PC Blade Virtualization Configuration Guide

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1 PC Blade Virtualization Configuration Guide The combination of ClearCube PC Blades and management software with industry-standard virtualization technology gives IT managers a new way to more efficiently use their computing assets. This guide outlines the various technical requirements and options to deploy virtualization solutions on PC Blades from ClearCube Technology. It describes the specific configurations required under various scenarios, and specifies the recommended vendor, purchase mechanism, configuration, and estimated costs of the required components. This paper focuses on deployments used to host desktop interfaces for end users. It does not address requirements for virtualization of server-based applications. What is Virtualization? Virtualization is the division of a single physical computing resource (i.e. a server or PC Blade) into discrete components which, during interaction with outside systems, behave like individual physical devices. These devices, resident on an individual hardware device, are known as virtual machines, and the division and ongoing performance of such a system is known as virtualization. Depending on the technology used, virtualized hardware can emulate almost any type of device/operating system combination. Administrators often use server virtualization to allow them to replace multiple physical machines with fewer servers for better asset utilization. Delivered properly, desktop virtualization is a powerful technical concept which allows users to benefit from high performance centralized systems, while reducing the management load of administrators and almost eliminating downtime for end users. Overview Desktop virtualization has several required components: the centralized hardware, the host operating system, the virtualization layer, the end user computing device and the user management software. These components are deployed and function together as a complete system. I/Port 1 I/Port 2 I/Port 3 I/Port 4 VM 1 VM 2 VM 3 VM 4 Host OS PC Blade Figure 1. Basic Components of a Desktop Virtualization solution.

2 Component Details A basic PC Virtualization deployment requires several discrete components: Hardware Platform: ClearCube PC Blades are fully configurable for optimal user performance and are based on familiar PC components including Intel Pentium 4 processors, full-sized hard drives, standard memory, etc. For a four-user system ClearCube recommends Blades with 2 GB of memory for optimal performance. Host Operating System: The host operating system runs directly on the physical computing hardware. Options for the host operating system include Microsoft Windows Server 2003, (various distributions), or a hypervisor that is built into the virtualization software (e.g. VMware ESX). : This specialized software allows administrators to create virtual machines that have specified behavior and characteristics. These virtual machines can be made to emulate a particular hardware device, which can then act as a platform for specific end user software. User Operating System: This is the operating system presented through a remote connection to an end user device. This is typically Microsoft Windows fessional, although other operating systems (such as ) can also be made available to end users. Access Device: With the Hardware Platform deployed in a central location away from the end user, some type of device is required to access the virtual machine / virtualization layer. An access device is typically an I/Port, but other devices can be used, including a tablet client, laptop, or even legacy desktop PC. I/Port 1 I/Port 3 I/Port 4 Agent Agent Agent Agent ClearCube Sentral with Dynamic Allocation and Switching Modules Management Console VM 1 VM 2 Host OS VM 3 VM 4 Agent Agent Agent Agent Chassis Containing PC Blades Figure 2: Management Components for ClearCube Desktop Virtualization solution

3 Access Device Operating System: Access devices commonly have an operating system which is used as a platform for initiating and maintaining a communication session with the virtual machine. ClearCube sells I/Ports with either Microsoft Windows XP Embedded (XPe) or. The essential function required of this access device OS is the ability to launch a session running Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), which is the protocol used to communicate back to the virtual machine. U ser Connection Management Software: ClearCube Sentral can be used to setup static or dynamic connections between I/Ports, users and Virtual Machines. Administrators can also switch an I/Port user to a spare VM should they experience a problem. The Sentral I/Port agent presents the end-user with a login screen that automatically populates the target VM information configured in the Sentral management console. Auto discovery of I/Ports and VMs makes it easy to inventory and manage assets. In addition, an update feature deploys driver updates and new applications to I/Port groups. S ystem Management Software: All machines, both virtual and physical, must be identified, grouped, presented as available resources, monitored, and if necessary changed or otherwise maintained to provide a consistent platform for users. The ClearCube Sentral Console is a centralized software dashboard that works in conjunction with Sentral client instances that are installed on the VMs. Sentral manages Blade/VM assets by indicating health status and enabling configured alerts. Alerts are constructed and configured using an easy to use interface for monitoring a variety of parameters. The ClearCube Sentral Dynamic Allocation module gives IT administrators a comprehensive set of features for managing their I/Port environments. Sentral can be used to setup static or dynamic connections between I/Ports, users, and Virtual Machines as described above. The ClearCube Sentral Switching module is used to manage the main PC blade chassis and host blade hardware. Health of critical hardware components such as Blade and Chassis fans and power supplies as well as internal temperatures can be monitored to ensure uninterrupted operation of the whole system. Sentral s powerful hardware remote control feature gives an administrator the capability to connect directly to any host Blade using ClearCube s unique C/Port technology. Recommended Configurations ClearCube recommends two options for PC Blade virtualization. Both configurations serve the essential functions of creating and hosting the virtual machines and serving as an effective platform for end users. Customers will typically select their ideal configuration based on price, suitability to their applications, and available expertise (internal or external) with the technology options. In both configurations, end users access a Windows fessional operating system running on a virtual machine. The configurations are scalable to allow the addition of new users and blades, and to support the dynamic allocation of end user sessions to the available virtual machines in a blade group. Administrators must be able to maintain full hardware and software control of the environment as end users are not enabled to create and manage the virtual machines on their own. The PC Blade hardware configuration should be at least a 2.8 GHz or higher Pentium 4 processor with 2 GB of memory for a configuration supporting four users. While lesser configurations can still function, the recommended configuration will deliver the best performance.

4 Configuration 1: Microsoft Virtual Server Component Provider/Product Acquisition Method Price: Value and Method (actual or estimated) Hardware Platform: PC Blades (2.8 GHz P4 minimum with 2 GB of memory, No preinstalled OS) and chassis Base OS ClearCube Technology Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition R2 Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 Microsoft certified or Microsoft Enterprise Agreement Free Download from Microsoft website 1 configuration source; one required per PC Blade (List Price: $999) Free User Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional Full Packaged Product (FPP) Microsoft distributor (ClearCube currently does not resell Windows FPP) List Price: $299 per license. FPP Licenses are fully transferable to new blades or users. Access Device (and Access Device OS) User Management Software System Management Software, including: - Machine Management - Blade Management - Hardware Control ClearCube I/Port ( or Windows XPe) Dynamic Allocation Dynamic Allocation and Switching. OS comes preloaded on I/Port. configuration and operating system. One per I/Port List Price: $149 One per Blade (includes one Dynamic Allocation license for first I/Port connected) List Price: $299 1 Link to download: Configuration 1: Example with 32 users For 32 end users, the required components under Configuration 1 would be as follows: Quantity Component 1 One ClearCube Chassis 8 PC Blades (recommended configuration of 3.0+ GHz processor and 1.0+ GB Ram) 8 Microsoft Windows Server 2003 base operating systems 8 Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 (available at no charge) 32 Microsoft fessional FPP 32 ClearCube I/Ports with or Microsoft XPe (OS included) 24 ClearCube Sentral Dynamic Allocation licenses 8 Dynamic Allocation and Switching licenses

5 Configuration 2: VMware and Component Provider/Product Acquisition Method Price: Value and Method (actual or estimated) Hardware Platform: PC Blades (2.8 GHz P4 minimum w/ 2 GB of memory, no preinstalled OS) & chassis ClearCube Technology configuration Base OS (i.e. SuSe) Open source download Free; maintenance/support provided by supplier at extra charge User Operating System VMware Server (currently in beta) Windows XP Full Packaged Product (FPP) Free download Microsoft distributor (ClearCube currently does not resell Windows XP FPP) Free; Maintenance/support provided by supplier at extra charge List Price: $299 per license. FPP Licenses are fully transferable to new blades or users. Access Device (and Access Device OS) ClearCube I/Port with OS ( or Windows XP Embedded). OS comes preloaded on I/Port. configuration and operating system. User Management Software System Management Software, including: - Machine Management - Blade Management - Hardware Control Dynamic Allocation Dynamic Allocation and Switching One per I/Port List Price: $149 One per Blade (includes one Dynamic Allocation license for first I/Port connected) List Price: $299 Configuration 2: Example with 32 users For 32 end users, the required components under Configuration 2 would be as follows: Quantity Component 1 One ClearCube Chassis 8 PC Blades (recommended configuration of 3.0+ GHz processor and 1.0+ GB Ram 8 (SUSE or other) base operating systems 8 VMware Server software installations 32 Microsoft fessional FPP 32 ClearCube I/Ports with or Microsoft XPe (OS included) 24 ClearCube Sentral Dynamic Allocation licenses 8 Dynamic Allocation and Switching licenses

6 Possible Adjustments from Recommended Options These basic configurations can be adjusted depending on end user requirements. These adjustments include: Increased Users per Blade: Depending on customer requirements, administrators may deploy more than the standard four users per blade. With higher numbers of users per blade performance levels must be monitored to ensure customer satisfaction. Fortunately, administrators may easily reconfigure the number of users that may connect to PC blades as needed. Conversion to non-virtualized users: For power users, 1:1 configurations allow users to customize their PC blade with unique applications or data which is not required by other users. Unlike PC blades, servers cannot economically be presented to users in a 1:1 fashion. For more information on how virtualization technology can be used in your environment, contact ClearCube at

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