Copied from the RAWC Installation Guide written by Fred Schimscheimer


When validating VMware Horizon™ and VMware Horizon Cloud™ designs it is important to simulate

real world usage as closely as possible. The Desktop Reference Architecture Workload Simulator

(RAWC) can be used to simulate a user workload in a typical Microsoft Windows® desktop or

Microsoft Windows® Remote Desktop Services (RDS) environment.

Desktop RAWC runs on each desktop virtual machine (VM) on one or more VMware ESX™ hosts.

Desktop RAWC can also run on Microsoft Windows Server 2012R2, 2016 or 2019 host with Remote

Desktop Services installed. Each target desktop VM or RDS host VM is equipped to run a RAWC

workload that simulates typical user behavior, running an application set commonly used across a

broad array of desktop environments. The workload has a set of randomly executed functions that

perform operations on a variety of applications.

Each test is configured using the Desktop RAWC UI. The UI enables you to save and retrieve test

parameters and create log folders. You can use the UI to increase the load or adjust the user

behavior, such as the number of words per minute that are typed and the delay between applications

being launched.

The workload configuration typically used includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook,

Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Adobe Acrobat and 7-Zip. Additional applications include

Chrome Firefox, Notepad, Photos and YouTube. During the execution of the workload, multiple

applications are opened at the same time and windows are minimized and maximized as the workload

progresses, randomly switching between each application. Individual application operations that are

randomly performed can include:

  • Microsoft Word – Create, minimize, maximize, close, write text, save modifications
  • Microsoft Word (Random) – Create, minimize, maximize, close, write random words/numbers,save modifications
  • Microsoft Excel – Create, minimize, maximize, close, write random numbers, insert/delete columns/rows, copy/paste formulas, save modifications
  • Microsoft PowerPoint – Open, minimize, maximize, close, conduct a slide show presentation
  • Microsoft Outlook – Open, minimize, maximize, close, create/send emails, setup user account for both Sendmail and Gmail
  • Internet Explorer – Open, minimize maximize, close, browse page
  • Windows Media Player – Open, close, view a video
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (Browse) – Open, minimize, maximize, close, browse random pages in PDF document
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (Scroll) – Open, minimize, maximize, close, select speed and time to scroll a PDF document
  • Chrome – Open, minimize, maximize, close, browse page
  • Firefox – Open, minimize, maximize, close, browse a specified URL
  • File Copy – Copy files from the RAWC Controller to the User’s Documents directory on the desktop VM
  • Notepad – Open, minimize, maximize, close, create pdf file and print
  • Photos – Open, close, several photos
  • Sleep – Sleep test for a specified period of time
  • YouTube video – Open, close, view a specific YouTube video
  • 7-Zip – Open, close, compress large files

There are several videos that have been created that will provide you with an overview RAWC

including installation, configuring a test, running a test and charting the results. You can find these

videos on the RAWC Community page.


Depending upon the size of the test, you may use multiple ESX hosts and session launcher VMs, and as

many target desktop VMs or RDS Session Host VMs as you want to test. There is no scale limitation in



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