Tags: VMware

VMware OS Optimization Tool and Windows 10

Overview

I’m a big fan of the VMware OS Optimization Tool and its capabilities, not only does it help to optimize VDI Environments through a range of settings and templates, it also helps optimize settings that otherwise would be complicated to control without a scripted or policy based method. I must confess I have been using this tool for some time, but mostly without quantifying the effect (particularly in lab environments, where every spare bit of resource is cherished).

I wanted to give an idea in this blog post about the power of the tool, by doing some side by side comparison of Windows 10 Operating systems, against templates available in the tool.

I’ll aim to cover the following in an Optimized and Non-Optimized capacity:

  • Booting
  • Resource usage, idle 5 minutes after login
  • Roaming User profile size after first login
  • Logon time with a roaming user profile – first login, profile removed from the local machine, and then a second login

2 identical VMs were configured for this test, with the following specification:

vm1

Both VMs are identical and the resource limits fall well within the capacity of the host, so I can be sure of no bottlenecks etc.

On one of the VMs I ran the VMware OS Optimization Tool:

vm2

I used the LoginVSI Template for my Optimizations:

vm3

This template contains lots of areas and settings – created by the good folks over at LoginVSI:

vm9

Optimization is simple – just pick a template and click “Analyze” and then “Optimize”:

vm4

After this you are presented with a results Window:

vm5

Testing:

Test 1 – Boot time (time to logon screen):

Optimized Non-optimized
44 seconds 45 seconds

Little difference here – to be honest I wasn’t expecting a huge change. Both machines are on SSD storage, with two fast processor cores available, and plenty of RAM – so no real bottleneck.

Test 2 – Resource usage after 5 minutes idle (whilst logged in):

Optimized Non-optimized
 vm6  vm7

Again – not a huge difference here. But the RAM saving of 0.2GB is worth noting. Multiply 0.2GB up to factor in a 1000 Desktop deployment and that’s 200GB of additional RAM – and when each GB of RAM comes at a price, this is a worthwhile saving.

Test 3 – Roaming profile size after first login

Optimized Non-optimized
Local: 110MB Local: 124MB
Roaming: 692KB Roaming: 984KB

Not really any huge difference here either – the smaller profile size is likely due to some of the features that have been disabled by the Optimization tool that would normally write data back into a profile during first login etc. I’d usually recommend avoiding Windows profiles with any VDI Solution anyway – and look to a solution like Citrix Profile Management or AppSense Personalisation Manager etc.

Test 4 – Login with a roaming profile, profile clear out, and subsequent login time (time to start screen):

Optimized Non-optimized
First Login (Profile Creation): 23 seconds First Login (Profile Creation): 43 seconds
Second Login (Loading Roaming Profile): 9 seconds Second Login (Loading Roaming Profile): 17 seconds

Quite a noticeable difference here. Initial logon time was 20 seconds less (47% faster). Subsequent logins were also noticeably faster – 9 seconds against 17 seconds (also 47% faster). Most of this appears to be due to tasks running during logon. For the initial profile creation this was things like default applications and Windows Store Apps etc – if we look further into the LoginVSI template for the tool, we can see a specific section just for login time reduction:

vm8

Overall, this tool has a clear impact on Windows 10 (and other operating systems) for VDI use. Not only does it lead to a reduction in Login Times, we also see a reduction in RAM usage from the VMs too. I’d recommend anyone currently running non-optimized environments to give this tool a go on a test machine and do some comparison themselves. Many of the features within a Desktop OS are unnecessary for VDI machines and a tool that provides a baseline like this is a great starting point.