Sunday, March 20, 2011

Manage VMware View desktops with ConfigMgr

In my last blog I talked about Obsolete clients in ConfigMgr. This happens during multiple deployments on the same device. There is also a known issue between ConfigMgr in combination with VMware View. Till VMware View v4.0 there was no refresh option possible, so when deleting and provisioning a new VDI desktop, a new object gets created in ConfigMgr collections.

The problem with that is you can get as many objects, for example 10 (ten) objects, which will all be online, not obsolete, and all you can use for managing the VDI desktop. When you delete an online SCCM object, all will be deleted for the same device. This is NOT an environment which can be successfully managed!

With VMware View v4.5 there is indeed a refresh option available, which can be better managed within ConfigMgr. There are additional steps needed for not getting many objects in ConfigMgr collections.

This will be explained in the following article:
View Composer supports ConfigMgr 2007 SP1 software 

Steps to take for getting rid of multiple objects are:
  • Net stop ccmexec (stops SMS Agent Host service)
  • Ccmdelcert.exe (can be found in ConfigMgr install folder, copy file to local disk and start it)
The ccmdelcert utility is bundled with the SMS 2007 and SMS 2003 toolkits.
  • Ccmsetup.exe RESETKEYINFORMATION=TRUE (can be found in ConfigMgr Client folder, copy folder to local disk and start setup)
  • Delete Smscfg.ini file in C:\Windows directory (then a unique GUID will be generated next time)
Note: When you install ConfigMgr, the application does not generate a GUID in the Windows registry. Instead, ConfigMgr stores the GUID in the file, C:\Windows\SMSCfg. You do not have to remove an ConfigMgr GUID from the Windows registry on the parent virtual machine.
  • Create a new snapshot, and attach it in VMware View environment
By default, ConfigMgr generates unique GUID's in the linked-clone desktops when the ConfigMgr application agent starts up. After you perform refresh operations, the unique ConfigMgr GUID's are preserved in the linked clones.

Remember: This procedure only works with the refresh operation. Recomposing the pool will cause new GUID values to be generated.

Cool thing is you can manage VDI desktops as easy with ConfigMgr, as fysical desktops/servers. All things like OS deployment, Software distribution (also App-V packages), Patch management, Task sequences (for deploying applications), Remote Control, and so on will also work on VDI desktops! All you need is a ConfigMgr client in the VDI template, with customization for GUID's.

There is also a VMware View Optimization Guide for Windows 7 available. and/or

This guide provides administrators with the information necessary to create a standard image of Windows 7 leveraging the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit or by utilizing a script-based approach to optimize a traditionally installed Windows 7 virtual machine. The recommended configuration settings optimize Windows 7 to help enhance the overall scalability and performance within a VMware View Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

Includes files in this PDF are Commands.txt and ts.xml, which can be used for importing in MDT or a combination of ConfigMgr/MDT. These files will optimize a Windows 7 VDI template for best performance during usage!

Conclusion: ConfigMgr 2007 in combination with VMware View is the right choice for managing VDI desktops!

1 comment:

  1. What happens when you install monthly Windows updates and need to do a recompose?