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Apr 20 2010

A review of VMware View Limits and Maximums

Building a VMware View Pilot or POC infrastructure for your organisation is not a complex task. With a series of clicks, next’s and finishes it is possible to have you new VDI environment up and running in couple hours.

With great power comes great responsibility – as would say Spiderman. Or was Uncle Ben who said that?

When building your organisation’s VMware View production environment I strongly recommend you not to take the ADHOC approach – it is always possible to find those environments that started as a small POC inside the IT department and unexpectedly 6 months down the track the infrastructure is supporting 500 virtual desktops – all based on the same initial deployment.

A thoughtful and design oriented approach is essential for a production environment of ANY size. The design should meet user needs; and those sometimes are as despair as the numbers drawn in a roulette table.

There are tools to help to understand the user requirements and constraints from a Graphics, CPU, Memory, IOPS, Application and HID perspective. (Stratusphere from LiquidwareLabs is one of these tools)

Other tools will help to calculate the size of the infrastructure based on number of VMs, average IOPS, Memory Size, % of Shared Memory, % of Used Memory, % of Read/Write IOPS etc… (There are few spreadsheets calculators floating around on the net).

No matter what results these tools provide, you should always make sure that they are within VMware View maximums and limits. In my experience, I have seen all these tools providing wrong final numbers for different scenarios.

 

Limits

These limits may vary according to the versions and releases in use. So, it is important to understand the limits resulting from the combination of the following key components: VMware View 4.0, vSphere 4 and vCenter 4.

 

· 8 Hosts per Cluster (including 1 hot spare)
Limit set by View Composer, the same limit applies in lab manager clusters. Also relate to hosts running 40+ VMs.

· 8 VM’s per CPU core

· 512 Clones per Master Replica (for Linked Cloning)

· 64 VMs per LUN
Applies when using Fibre Channel array only. No limit for NFS or iSCSI.

· 3000 VMs per vCenter (64bit OS)
Despite the limit above you should keep it at about 1500 desktops as desktops have a lot of activity (power on and off, reconfiguration, cloning etc)

 

The Math

For hosts with 8-cores CPU: (8 host cluster * 8 cores/host * 8 clones/core) = 512 VMs
For hosts with 16-core CPU: (8 hosts cluster * 16 cores/host * 8 clones/core) = 1024 VMs

Using the 8-core CPU example it is still possible to implement a single Desktop Pool using a single Linked Cloning Master Replica. The 16-core CPU example will require two or more pools if Linked Cloning technology is used.

 

Maximum Number of Simultaneous Connections

· 1 Connection Server with Direct connections, RDP 2,000

· 5 Connection Servers with Direct connections, RDP 5,000

· 3 Connection Servers with Tunnelled SSL connections, RDP 2,000

· 1 Connection Server with Direct connections, PCoIP 2,000

 

Because of the limits it’s necessary to build Blocks or Pods with multiple components. When joined together they form a farm of Pods that will scale the solution to thousands of virtual desktops.

All these limits and maximums are explained on VMware View Architecture Planning Guide and this is the document you should refer to for more information.

If you have any other limits that should be listed please just add a comment.

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1 comment

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  1. Pool Safety Certificate

    I agree with your post.. The design should meet user needs; and those sometimes are as despair as the numbers drawn in a roulette table.

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