The life of an IT admin is complicated enough and busy enough that any cycles we can save are usually worth it.
When looking at Desktop Virtualization, you need to make sure you have a solid foundation, meaning that you want to make sure your reference images are as optimized as they can be, for your environment.
You can also always refer to the official guide from VMware that was updated recently to reflect the recommended optimization to do in Windows 8 (side note, you know anyone deploying Windows 8 in a production environment today? Curious because I’m not seeing demand yet): http://bit.ly/1dgwe0C
What I wanted to cover here was a tool, recently released by a colleague of mine, the VMware OS Optimization tool. This was released as a fling in the VMware Labs section, kind of candy for the IT admin but as all the tools posted on VMware Flings, not officially supported. You can find the tool here: http://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmware-os-optimization-tool
The tools allow you to look at your Windows images, see the current state they are in (i.e. optimized or not) and then suggest next step.
You can perform the following actions using the VMware OS Optimization Tool:
– Viewing History
– Managing Template
Let’s take a look at the easy way to use the tool first, very simple to use, install it on a machine, use the Analyze button and see the results. You can then choose to Optimize according to the details listed or not move forward. I love the option to be able to choose the optimization setting or not, simple check mark. In some organization, a particular setting might be required, so, word of advice, even though it can automate the whole process for you, you definitely should know what you are going to change before doing it.
Take a look at the results and then decide to move forward or not.
Good classification, makes it easy to differentiate between registry change, Services modification, Scheduled Tasks and Windows features.
For me, the strength comes from the remote OS optimization piece. The tool is really practical and saves you a lot of cycles, local or remote, being able to look at machines state and take action on them to prepare them for a migration, all of this without leaving your cubicle, that’s the part that I like the most 🙂
You will need specific pre-requisite steps to be able to do this but if you can align all the stars (.NET Framework and Admin rights), this piece for me is the one that can save me a lot of cycles and a lot of walking around (if we’re talking about physical machines of course). In our cases though, the walking around will be virtual, I wanted to cover the tool being run against Virtual Images, in preparation for a Virtual Desktop deployment. The premise is that your using this tool in conjunction with VMware Horizon View, the tool will enumerate the desktop and let you connect to them to analyze them.
When you open the tool, you’re asked to provide proper credentials. FQDN is preferred for the Connection Server, it will support IP as well.
Once I was connected, the tool looked up all the pools currently deployed in my environment (5 in my case) and asked me which pool I wanted to Analyze.
The last piece is the Templates tab. You will use this if the built-in ones are not what you’re looking for, very straightforward again, just save the file as an XML document and you’ll be able to use it later.
Overall good tool, thanks to Jack McMichael for putting this out available to Virtualization administrator, continue the great work Jack (for those interested, he’s @jackwmc4 on Twitter).