Last July, Login Consultants released an early beta version of an upcoming freeware tool called Login VSI. This tool is a Windows desktop benchmarking tool that runs a series of workload simulations and produces a relative performance score. The idea is that you'd use Login VSI to test various hardware configurations (Would that extra 4GB RAM make a difference?) or to see what the impact would be of going VDI (How much more hardware would I need to support the same number of users with the same scores as I can do now with TS?). Login VSI is the brainchild of Jeroen van de Kamp, the guy who brought us the Flex Profile Kit five years ago and a frequent BriForum presenter, and they've had several employees working on this full-time for many months.
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The cool thing about Login VSI (besides the fact that it's free) is that it is now 100% platform independent. You can run the same tests on VDI and TS environments and compare the results head-to-head.
One very important thing to note about Login VSI is that this thing is a benchmarking tool. It is not meant for server sizing. In other words, Login VSI will give you an idea of the relative performance of different platforms or configurations, but it will not tell you how many users you can get on your server in your environment. (The reason for that is simple: The Login VSI tests are pre-built out-of-the-box. If you were able to change them, then the integrity of the benchmark would be compromised. If you want to know how many users you'll be able to get on your specific server in your environment, then you'll need to build your own custom tests and use a product like Citrix EdgeSight for Load Testing.
Login VSI is still in beta, and it can be downloaded for free from the tools area of loginvsi.com. (You must be logged in for the registration link to be active, but creating an account is free. The download is 286MB)
According to Jeroen, this new beta (Version 0.5) has several new features, including:
- True platform independence (both VDI & SBC) through a powerful custom command line option within the launcher. This includes the possibility to use a CSV file with advanced connection details for each individual session. In other words if you can script the connection, you can use Login VSI.
- Randomization of user data within each user load loop, this is the most important new feature of this beta as now optimizers (either at a memory or network level) cannot optimize/cache/compress/de-duplicate in an unrealistic fashion.
- Simplified and centralized configuration of the launcher(s). The ability to setup multiple launchers (master / slaves) for large scale tests is now more straightforward.
- The installation and configuration of the target platform is now 99% automated. (Only Office requires a manual default installation.)
- The scripted user workload is now a more realistic loop of 15 minutes. (The previous beta was 6 minutes.) It is now also more dynamic and includes printing to PDF.
- Many bug fixes and more robust user workload scripting suited for extreme system loads and improved platform support.
Login's hope is that Login VSI can become the standard benchmark for Windows desktop environments--regardless of whether that desktop is a VDI instance, a shared TS desktop, or a local desktop. They're building this thing from the ground-up for this kind of testing, and if anyone can make it happen, they can.