esnmb
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Using Persistent Disk vs. Profile Unity

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I have Profile Unity installed redirecting all kinds of things to a file server, but really what is it getting me?  I guess I can more easily backup that file server then each desktop, but other then that the persistent disk seems better as it is much easier to manage.

Any thoughts since I'm in the process of setting up a new environment for our Singapore datacenter?

Thanks all.

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mittim12
Immortal
Immortal

We use Appsense (it works well but has some quirks) and then there is RES Software.   Those are both really good companies but also kind of expensive.   Profile Unity is one of the best bang for the buck tools I have seen.  

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mittim12
Immortal
Immortal

Persistent disk has some pros and cons.   If you use a persistent disk than you are restricted to a persistent type pool which means a one to one ratio of VMs.  With profile unity you can have a floating pool and only have to have a number of machines = to concurrent users.   

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esnmb
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

That is true too...  Is there anything else that you've worked with that is better then PU?

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mittim12
Immortal
Immortal

We use Appsense (it works well but has some quirks) and then there is RES Software.   Those are both really good companies but also kind of expensive.   Profile Unity is one of the best bang for the buck tools I have seen.  

esnmb
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I saw RES as VMUG a couple months ago and they did look pretty neat, but I am really the only View guy here and I also manage all VMware/SAN with one other person for a global company so I need a fairly simple straight forward tool to get the job done, ya know?

Thanks for your input, I appreciate it.

Matt

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eeg3
Commander
Commander

Profile management is expected to be included in version 5.0 (or shortly after), so that is one consideration I would take into account before purchasing anything at this point.

Blog: http://blog.eeg3.net
esnmb
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

That's interesting...  We have more licenses for PU, but I am wondering what the migration from that to v5's integrated solution would be like...

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eeg3
Commander
Commander

VMware's recommendation has always been to use a profile management solution that kept the profile in Windows' native format so if users wanted to switch to their profile management solution then it would be easy. Luckily, Profile Unity does this (and has even been pushed by VMware in the past); however, AppSense and some other tools do not.

Blog: http://blog.eeg3.net
tacticsbaby
Expert
Expert

Any idea of when this will be released and to what extent it will handle profile management? Will I still need to look for a separate product to make the solution complete?

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chaz112182
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

i use persistent disks in my environment and it works pretty well.  what is nice about profile unity is that you can use floating pools and have the pool settings to either refresh or delete the virtual desktop upon logout. that way your users get a freshly imaged desktop each and everytime they log in. also in the case of disaster recovery profile unity really makes it much simplier than if you are using persistent disks. with PU all you have to do is replicate the file share that has the profiles stored have a couple connection servers setup at the DR site and you are pretty much done. with persistent disks things get much more complicated. here is a good write up on why floating pools are the way to go:

http://myvirtualcloud.net/?p=1716

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esnmb
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Great, thanks!

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davidbieneman
Contributor
Contributor

Hello @esnmb.

When answering your question “Using Persistent vs. ProfileUnity”, I first ask/answer the question Why use Stateless Desktops and a Shared Image Strategy vs. Persistent desktops?  Then answer, why use ProfileUnity to extend VMware View Profile Manager / RTO.  I separated out the questions so you can see the value Stateless provides by itself and how ProfileUnity supports this strategy so you can make the best decision on how to virtualize your desktops per your needs.

Why implement a stateless shared image non-persistent desktop via VMware View Composer vs. a persistent VM?

There are cases where a persistent VDI desktop is a must.  However the question on why use a stateless desktop is usually centered around lowering initial cost, ongoing maintenance and delivering a consistent user experience.   Using stateless virtual desktops you can more easily implement desktop DR as you said, avoid desktop malware/spyware/corruption, lower storage footprint, lower storage costs (enabling you to buy faster performing storage) and provide a consistent, reliable, secure user workspace / virtual desktop.

At the same time you should strongly consider leveraging VMware Thinapp when designing your stateless shared image strategy.  With this method, you deploy the most basic image (example C:\Windows only image) and deliver departmental applications via Thinapp.  Additionally, a shared image strategy using Thinapp avoids 1:1 image maintenance and can minimize user disruption when upgrading applications.

In your question you also asked why use ProfileUnity vs. Persistent VM’s?

ProfileUnity extends the VMware View profile manager / RTO and allows migration to View and between physical and virtual dekstops, Manages Thinapps across physical, virtual and terminal server sessions, manages user persona with a flexible context aware filter mechanism and at VMworld 2011 we will demo capturing and deploying User Installed Applications to View and physical desktops and terminal server sessions.  You can easily turn ProfileUnity on or off in the View environment.

Here is a list of basics on how ProfileUnity migrates to and extends VMware View Profile Manager / RTO.

Migration

  • Supports both V1 to V2 (XP/7) operating system environments seamlessly
  • Bridges user settings across VMware, Terminal Services and physical PCs
  • Background migrates of legacy profiles and data to Windows 7 environments without interrupting / visiting each user
  • Automates Data Migration - harvest data from user authored areas then automatically invoke folder redirections for those areas

Thinapp Management

  • Offers VMware ThinApp entitlement and management
  • Allows VMware ThinApp caching for offline application use
  • Manages ThinApp Sandboxes among any Windows session – virtual or physical

Persona Management

  • Delivers users profile across VMware View, physical and terminal server desktops
  • Supports VMware View Profile Manager / RTO streaming
  • Enables the administrator to tune the profile and eliminate profile bloat
  • Provides location aware mapping of drives, printers, ThinApp applications, and more
  • Replaces the use of login scripts for mapped drives, printers, desktop shortcuts, etc.
  • Enables administrators to easily provision new user settings (Outlook MAPI, IE Proxy, Shortcuts, Registry Entries, etc.)
  • Includes software and hardware inventory, often used as a quick troubleshooting mechanism for help desks
  • Enables user / desktop DR; ProfileUnity profiles can be easily restored to an earlier or replicated version
  • No backend SQL or IIS servers; Small Linux VA
  • Web management interface keeping your desktop administrators out of AD/GPO’s; Consolidates management

UIA - Showing demo at VMworld 2011

  • Capture and deliver user installed applications within a stateless virtual desktop using view composer

I hope this completely answers your question and if you have further questions on how Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity supports VMware View, please contact support@liquidwarelabs.com or visit, www.liquidwarelabs.com.

Message was edited by: davidbieneman (grammer)

Message was edited by: davidbieneman yikes! --> (grammar)

David M. Bieneman Liquidware Labs http://www.liquidwarelabs.com/ http://www.vdi.com
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