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Best Practices: Configuration and Tuning

VMware Horizon View 7 configurations are quite minimal; some of the tuning is highlighted in the section.

Horizon Connection Server Tuning

  1. Use SE sparse Virtual disks format–VMware Horizon 5.2 and above supports a vmdk disk format called Space Efficient (SE) sparse virtual disks which was introduced in vSphere 5.1. The advantages of SE sparse virtual disks can be summarized as follows:
    • Benefits of growing and shrinking dynamically, this prevents VMDK bloat as desktops rewrite data and delete data.
    • Available for Horizon View Composer based linked clone desktops (Not for persistent desktops) only
    • VM hardware version 9 or later
    • No need to do a refresh/recompose operation to reclaim space
    • No need to set blackout periods, as we handle UNMAPs efficiently
  2. We recommend using this disk format for deploying linked-clone and instant-clone desktops on Pure Storage due to the space efficiencies and preventing VMDK bloat.
  3. Disable View Storage Accelerator (linked-clones only, VSA must be enabled to use instant-clones)
    • The View storage accelerator, VSA, is a feature in VMware View 5.1 onwards based on VMware vSphere content based read caching (CBRC). There are several advantages of enabling VSA including containing boot storms by utilizing the host side caching of commonly used blocks. It even helps in steady state performance of desktops that use the same applications. As Pure Storage FlashArray gives you lots of IOPS at very low latency, we don’t need the extra layer of caching at the host level. The biggest disadvantage is the time it takes to recompose and refresh desktops, as every time you change the image file it has to rebuild the disk digest file. Also it consumes host side memory for caching and consume host CPU for building digest files. For shorter desktop recompose times, we recommend turning off VSA.
  4. Tune maximum concurrent vCenter operations—the default concurrent vCenter operations on the vCenter servers are defined in the View configuration’s advanced vCenter settings. These values are quite conservative and can be increased to higher values. Pure Storage FlashArray can withstand more operations including:
    • Max Concurrent vCenter provisioning operation (recommended value >= 50)
    • Max Concurrent Power operations (recommended value >= 50)
    • Max concurrent View composer operations (recommended value >= 50)

The higher values will drastically cut down the amount of time needed to accomplish typical View Administrative tasks such as recomposing or creating a new pool.

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Some caveats include:

  1. These settings are global and will affect all pools. Pools on other slower disk arrays will suffer if you set these values higher, so enabling these will have adverse effects.
  2. The vCenter configuration, especially number of vCPUs, amount of memory, and the backing storage has implications from these settings. In order to attain the best possible performance levels, it is important to note the vCenter configurations and size them according to VMware’s sizing guidelines and increase them as needed if you notice a resource has become saturated.