System Center Virtual Machine Manager (#SCVMM), home networks, and VDI?
My wife would likely say that one of the curses of being married to an IT geek is that you end up with all of the techno-hand-me-down’s. Her laptop is a good example of this. At the time it was purchased it was an excellent system but as requirements have grown a single processor system with one gigabyte of memory running Windows 7 is to quote a friend of mine “less than optimal”. I won’t go into the gory details here but it was time to get her moved to a new system – however she is very tied into her current computer so I was faced with either finding and replacing all of her current applications and configurations or coming up with a more creative solution which lets her migrate off the old system over time. These were the problems that we were tackling:
1) Increasing performance – the new solution needed to be functioning at a reasonable or better level of performance
2) New equipment – her new equipment needed to replaced the old equipment but she still needed to access her old system
3) Minimal impact – make it intuitive to use what applications she is used to while still accomplishing #1 and #2 above
So, if you are an IT geek who is working with SCVMM what are you thinking at this point? Yep! It’s Physical to Virtual time…
Here’s the steps that I used to perform our laptop migration using SCVMM 2012 RC, Terminal Services, and Windows 7:
- On her current computer, I disabled the firewall and asked her to save out whatever she was working on (ok, she ignored me on the second half but I swear I told her to get out of Outlook)
- On SCVMM I performed a PtoV migrate of her current system and activated it one of my HyperV servers
- I shut down her original laptop after the PtoV migration was completed and logged into the version on the HyperV server (the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI if you prefer) through SCVMM
- After validating that the PtoV version of her laptop was working, I shut it down and changed the hardware configuration from 1 processor and 1 gb of memory to 4 processors and 4 gb of memory and restarted it.
- I removed her original laptop and replaced it with the new laptop.
- On her new laptop I created an RDP connection to her original laptop which was configured to run full screen, allowing access to all local devices and resources and optimized performance for the Local Area Network. I put the shortcut to the RDP connection on the desktop of her new laptop. RDP performance is optimized as this is a new Windows 7 laptop connecting to a virtual running Windows 7.
- The result so far meets the three requirements above (performance is significantly improved, using the new laptop and she can continue to almost as she was before the migration). We are starting to migrate her to running applications on the local desktop (internet explorer, office, etc). Her original applications are still accessible through the virtual version of her laptop and we will migrate these applications off of the virtual version of the laptop over time.
The following are the RDP configurations I used to connect to the virtual version of the laptop:
Summary: This provides a relatively simple example of how VDI can become part of an environment as part of a laptop replacement solution by performing a PtoV for laptops which are being decommissioned.
P.S. On a personal note I’m not saying that SCVMM can save your marriage but it I this case it certainly helped mine!