Virtualization of user desktops along with their applications and data using thin clients has numerous benefits. The benefits include: (i) reduction in hardware procurement budgets, (ii) reduction in operational and maintenance costs, and (iii) “Green IT” due to lower use of energy and space. In this project, we have developed the “VMLab” testbed at OARnet in collaboration with VMware, IBM and Ohio campus partners to evaluate desktop virtualization performance and savings. The VMLab testbed features a 50+ users virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) built using VMware View 3 at the server side and thin clients that use remote desktop protocols such as Microsoft RDP, HP RGS, Teradici PC-over-IP, and VNC RFB. We are conducting experiments in the VMLab testbed on VDI scalability/reliability, remote desktop protocols performance, and virtualization bandwidth-and-power savings. The VMLab testbed experiment workloads comprise of a range of different user application (e.g. Matlab simulation, MS Word, Windows Media Video) tasks, network health conditions, and system conditions that occur in campus network environments. We are also enhancing the VMLab testbed to study other cutting-edge desktop virtualization technologies and their benefits.
Figure: VMLab testbed of VMware View 3 technology for a 50+ users infrastructure