The inception of Wyse vWorkspace began in the early 2000’s with the development of management and optimization tools such as the Universal Printer and Automated Task Management. These tools, and others, were used to optimize and streamline Server Based Computing deployments and were very successful adjuncts to the base offering. In 2006 we released our first VDI connection broker. The stand-alone tools were packaged with the broker to create a single terminal server/virtual desktop brokering and management product. Since then it has blossomed into a highly scalable and competent solution.The product’s competency and scalability have been evidenced over the years by results of performance testing. These are benchmark tests to measure performance of the different vWorkspace components, such as the Connection Broker and the Secure Access Service.

The Dell Wyse vWorkspace Connection Broker does a lot. On an initial connection request, many steps are taken by the broker to provide a configured desktop environment to the end user. Evaluation of the connection and authentication of user credentials are only the first step in the process. The vWorkspace Broker will address the target types that apply to the session request and determine the appropriate resources that should be applied to the virtual desktop session. A target can be the end point’s IP address or device name. It can be the user’s account name, group membership or OU membership and any Boolean-based mix of these target types. Once target assignment is complete resource evaluation and resource assignment is executed. Resources can be any combination of the list below and are managed from a single interface:

  • Desktop and application policies
  • Environmental variables
  • Scripts (VBscript, PowerShell, Kix you name it)
  • Printer mappings
  • Network drive mappings
  • UI settings – Wallpaper, color scheme, etc

That’s a lot of stuff, and the list isn't exhaustive. There's more involved in establishing a session such as finding and referring an available virtual machine. Good thing load balancing and fault tolerance are built-in features of the Connection Broker.

Because so much is happening during a connection request we are continually striving to improve performance and optimize the user experience. With the release of vWorkspace 8.5 we have reached another performance milestone. Shown below are the results from our benchmark testing. The testing measures the time interval between an initial broker connection request and when that connection is established, for both RDSH and VDI.The vertical column is measured in seconds and shows a definite trend. As this trend continues we will have achieved time travel without the need for a flux capacitor.

                        

In order to test the broker’s capacity we installed the vWorkspace 8.5 Broker and Microsoft SQL Server 2014, with a mirrored database instance, on separate Dell PowerEdge 720s and ran automated workloads against the environment with two load profiles: Light load was ~1000 users and Heavy load was just under 5000 users.  Each automated user session was performed 5 times and the time delta was averaged.

Since this solution runs on top of Microsoft RDS it is important that the time it takes to process everything be imperceptible to the user. Two years ago the logon process could be impacted up to 26 seconds in situations where the broker was being taxed. With version 8.5 that delay has been cut 10 fold to under 2 seconds.