Pushing Virtual Limits


The Current Problem
May 1, 2007, 1:02 am
Filed under: VM

Like many teams we have staff in various locations throughout North America.

I need to create and deploy a manageable system to allow connectivity from Toronto, Pleasanton, CA, MA, RI, New York City, Atlanta, and at least 6 other remote locations.

In order to maintain the ability to collaborate on the VM’s created all machines must be available to all users.

Problem – Virtual Infrastructure Client 2 is not meant to work over long distances.(This from VMWare with a support case we had open with them)

Two locations in focus – Cambridge MA to Toronto. When connecting to an ESX host from Toronto to Camb you get a pure black screen with no ability to use the console for periods longer than five minutes. The same is true connecting from Cambridge to Toronto.

Guides say UDP and TCP/IP traffic is involved – After extensive network sniffing and multiple tests the following are known truths –

When connecting with VIC to a VC the only data traffic coming from the VC is to handle the left pane. When you expand a console window up ALL data comes from the ESX host.

Data is NOT sent as UDP packets – TCP/IP only 900-905 (mostly 903-904).

QoS filtering would be a problem but none is in place.

In order to alleviate the connectivity issues experienced by the field office we have recently deployed an ESX Host to that location and linked it to our VC.

Testing is ongoing to see what can be done to alleviate this performance hit.

Right now the options are as follows:

Suck it up – deal with the intermittent issues and the inability to migrate data between distributed hosts and our core infrastructure.

Handle installs etc locally and then connect via RDP/Term Services – An option but multiple known issues with RDP make this messy

Utilize VNC to accomplish the same goal – Additional app to install on all appliances messy

Setup a TS box on each esx host and run it as an appliance. Have people TS into that and run VIC from within the host – Talk about a hack.

At this point any thoughts are appreciated and I will continue working on this and updating the posts accordingly. I made some snazzy visio charts (don’t we all love Veam?”)

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