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Technical Introduction to Login VSI

Technical Introduction to Login VSI

Configuring and starting your first desktop virtualization test with Login VSI can feel like a complicated job. There are a lot of moving parts and choices to make. In this blog, I would like to help you get started with Login VSI by introducing you to the basics of a typical environment. In Dutch we say “een goed begin is het halve werk” which roughly translates to “a good start is already half the work.” With this blog and video, I'd like to take you at least half way to completing your first successful performance test. If you get stuck, our support team is available to help at any point.

Your environment

To use Login VSI within your unique environment, there are a few things to know. Login VSI is typically used to test the performance of hosted or virtual desktop environments using:

  • VMware Horizon view
  • Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop
  • Microsoft VDI or Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services)

You might be wondering what a typical test infrastructure looks like. The most important thing you need is the environment that you want to test. As Login VSI simulates user behavior, it is critical that these test users can logon to the environment that you want to test, called the target environment. The target environment can be anything from a Remote Desktop server running Windows Server 2012 to a VDI environment running Windows 7 or Windows 8 desktops. The targets can be part of your production environment, but can also be an isolated lab or Proof of Concept environment.

login vsi environment overview

Login VSI environment overview

VSIshare (+session monitor)

The second component is a file share. We call this the VSIshare. It is where, after setup, all of the binaries and content are stored. During the test, the file share is where all of the log files are collected. We recommend that you run the VSIshare on a Windows host so it can also run the session monitor. The session monitor keeps track of all active sessions during the test.

Launchers

Launchers are the endpoints from which the test users log on during a test. In a typical scenario, you need at least one launcher per 50 sessions, but this number varies based on the environment used. For example, if you want to perform storage tests that ignore the impact of the remoting protocol, you can use Direct Desktop mode. In this case, every launcher can initiate 1,000 sessions.

Active Directory (with policies)

Because Login VSI simulates users logging on to your environment, one requirement is that there are a sufficient number of test accounts available within your domain. Login VSI can generate a PowerShell script for you that allows you to automatically create these user accounts.

Management Console

The Management Console is the component in which all tests are orchestrated and configured, here you configure the number of users you want to test with and identify which workloads they will run. During the test, the Management Console shows a dashboard indicating the test progress.

Analyzer

The Analyzer is used after a test to analyze the performance of your system and to calculate the VSImax. VSImax is the number of users your environment can support before performance starts to degrade. See my previous blog on Analyzing Results.

So what happens when I launch a test?

The Management Console will tell the launchers to start initiating sessions. The users will log on to the target environment and run their workloads. During the workload execution, performance is constantly measured until the desired number of test users is reached. After the test, these results can be verified in the Analyzer.

Ready to get started?

As you see, a typical Login VSI test environment is pretty straightforward. Are you ready to start your first test? Request your free trial here. If you need any help with Login VSI, you can always post a question in our Forum or drop us an email at support@loginvsi.com. Happy performance testing :-)

About the author

Mark Plettenberg (@markplettenberg) is a product manager of Login VSI and has played a critical role in the development and growth of Login VSI. Ask Mark about motorcycle mechanics and breaking/repairing anything and everything that has a power plug.


Tags: How-to, Login VSI, Videos, Load Testing, Best Practices, Support

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