When to use VERDEOS and when to use VERDE RPMS

When to use VERDEOS and when to use VERDE RPMS

When to use VERDEOS

VERDEOS was implemented in VERDE version 5 and was a great addition to the VERDE installation options. VERDEOS reduces the steps needed to install VERDE allowing an installation to begin as a simple boot to an ISO DVD with only a few menu choices to get you going. VERDEOS is however not right for everyone and not right for every use case. Let’s delve into this in more detail.

What is VERDEOS

VERDEOS is a special build of VERDE which combines a targeted packaging of CentOS Linux binaries, the RPMs that make up the VERDE software, and a kickstart file that provides a step by step VERDE configuration menu.

The CentOS binaries are manually selected to produce a small Linux footprint. This approach allows us to provide the security of a Linux Kernel and the Linux tools needed to support the VERDE VDI Infrastructure. The VERDE RPMS are identical in both the VERDEOS installation and a full Linux distribution and VERDE RPM installation process. By the way, when we talk about installing VERDEOS we sometimes say that it is a “bare metal” install since the first task of installing VERDEOS is to wipe clean the server hard drives and then lay down the code base of CentOS and VERDE.

One of the primary benefits of VERDEOS is the time to complete an installation and be up and running. With VERDEOS, given the properly sized hardware, VERDE can be installed using VERDEOS in an afternoon. With the RMPM install, more planning and Linux configuration steps are required. VERDE RPM installs are also relatively very quick compared to other enterprise-class VDI solutions, but nothing compares to the quickness of getting a quick hands-on look at VERDE than using the VERDEOS installation method.

Because of this, VERDEOS was originally created for customers who wanted to do a quick trial of VERDE before investing in a production deployment of a large-scale VDI solution. We found that for some customers this was also enough for a small deployment with few moving parts. Customers who wanted their own installation of VERDE without a knowledgeable partner and had little or no Linux skills also gravitated to VERDEOS.

Since VERDEOS uses a pre-packaged subset of Linux binaries and has a built-in kickstart file, many of the initial Linux configuration parameters have been preset with values that NComputing recommends when optimizing the performance of desktop virtualization. Because basic Linux settings are handled automatically, the installation menu presented in the final steps of installation can focus on those items that are unique to the individual organization such as IP addressing, server role, NAS, clustering, and cloud branch.

Once installed, VERDE administration is done via a web console and is identical to the RPM based installation version of VERDE.

When to use VERDEOS and when to use RPMs

VERDEOS has served our customers well in many cases but not every case is well suited to this installation method. In order to understand when VERDEOS is the right choice, we have to take a look at the difference between VERDEOS and RPM installation. The main difference is in the underlying Linux binaries available to VERDE and how these binaries are configured.
One other difference is also how we currently handle networking within Linux. VERDE is configured using standard Linux networking, VERDEOS installs Linux’s easier to manage Open vSwitch (OVS). This made creating the necessary network configuration from our installation menu easier to manipulate and allowed for an IT administrator to simply go back into the VERDEOS menu to make changes when needed.

Because we had hand built the Linux packages needed by VERDE at a point in time, VERDEOS is more static than building from a fresh distribution of CentOS. For example, we have occasionally seen where some new server or networking hardware is released after VERDEOS was already was already built. You could face installation issues or worse if a driver is included but not updated for the new hardware it could “sometimes’ work. You can update the driver of course, but you would have had to go through the process of discovery and diagnosing an issue that pinpointed this discrepancy.

One other thing to be aware of is when you want to build or expand a cluster must install using the same installation method which can lock you into VERDEOS far beyond what it was initially intended for.

And, finally, while VERDE administration is very OS agnostic due to its web console administration tools there are times when you may want to look at the underlying server for regular server maintenance chores. This means that you need to have either a partner with at least a moderate amount of Linux skills or you would have to have these in your own IT organization. VERDEOS is great while we mask 95% of Linux skills needed there are occasions when knowing what is under the covers is important. If you think you can get by with no Linux skills that is a mistake. VERDEOS makes it easy to fall into that trap.

Recommendations

  • If you are interested in trying VERDE as your VDI solution for your initial evaluation and Proof of concept then consider VERDEOS as a quick way to get started.
  • If you will be implementing a 50 to 100 user environment and don’t expect your user base to grow any time soon, then consider VERDEOS as the easiest way to get up and running quickly.
  • If you expect to have a large pilot and eventually even larger end-user community using your VERDE VDI solution. Go with our VERDE RPM installation methods.
  • If you have sized your workload to require a VERDE cluster and you think you may need to expand even further in the future. Go with our VERDE RPM installation methods.
  • If you are unsure of which way to go, let us help you decide. Our success depends completely on yours.


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