Author: Doug Hart, Technologist and Architect, Client Virtualization Engineering
An increasingly global and mobile workforce is changing the way IT will need to support the business. And by virtualizing the desktop to be accessed by a variety of end user devices (whether it is a Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or thin client), HP and VMware make this important move to client virtualization safe and easy by testing and developing the most popular solutions.
Capitalizing on the increased performance and user density of the ProLiant BL460c Gen8 Server Blade compared to the previous generation, HP has measured the ProLiant BL460c Gen8 with VMware View using LoginVSI - and the results are worthy of the ProLiant name.
VSI Max score for light script users – 242 users
VSI Max score for medium script users – 195 users
VSI Max score for heavy script users – 164 users
Measuring VDI Performance
HP over time has used numerous tools to measure server performance for VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure). Those included internally developed, leveraging partners’ tools and most recently the newest version of LoginVSI which provides useful data when testing system performance.
LoginVSI is a benchmarking tool designed to measure the performance of centralized desktop environments such as Server Based Computing and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.
All tests were performed on a single HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8 server virtual machines were optimized following VMware’s recommended procedures. The server under test featured 2 Intel XEON E5-2680 processors and 256GB of 1333MHz PC3-10600 RAM. The virtual machines ran Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit. Light user VMs were assigned 1.5GB of memory while medium and heavy VMs were assigned 2GB of vRAM. All VMs used a single vCPU. A dedicated linked clone model was used for testing.
LoginVSI offers a number of workloads intended to emulate different user behaviors. To best emulate HP’s traditional test methodology, the medium, light and heavy user workloads were chosen. These workloads represent productivity, task and knowledge workers respectively. LoginVSI works by performing a series of workloads against a centralized or set of centralized workloads. It measures a series of predefined timings for actions that occur during these workloads (such as copies, application start times and compressing files). This data is evaluated in terms of number of VSI sessions and a VSIMax score is output as a function of the baseline performance versus the response times of the actions under load.
HP starts launchers at a fixed, 25 second interval. All launchers are virtual machines connected to a domain and configured for NTP services. Tests are run multiple times to validate consistency as well as to check for problems in scripts. The best result of all tests is reported in this document. Prior to the start of any test run the server under test (SUT) is rebooted and all virtual machines are restarted. The SUT is allowed a period of rest to reclaim memory prior to test start. This is generally a 2-3 hour period depending on the number of virtual machines being tested.
HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8 Results: Medium Workload – VSI Max of 195
The medium workload is frequently used to express user counts that represent general productivity users or “average” end users. HP has chosen to report this workload as being representative of such a user.
Using the ProLiant BL460c Gen8 server configured as listed in this document HP received a VSI Max score of 195 users with a medium workload. Response times for actions measured within the script remained very low as shown in the graph below validating the quality of HP’s end user experience. This is attributable to both the performance of the ProLiant BL460c Gen8 and HP’s approach to storage for VDI on Virtual System CV2 outlined here.
Figure 1: Medium script VSI Max score.
HP ProLiant BL460 Gen8 Results: Light Workload – VSI Max of 242
HP suggests the light workload is representative of single function workers or environments where concurrency of use is low. For detailed information on this workload, consult the LoginVSI Admin Guide.
Running the light workload with the ProLiant BL460c Gen8 configured as described in this document HP achieved a VSI Max score of 242 users with very fast response times.
Figure 2: Light script VSI Max score
HP ProLiant BL460 Gen8 Results: Heavy Workload – VSI Max of 164
The heavy workload represents workers who place a great deal of pressure on their systems with multiple applications open and heavy interaction on a frequent basis. Running the heavy workload with the ProLiant BL460c Gen8 configured as described in this document HP achieved a VSI Max score of 164 users with very fast response times on measured script actions.
Figure 3: Heavy user
HP has not previously published results using LoginVSI on ProLiant systems of G7 and earlier generations. As a point of reference and to establish a baseline, HP is making those results available for the medium user script. The tests were conducted using an HP Virtual System CV2 and a ProLiant BL460c G7 with 2 Intel XEON X5675 processors running a t 3.06 GHz and 192GB of 1333MHz PC3-10600 memory. Using this method HP achieved a VSI Max score of 143 medium users as shown in the figure below.
Figure 4: Baseline results for G7 servers and a medium script workload
This substantiates that the ProLiant BL460c Gen8 has seen a 36% performance increase versus the same server in G7 configuration.
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