Performance analysis and characterization (PAAC) testing on Dell VDI solutions is carried out using a carefully designed, holistic methodology that monitors both hardware resource utilization parameters and end-user experience (EUE) during load-testing. This ensures the optimal combination of EUE and cost-per-user.
Login VSI performance testing process and monitoring
We tested each user load against four runs:
- A pilot run to validate that the infrastructure was performing correctly and that valid data could be captured.
- Three subsequent runs to enable data correlation.
During testing, while the environment was under load, we logged in to a session and completed tasks that correspond to the user workload. This test is subjective, but it provides a better understanding of the EUE in the desktop sessions, particularly under high load. It also helps to ensure reliable data gathering.
To ensure that the user experience was not compromised, we monitored the following important resources:
- Compute host servers—Solutions based on VMware vCenter for VMware vSphere gather key data (CPU, memory, disk, and network usage) from each of the compute hosts during each test run. This data is exported to .csv files for single hosts and then consolidated to show data from all hosts. While the report does not include specific performance metrics for the management host servers, these servers are monitored during testing to ensure that they are performing at an expected level with no bottlenecks.
- Hardware resources—Resource overutilization can cause poor EUE. We monitored the relevant resource utilization parameters and compared them to relatively conservative thresholds. These thresholds are shown in the following table. They were selected based on industry best practices and our experience to provide an optimal trade-off between good EUE and cost-per-user while also allowing sufficient burst capacity for seasonal or intermittent spikes in demand.
Table 5. Resource utilization parameters Parameter Pass/fail threshold Physical host CPU utilization 85% 1 Physical host memory utilization 85% Network throughput 85% Disk latency 20 milliseconds Login VSI failed sessions 2%
Login VSI installs a standard collection of desktop application software, including Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat Reader, on each VDI desktop testing instance. It then uses a configurable launcher system to connect a specified number of simulated users to available desktops within the environment. When the simulated user is connected, a login script configures the user environment and starts a defined workload. Each launcher system can launch connections to several VDI desktops (target machines). A centralized management console configures and manages the launchers and the Login VSI environment.
We used the following login and boot conditions:
- Users were logged in within a login timeframe of one hour.
- All desktops were started before users were logged in.
Login VSI workloads
The following table describes the Login VSI workloads that we tested:
|Login VSI workload name||Workload description|
|Task Worker|| A light workload that runs fewer applications and starts/stops them less frequently than the other workloads, resulting in lower CPU, RAM, and IO usage. The Task Worker workload uses the following applications: |
|Knowledge Worker|| Designed for virtual machines with 2 vCPUs. This workload includes the following activities: |
Test configuration details
The following tables list the hardware and software components of the infrastructure that was used for the PAAC test. All host machines were updated with the latest operating system and security updates.
The following table shows the hardware components:
|Compute host hardware|| 3 x PowerEdge R7525 Servers |
|Management host hardware||R730|
|Storage|| vSAN |
The following table shows the software components:
|Display protocol||BLAST Extreme H.264 + Switch Codec|
|Broker||VMware Horizon 8|
|Hypervisor||vSphere ESXi 7.0.3|
|SQL||Microsoft SQL Server 2019|
|Desktop operating system||Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit (version 21H2)|
|Office software||Microsoft Office 365 / 2019|
|Management operating system||Microsoft Windows Server 2019|
|Login VSI version||188.8.131.52|
|Antivirus software||Windows Defender|
The following table summarizes the standard PAAC VM configurations for Login VSI currently used for the various profiles/workloads tested:
|vCPUs||RAM||RAM reserved||Desktop video resolution||Operating system|
|Knowledge Worker||2||4 GB||2 GB||1920 x 1080||Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit|
|Task Worker||8||32 GB||32 GB||1280 x 720||Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit|