First VMware View and VMware ThinApp deployment

After months of preparation, testing, and teamwork; today I rolled out my first VMware View and VMware ThinApp deployment for Riverview Hospital.

The deployment consists of three offsite locations, about 85 virtual desktops, about 100 printers, and about 20 ThinApp applications. Although I had help from many team members, the engineering and implementation of this project was my responsibility.

Most of the day’s issues were focused on location-based printing — mapping print IP addresses to WYSE thin client MAC addresses, or simply selecting the wrong driver during installation. There were a few permission issues and a few application issues. Otherwise, I’ve received feedback that the primary stakeholders (including my boss and the CIO) were quite pleased.

Today was just 85 users. My infrastructure is sized to handle 300 users with the ability to take one ESXi host offline.

It is amazing how fast user expectations change. I had most users configured to use a persistent desktop pool. After their first log in to their virtual desktop, subsequent logons would take 15 seconds.

When a few of those users crossed over to my non-persistent desktop pool, they couldn’t tolerate the 90 seconds it took to log into those desktops (because the Windows profile has to be built). Last week, they were waiting 3 minutes for XP to boot.

I guess no matter how fast I make the user desktop experience, it can never be fast enough.

This was a fun project to work on and I’m glad it was a success. I hope to soon build a pool for the IT department so that we can also start living in VMware View as our primary desktop environment.