This article shows a test run using XenDesktop 7.5 Machine Creation Services with VMware 5.5 Update 1 using the VSAN capability.
This is only a proof of concept only test and should be used for information only
As the VSAN storage is exposed as a Datastore from the VMWare cluster, the process of consuming it in XenDesktop Machine Creation services is exactly the same as other datastore.
For this test run I tested the following parts of XenDesktop
- Creating a connection to the VSAN Cluster
- Selecting the VSAN Datastore from the cluster
- Creating a new Machine Catalog with two virtual machines from a Windows 8 VDA machine on that cluster.
- Creating a new Delivery group using the two created machines
- Connect to the newly created machines via storefront
- Move a running VM from one host to another inside the VSAN cluster (vMotion)
Video of the test run
This following video show the complete test run
Setting up VSAN
Create VSAN Desktop Group in XenDesktop
Testing vMotion`s affect on XenDesktop VMs and Sessions
Setting up VSAN
This is a simple VSAN setup but as VSAN storage is exposed in the same as any other Datastore, the XenDesktop set-up will be the same regardless of how the VSAN is configured
For this test I have setup a VMware vSphere server and 3 ESXi hosts, each host has 4 hard drives. 3 HDDs and 1 SSD. The first HDD disk will be used for the ESXi kernel and the other three will be used for VSAN storage.
For each ESXi host we need to add a VM Kernel Adapter to handle the VSAN network traffic
Then turn on VSAN on the cluster leaving the “Add disks to storage” set to automatic
And move the ESXi hosts into the cluster
After VMware has finished moving the ESXi hosts to the cluster and adding the disks to the VSAN storage a new VSAN Datastore will be created.
At this point install a windows machine with the XenDesktop VDA installed on the VSAN cluster and installing the XenDesktop 7.5 VDA on it.
As VMWare exposes VSAN as a Datastore there are no special steps that are required for XenDesktop to consume the VSAN storage, the XenDesktop setup process for consuming VSAN is exactly the same as the other types of Datastore (Local, iSCSI SAN etc)
Setting up XenDesktop
Install a XenDesktop 7.5 controller and create an empty site on that controller.
Selecting the VSAN Datastore from the cluster
Select the VSAN Datastore created above as the location for the Virtual Machine to be created
Creating a new Machine Catalog with two virtual machines
Select the Windows 8 machine with the VDA installed that was created on the VSAN Cluster.
Creating a new Delivery group using the two created machines
Select the two machines created above
Connect to the newly created machines via storefront
Once the machines have turned on and registered with the XenDesktop Controller launch via storefront
Move a running VM from one host to another (vMotion)
For this test, we need to find the ESXi host that the virtual machine is running on and put it into maintenance mode. This will force the VM off that host on to another via vMotion
While we have an active XenDesktop connection to that VM, in this case I had a world clock webpage open to check that the running VM as not affected by the vMotion, enter maintenance mode on that host.
When it has finished moving the VM
While the test is not a scale test and does not test all parts of Machine Creation Services using a VSAN cluster, as VSAN storage is exposed is the same way that other storage is exposed XenDesktop Machine Creation Service just works with with VSAN with no extra changes or special set up required