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#199659 - 2010-08-26 01:44 PM bandwidth for virtual desktops
BradV Offline
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 683
Loc: Maryland, USA
Good Morning,

Just trying to see if anyone has some insight into this problem. One of the groups I support was moved to a new building where they are not allowed to have desktop systems, only thin clients. They do all of their development work on their local desktops. So, the people in charge decided to give them two dedicated PowerEdge 6950 servers running Windows Server 2003 and using vmware to run some virtual workstations.

My question involves the network capacity needed. They are going to connect each server via a single 100MB connection to a switch with a single 1GB connection.

We are planning on running about 10 virtual desktops on each server. Is 100MB going to provide enough bandwidth for that?

Regards,

Brad

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#199660 - 2010-08-26 02:52 PM Re: bandwidth for virtual desktops [Re: BradV]
Richard H. Administrator Offline
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Registered: 2000-01-24
Posts: 4946
Loc: Leatherhead, Surrey, UK
The correct answer is of course, it depends.

  • What protocol is going to be uses to connect to the virtual workstation?
  • What size desktop are they going to use?
  • What colour depth?
  • What applications? A video editing / playback task is going to create significantly more traffic than say program code compilation or editing a Word document.
  • How are their files presented? Is it over the same NIC or dedicated? Are they going to be opening huge CAD files or similar?
  • Where is the VMWare kernel / management traffic runnning? Dedicated NIC or shared?


Using RDP your traffic needs may be anywhwere between 30Kbps and 1Mbps, which may be fine depending on what other load is on the NIC

I know, more questions than answers \:\)

For more helpful answers you are probably better off asking on the VMWare community forums: http://communities.vmware.com/

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#199662 - 2010-08-26 03:15 PM Re: bandwidth for virtual desktops [Re: Richard H.]
BradV Offline
Seasoned Scripter
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 683
Loc: Maryland, USA
Thanks Richard. It is all java and sybase development. No video or huge CAD files. The vmware will reside on the two servers. I'm assuming all connectivity is going through a single NIC. I'll have to dig in and get more answers. \:\)
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#199663 - 2010-08-26 03:20 PM Re: bandwidth for virtual desktops [Re: BradV]
Bryce Offline
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Registered: 2000-02-29
Posts: 3165
Loc: Houston TX
 Originally Posted By: BradV
Good Morning,

Just trying to see if anyone has some insight into this problem. One of the groups I support was moved to a new building where they are not allowed to have desktop systems, only thin clients. They do all of their development work on their local desktops. So, the people in charge decided to give them two dedicated PowerEdge 6950 servers running Windows Server 2003 and using vmware to run some virtual workstations.

My question involves the network capacity needed. They are going to connect each server via a single 100MB connection to a switch with a single 1GB connection.

We are planning on running about 10 virtual desktops on each server. Is 100MB going to provide enough bandwidth for that?

Regards,

Brad


I find it very strange that the building gets to dictate what their tenants use as their desktop computer.

I run a 100+ user 6 server terminal server farm, where all of the users are remote to the data center. we are using a 10mb pipe at the data center, and as of right now, we are only using about 25% of our available bandwidth.

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#199664 - 2010-08-26 03:22 PM Re: bandwidth for virtual desktops [Re: BradV]
Glenn Barnas Administrator Offline
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Registered: 2003-01-28
Posts: 4350
Loc: New Jersey
I can't speak for development, but I do have a client that has a V-Sphere (ESX4) server cluster that runs WTS. The VM hosts are dual-quad core AMDs at 2.3GHz with 32G RAM. In the cluster, there are 6 servers - 5 W2K8r2 and one W2K3 running Terminal Services. The VM hosts connect to a Cisco 4506 via a 1000bT connection. The workstations are primarily Wyse thin clinets on 100bT connections - some near the limit of the connection length (warehouse environment). With 20-24 users on the system, everything is quite responsive, the TS Guest w/ 4 cores runs between 40-60% load, peaking at times at 100%, but the VM host barely breaks 50%. The 2 nodes in the cluster each are balanced with one heavy use and two light use servers. When examining the switch load during peak processor load times (8:50-9:15 and 10:40-12:15) the switch never exceeds 8%.

RDP is a fairly efficient protocol, and we've done tests for customers with many more thin clients over WAN protocols with good performance.

If anything, I'd be concerned about running multiple XP or Win7 on VMware. Their VDI solution "View" or the competition from Citrix - Xen Desktop - might be a better choice. I do have some clients with multiple XP guests on ESXi 3.5 and the performance is OK, but they use accounting software and Excel/Word/Outlook primarily - not exactly heavy loads. They are also on a 100bT LAN with a 1000bSX link from the ESX server to the switch.

Glenn
_________________________
Actually I am a Rocket Scientist! \:D

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#199669 - 2010-08-26 06:33 PM Re: bandwidth for virtual desktops [Re: Glenn Barnas]
BradV Offline
Seasoned Scripter
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 683
Loc: Maryland, USA
Thanks guys, that helps. They don't want any information stored at the local building. So, that is their way of enforcing it.
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#199671 - 2010-08-26 07:32 PM Re: bandwidth for virtual desktops [Re: Bryce]
Bryce Offline
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Registered: 2000-02-29
Posts: 3165
Loc: Houston TX
 Originally Posted By: Bryce

I find it very strange that the building gets to dictate what their tenants use as their desktop computer.

I run a 100+ user 6 server terminal server farm, where all of the users are remote to the data center. we are using a 10mb pipe at the data center, and as of right now, we are only using about 25% of our available bandwidth.


To expand on this a little more....

the 6 network load ballanced terminal servers, are running in a VM ESX4 cluster that consists of 4 servers.

IN addition to the 6 terminal servers, their are about 16 other servers running in the ESX cluster, including an exchange server!

we have a 15T equalogic iSCSI NAS that is the backend for jsut about everything! and we have 6t free. we also have dedicated SAN switches.

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