally within their organizations first before proposing any such solution directly to customers. The Service Provider can analyze the perfect use case of using VDI within their own Contact Center and BPO divisions, where they can provide employees with Non-Persistent desktops and their managers with Persistent Desktops. They should also identify an engineering division with the requirement of a power user. Here, we can deploy dedicated 1x1 desktops. This will help Service Providers in understanding the VDI behavior, lessons learnt, best practices and cost effectiveness that can be shared with customers who would be consuming these services.

With DaaS/WaaS a new dimension of Desktop Management Services comes into play. In the traditional desktop management services, Image, Patch, Software Distribution (SD), and End-Point Security Protection were carried out on desktops/laptops within the enterprise. With DaaS/WaaS, all the desktop management pieces become central and are carried out within the Datacenter. I have been often asked what is the difference between traditional vs. DaaS/WaaS desktop management. Let me try and throw some light on these changes at a higher level.

Traditional Desktop Management

DaaS/WaaS

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Image Management is typically done using Microsoft Deployment Tool (MDT). The image updating is carried out approx. 2-4 times in a year. Depending upon the customer, the number of Gold images ranges from 4-6 for each customer.

Image Management can be done using two options: MDT and New Virtual Machine Creation process. However, the image updating is the most critical process in VDI as any changes done to the image does not stick onto the desktop. The administrator has to update the image every now and then. The Service Provider and Customer need to decide how updated their image should be.

Mostly, there would be more than 20 + image updating tasks in a year per image*Number of Gold Images. They key is to minimize the number of Gold images.

Patch Management is typically carried out using WSUS/SCCM and pushed to end-points (Desktop/Laptop) on a weekly basis.

All operating system and application patches have to be updated using Image management process either via WSUS/SCCM. Again, Service Provider and Customer need to decide the acceptable number of days or weeks without the critical and important patches.

It is advisable to install all the critical patches bi-weekly.

Software Distribution is typically done using SCCM/Altiris where application packages are deployed to end-points (Desktop/Laptop) on individual work flow basis or organization wide.

All the applications either have to be baked into the Master Image or the app packages should be streamed to the virtual end-point in the datacenter using application virtualization techniques such as App-V, XenApp or ThinApp.

 

Endpoint Security Protection is done using an enterprise server from Symantec, MacAfee, etc. which distributes the updated signatures and using policies organization wide can performs a full scan of the end-point on a monthly basis.

Endpoint security protection is done using vShield or System Center Endpoint protection Manager and the latest signature updates are stored locally on individual ESX/Hyper-V host and the virus scanning processing is offloaded on the hypervisor level.

A full scan on the entire image has to be scheduled during bi-weekly or monthly downtime cycles.

 

For dedicated 1x1 desktops, the complete desktop management need to be done using the traditional tool set and the only difference is they would be virtualized and residing within the datacenter.

 

A lot of costing models on the Internet may hint at low-cost centralized management. However, one needs to remember that the entire process of desktop management is doubled in case of VDI. The advantage is all the tasks (distribution, scanning, etc.) have to be done within the Datacenter using server computing power against individual end-point compute or low network bandwidths. But by no means will it be cheaper than traditional Desktop management.

I would like to summarize that by using DaaS/WaaS internally, Service Provider will get answers to many unknown questions that one may face today.

How frequently should we update our Master Images?
How many times within a month do we need to execute the Full Scans?
How effectively are end-users able to use applications using app virtualization?
How frequently do we need to clean-up data on the storage array for the Non-persistent and Persistent desktops?
How frequently the end-users run out of personal disk space?
How long does a maintenance activity on the VDI infrastructure take for 1000/2000 desktops? How to plan maintenance activities in big deployments?
Is the solution working out cost effective for them compared to traditional desktop?

All these and more can be answered by just one simple exercise: Drinking our own DaaS/WaaS offerings (oops! Champagne!)

I hope this blog post is informative. Feel free to leave your comments in the section below.

Best Regards,
Aresh Sarkari

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