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Tools to Benchmark Resource Consumption for VDI

By CIOReview | Monday, September 12, 2016

For many years, access to a full desktop remotely has been available via Terminal Server (TS). But, TS environment had a number of application issues and also resources are not committed to per user. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) helps to overcome this challenge. It not only helps in accessing a full desktop Operating System (OS) environment remotely, but also enables applications to run as if they are on a local PC. In a VDI architecture, physical CPU, disk capacity, and memory can be assigned to particular users that will stop the action of one user affecting others. However, benchmarking resources consumption was a critical task that every organization faces during the implementation of a VDI architecture.

One of the key questions that organizations face when planning a server VDI is the number of users per host, whether that requires figuring out what configuration is needed for number of users and how many users a configuration can run. The good news is that there are vendor assessments tools that could help simplify your resource analysis and save time and cost, while helping to figure out what exactly is needed before and during the deployment of VDI. Some of the viable and reliable products are Lakeside Software, Liquidware Labs, EG Innovations Perform, and Quest Workspace Assessment. Let us take a look at these products that can make resource analysis of a VDI simpler and easier.

Liquidware Labs’ Stratusphere FIT

Liquidware Labs is one of the companies you can look up on for desktop management and transformation products. The company’s Stratusphere FIT is a VDI assessment tool that can collect details on hardware, software and applications, as well as on a plethora of resource utilization and performance metrics. The tool scans and monitors an environment in background to give out in-depth report on the environment. For instance, one report consists of details on user login, CPU usage of each user, network response time, disk drive IOPS, and more. Another report gives a comparative study of installed applications against applications used; which helps to monitor and control licensing. Also, data and graphs can be generated to evaluate the eligible desktops for VDI.

The company provides a trial version of the tool with 10-day trial period in a virtual appliance that makes it compatible with platform file types—XVA of Citrix, Virtual Hard Disk of Microsoft, Open Virtualization Format and Virtual Machine Disk of VMware, Windows, or generic Open Virtualization Format.

Quest Workspace Assessment

Dell’s Quest Workspace Assessment tool, formerly known as VDI Assessment is a significant product in VDI Assessment tools portfolio. Derived from Liquidware Labs’ technology, the product provides crisp data and easy-to-analyze dashboards. It is designed to be used for inventory desktops, applications, network and storage. It is capable to capture configuration information and generate VDI readiness data. Executing the product will fetch statistics and graphs with details such as user, application and network usage. The product checks for match of a target technology such as, machine, group of machines or applications for hosted VDI and local VDI to provide VDI Fitness Profile for each of them.

Workspace Assessment is a free, downloadable virtual appliance for VMware ESX, VMware Workstation, or Microsoft Hyper-V, and it supports an unlimited number of users. Unfortunately, the installation key is good for a mere five days. You need to contact the company for another key to continue using the product.

EG Innovations Perform

Go for the eG Perform tool if you need a proactive tool to identify and reduce performance bottlenecks in production deployments; it also helps to scale up the environment. The tool gathers baseline VDI performance data, and captures real-time production statistics to help you understand the cause of latency and other performance issues. The eG Perform interface displays graphs and trend data with a easy to use UI. EG Perform is compatible with several platforms, such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix, as well as a slew of application servers, Web servers, databases and so on.

Lakeside Software SysTrack

SysTrack suite of desktop transformation and analytics tools from Lakeside Software includes assessment features for pre-rollout planning, and provides a deep insight into user and application analyses, load characterization and what-if projections. The modeling functionality of SysTrack sets it apart from the competition, automatically selects targets, analyzes characteristics, and determines which targets are candidates for virtualization and their optimal configurations.

SysTrack licenses are available for Windows migrations and other virtualization platforms from Citrix, VMware and VCE Vblock Systems.

VDI Flash Calculator

It is important to properly size your VDI environment for creating a VDI infrastructure design. Without understanding and knowing the workloads and the types of users in your environment, it could be setting up for failure. Try Andre Leibovici's online VDI Flash Calculator. The tool will help in the calculation of sizing of your VMware view environment, and it provides nearly 60 different inputs to help come up with the result set. This version of Leibovici's online calculator is aimed at VMware View designs; however, it can also be leveraged for other VDI cases running on top of a vSphere infrastructure. Keep in mind that the results are based on best practices and the author's experience deploying many VDI solutions.