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Posts from the ‘Hyper-V’ Category

7
Oct

Improving RemoteFX Performance

When deploying RemoteFX, we found several settings that had to be tweaked in order to achieve usable performance.  I have found some of this information is not really talked about in the documentation.

First, it is important to set Power settings both in BIOS of the Hyper-V host, to Max Performance.  It is also a good idea, to set the Power Settings in Windows to Performance as well.  (Windows can control some BIOS power settings depending on how to BIOS is configured, but I still find it is better to simple set both to Max Performance in RemoteFX systems).

Secondly, do not use the Legacy NIC with the RemoteFX adapter.  We found huge amounts of lag when using RemoteFX and the Legacy NIC.  If you need legacy NIC for PXE, it is recommended to switch to the standard NIC once the machine is ready for production.

Hopefully these two things will help you see performance improvements in your RemoteFX VDI environments.  In our case, performance was about 10x better according to graphical benchmark tests.

5
Jun

SQL max worker threads Problem When Using VSS To Backup Numerous Databases

In our ongoing (sort-of pilot) migration from VMware vSphere 5.5 to Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2, we encountered a very concerning and puzzling issue with backups. The transition had been smooth for the most part and we used the project to bring aging Windows/SQL 2008 servers up to 2012 R2 and 2014, respectively. Two of our SQL environments had moved over just fine and were being backed up successfully with Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2012 R2 for the time being (other products are being considered, including Veeam). The third of such SQL environments ran into a host of VSS errors once its data was populated and a backup attempted.

sqlvss_dpmfailed

DPM 2012 R2 – Job Failed

Background (before/after):

  • Hypervisor: vSphere 5.5 to Hyper-V 2012 R2
  • Guest OS: Windows Server 2008 to 2014
  • Backup product: EMC Avamar 7.0.1 to MS DPM 2012 R2
  • Backup method: Crash-consistent image to VSS-quiesced image

 

We had seen an occasional VSS-related backup failure from time to time in DPM, but most were tied to available disk space for the protection group (DPM doesn’t do so well with deduplication of images, so growing has been near-continual). Retrying didn’t make a difference this time, though. We restarted VSS writers and even took downtime to restart the VM. Still the same failure. Read moreRead more

4
Jun

RemoteFX and Dell Hardware Power Management

VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) can bring great benefits to organizations through consolidated management, reduced hardware maintenance, better remote connectivity and support, and environmental friendliness, to name a few. However, nothing will kill it faster than a hoard of users wishing for their old hardware back, because the new “thing” is too slow.

For many in the field, the first warning is the storage. Monday morning boot storms (or patching, virus scans, etc) can take spinning disks to their knees. I recalling hearing the prophecies all the way back at VMworld 2008. VDI has come a long way since then–so far, in fact, that we ask and even expect streaming video from our virtual desktops (thank you, Teradici and RemoteFX).

fishbowlfirefliesDuring our RemoteFX pilot (on Hyper-V 2012 R2), we started out with mediocre NVIDIA Quadro K4000 GPUs, but learned our error and quickly swapped those for the GRID K2’s. Surely that would bring us the fish and fireflies that everyone else was seeing in their performance tests.

Try as we might, we just couldn’t get consistent results. The best GPUs just weren’t performing. Read moreRead more

29
May

Hyper-V / VMM 2012 R2 and VMQ, Part 1

Microsoft has been gaining ground in the virtualization sphere one step at a time since Hyper-V first premiered. While the some increments were negligible (or merely painstakingly obvious), they achieved significant breakthroughs in late 2013 with the release of all things “2012 R2”. The puzzle piece on which we’ll focus here is VMQ (specifically dynamic VMQ, or dVMQ).

VMQ gives Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) Logical Switches what Receive Side Scaling (RSS) provides to physical servers; namely, it leverages multiple compute cores/interrupts to increase network traffic efficiency. The network teaming (or Load-Balancing Fail-Over, LBFO) configuration is important here, because it affects how VMQ maps queues to processors. The full table of possibilities is given halfway down the page of TechNet’s VMQ Deep Dive, Part 2. In a nutshell, some configurations need NIC queues to overlap the same processors (so that all queues are everywhere), while others need segregation (so every queue has its own unique core).

Read moreRead more

18
Mar

Windows Thin PC and RDP 8.1 Client

When working on a VDI Project involving RemoteFX, the idea of using Windows Thin PC came up to take advantage of old hardware.  If you are not familiar with Windows Thin PC, it is a stripped down version of Windows 7 (Windows 7 Embedded to be exact).  When configuring Windows Thin PC and running Windows Update on it, you may find that many updates that you want are not deemed applicable to the system by Windows Update or ConfigMgr.  A very important one of these updates are the RDP 8.0/8.1 clients. Read moreRead more