Virtual Desktop pilots seem to be taking up a good portion of my life recently. This has been great for the clients that have decided to upgrade and roll out the system in production, but along the way there have been a few things that have become potential issues during deployment. After doing another rollout this past week, I decided I would pass some VMware View wisdom that is not overly documented on the web.
1. Make sure your DHCP scope has a lot of addresses during testing or change your lease time to less than an hour. If not, every time you recreate virtual machines during testing you will get a new mac address and take up another lease. If all your virtual desktops seem to sit at customizing then there is a good chance this is your issue.
2. Confirm you have the right type of licenses for your operating systems. If you don't have the volume licenses you are going to run into issues as soon as you hit the 60-day window. All the machines will ask to be activated and stop working.
3. Sit down and figure out exactly what will be in the base images and what will be published applications. If you try to jump right into the deployment, you will end up redoing the pools multiple times. Just like in wood shop, measure twice, cut once.
4. Make sure someone knows how to add a database. If you are planning on using the View Composer, you will need a new database.
5. Clean out your group policies. If you are an existing Citrix shop, you probably have a lot of profile configurations and lockdowns but they will be different in View so make sure you have an organizational unit (OU) that does not have them all applying.
6. Test with PCoIP and RDP. If you find that your connection is not working with PCoIP, try a normal RDP connection both through the View client as well as from a standard RDP one. You can narrow down your problems much quicker this way.
7. Size your packaging machines larger than you anticipated. If you are planning to use ThinApp to package some applications, make sure that the machine you build has enough space for the applications to be installed multiple times. If you make it too small you will not be able to build a package after you do the initial install. For most purposes you are fine with a single drive around 20 GB.
8. Upgrade your hosts before you install View. If you are still running on ESX 3.5 then you should upgrade to vSphere. It is well worth it and without vSphere you will lose a lot of the functionality of View.
9. Watch out for peripherals or integrated applications. USB peripherals or integrated VoIP systems can throw a wrench in your entire design or make you have to rebuild boxes multiple times.
10. Have a few pieces of hardware available to test on. I never before thought a monitor could cause so much pain, but if you are building out a new setup and the hertz is wrong, you will never see errors and will take a long time to troubleshoot. If you have a different monitor, thin client, and desktop to use for connecting, you will save yourself a lot of troubleshooting pain.