VMware Desktop Reference Architecture Workload Simulator (RAWC)

VMware released last week the desktop Reference Architecture Workload Simulator (RAWC). 

When validating VMware View™ designs it is important to simulate real world usage as closely as possible. The Desktop Reference Architecture Workload SImulator (RAWC) can be used to simulate a user workload in a typical Microsoft Windows® desktop environment.

Desktop RAWC runs on a Windows XP guest operating system and is executed on each desktop virtual machine (VM) on one or more ESX™ hosts. Each target desktop VM is equipped to run a RAWC workload that simulates typical user behavior, running an application set commonly used across a broad array of desktop environments.


The workload has a set of randomly executed functions that perform operations on a variety of applications. Each test is configured using the Desktop RAWC UI


The UI enables you to save and retrieve test parameters, create log folders, and define unique workloads based on Active Directory groups. You can use the UI to increase the load or adjust the user behavior, such as the number of words per minute that are typed and the delay between applications being launched.

The workload configuration typically used includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Java, Adobe Acrobat, McAfee Virus Scan, and 7-Zip. During the execution of the workload, multiple applications are opened at the same time and windows are minimized and maximized as the workload progresses, randomly switching between each application. Individual application operations that are randomly performed can include:

·        Microsoft Word – Open, minimize, maximize, close, insert text, save modifications

·        Microsoft Word (Random) – Open, minimize, maximize, close, write random words/numbers, save modifications

·        Microsoft Excel – Open, minimize, maximize, close, write random numbers, insert/delete columns/rows, copy/paste formulas, save modifications

·        Microsoft PowerPoint – Open, minimize, maximize, close, conduct a slide show presentation

·        Microsoft Outlook – Open, minimize, maximize, close, create/send emails

·        Internet Explorer – Open, minimize, maximize, close, browse page

·        Windows Media Player – Open, close, view a video

·        Java – Compile a java project comprised of several hundred files using the JDK to create a software

·        engineering type of workload

·        Adobe Acrobat Reader – Open, minimize, maximize, close, browse pages in PDF document

·        McAfee Anti-virus – Real time scanning

·        7-Zip – Open, close, compress a large file

The RAWC kit is available for download from  the VMware partner central website.


VMware View 4 released


The long awaited VMware View with the PCoIP protocol has landed and is available for download.

VMware View 4.0 includes the following new features:

  • VMware View with PCoIP – PCoIP provides an optimized desktop experience for the delivery of the entire desktop environment including applications, images, audio, and video content for a wide range of users on the LAN or across the WAN. PCoIP can compensate for an increase in latency or a reduction in bandwidth, to ensure that end users can remain productive regardless of network conditions.
  • PCoIP includes VMware View Display with support for up to four monitors and the ability to deliver the optimal resolution and pivot orientation to each monitor independently.
  • VMware vSphere Support – VMware vSphere 4 support enables improved virtual machine scalability, performance, and management, with continued support for VMware Infrastructure 3.x.
  • Enhanced single sign-on – The Log in as current user feature is integrated with Active Directory and smart cards to help simplify the process of logging in to a VMware View desktop.
  • Restricted entitlements – Administrators can control user access to virtual desktops based on the View Connection Server being used for authentication.
  • Smart card policies – Administrators can set group policies to force desktop disconnection and require reconnection when users remove smart cards.
  • Domain filtering – You can use vdmadmin.exe to control the accessibility of domains and traverse trust relationships more quickly.
  • You can cleanly delete View desktops using scripts.
  • You can log in to View desktops using user principal names (UPN).
  • You can explicitly configure IP addresses to override those supplied by the View Agent when accessing a desktop.
  • Mixed Active Directory and Kerberos authentication is supported.

The VMware View 4  release notes can be find here, and the downloads are here. Next week i try to test VMware View 4 and blog my experiences.


VMware VIEW 4 useful information


After attending the VMware View 4 Talkshoe podcast the following information about the announced VMware  View 4 was discussed:

VM’s per core:

VM’s per core, In VMware View 3 the number was 6-9 VM’s per core, now in View 4 with for example the Intel Nehalem processors you can get to 12-16 VM’s per core. This number heavily depends for example on the application load inside the VM’s.

The PCoIP protocol does NOT support:

– Security Server;

– Smart Cards integration;

– Thinprint support.


– The PCoIP protocol is not different in scalability than RDP;

– For the RDP protocol version 6 is used in VMware VIEW;

– Offline desktop support is still experimental;

– There’s no RTO Software Virtual Profiles in this release of VMware VIEW 4;

– Windows  7 is still experimental, official support will be around the begin of 2010; 

– The Connection server must be installed on Windows 2003, support for Windows 2008 will be around the begin of 2010;

– Advise for virus scanning software is use VMware aware virus scanners (VMsafe), for example Trend Micro and McAfee have beta’s that use the VMsafe technology.


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