I finally got around to adding more code to my Home Automation Control Application (mouth full eh?). Its all again still pretty basic and needs the graphics cleaned up abit. But it will work for now and its a nice start to get me back into coding the app.
Please note, I also narrate this version, so sit back relax and enjoy the show.
Last night I set up 2 of my VDI game stations, logged via View and loaded up Quake 3 for some testing.
A buddy of mine and I played for maybe an hour to test latency and over all performance... Not bad I might say, once I do my network rewire I will get more into detail on the performance. For now here are some basic screen caps of what I am seeing in the VM.
NVidia Quadro 4000 Passed through to the VM and VMWares SVGA 3D driver disabled.
GPU under load while running Direct3D 10 tests.
A 3D Score of 7.2... Not bad for a VM!
Shipment 1 of 2 has arrived for my Network Re-Wire project.
This far, I have received my CAT6 Keystones, Shielded RJ45 ends, CAT6 Patch Panel and I already had crimps on hand.
Lastly I am awaiting my CAT6 STP cable (1000 foot spool), hopefully it will arrive today!
As I have read time and time again, VDI will expose your flaws in your network. Be it LAN or WAN... You will spot your flaws.
What I have discovered in my journey;
I utilized the tool NetStress Network Benchmark to obtain my network speeds and begin to really see what my initial slack cabling job has left me with.
What I plan to do next?
Well the wheels are already in motion, I've installed a Cisco SG200 switch to replace my dinky NetGear SoHo 1Gb Switch and I have also ordered 1000feet of CAT6 STP cable, 10 CAT6 keystones and 100 CAT6 shielded RJ45 connectors.
All should arrive by next weekend, where I plan to redo all cable runs from the Patch Panel, to each wall plate. Then I will make new CAT6 cables for Patch Panel to Switch and Switch to Server equipment and finally new CAT6 cables for Wall Jack to PC/Device.
I will be running two drops to my office, I currently have one and 3-4 machines as well as the WiFi all share this connection. My hope is to move the WiFi AP to one drop and the office PC / Zero Clients to their own drop. (Most likely purchasing this Linksys Switch to match the LinkSys WRT AC1900 WiFi Router I use)
Once the rewire project is complete, I hope to see a drastic improvement in network speeds and VDI performance. Thus far, I have only be able to get Day of Defeat / CounterStrike to run at a playable state at 640x480 (Zero Client and Game resolution).
Using a EVGA PD03, VMWare ESX 6.0, VMWare View 6.1, NVidia Quadro 4000
Card have come, card have been installed... Cards not working as expected.
2x Radeon HD 5450's 1x Nvidia Quadro 4000
In my efforts to add better comparability and support, I upgraded ESX from 5.1 to 5.5 then 6.0. Same for VMWare View as I now sit on version 6.1
Sadly VMWare dropped the Quadro 4000 cards for vSGA, thus my goal for that card is shot, next we look at the Radeon 5450s. Apparently these will work fine if I connect a monitor directly to the GPU and pass the GPU through to the VM.
Sadly I was hoping to keep the server in the basement and use ZeroClients with PCoIP to game with and these 2 5450's for that and the Quadro 4000 for shared workstation use (CADD etc..).
Neither option will work for how I want..
Well I ordered a second Quadro 4000, with the Nvidia VMWare Windows 7 drivers installed I can disable the VMWare 3D VGA driver and still connect with VMware View (not the case with the Radeon cards). So I will possibly use DirectPath I/O with the 2 Quadro 4000 cards to Dedicated VMs.
My options as it stands now are;
For now, I plan to move the server upstairs and just test with a Keyboard/Mouse and monitor connected directly to the passthru hardware on the host. I have a new SSD and RAM upgrade coming so its gotta be dismantled anyway, perfect time to test.
Sadly I can state I was getting over 100FPS in Counter-strike (original) according to the game display, yet from the VM to the Zero Client it was capping out around 15FPS with about a 500ms lag in input response. As I test more and review more I will post details as I go.
For now here are the specs.
Horizon View 6.1
AMD FX-6100 (6 core 3.3GHz)
2x XFX Radeon HD 5450s (1GB)
2x Nvidia Quadro 4000 (2GB)
24GB G.Skill RipJaw RAM
1x Samsung EVO 840 120GB SSD
1x Samsung EVO 850 250GB SSD
1x Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD
Well I've been testing and toying around with the Radeon HD5670 and I went ahead and placed a few orders to continue down the Gaming VDI path. (Odd what sleepless nights and Amazon Prime will do to you)
First I ordered 2 XFX Radeon 5450s (1GB) to use as dedicated direct GPUs for 2 gaming machines, I then tied in 2 TeckNet 6 button gaming mice and 19 inch Acer monitors. Lastly, I couldn't resist picking up an eBay item a PNY NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2GB for abit more fun tied in with my GT640 1GB.
I plan to do some tests between the GT640 and the Quadro 4000 to decide what card to leave in for vSGA and then of course I plan to use the 5450s as vDGA.
Once I button up the graphics needs, I will be replacing the 16GB RAM kit I have with another 32GB kit, allowing more RAM for the desktops and also placing 1-2 256GB SSDs for the desktops as well.
Well, due to an unexpected 180 degree change in where I was expecting to be... I now how some pent up energy and excitement for projects and opportunities missed.
Time to redirect that energy into a new direction, and how better than getting lost in a project?
Back on the table is the ESX02 VDI machine (hence my prior post with the K1 Device ID swap). I placed an order for 2 ATI Radeon HD5450s late last night, with a goal of using these as Dedicated Adapters for my 2 VDI Game stations. I have been having issues getting XOrg to start and run on my host with the hacked GT640, so in the Interim I plan on using the dedicated 5450s.
Once I succeed with the K1 card, I will end up using Shared 3D for my "Workstation" VDI machines, to improve items such as SketchUp etc.
Thus I will have 1 GT640 converted K1 assigned to Windows 7 "Workstation" VDI machines, and 2 HD5450's Directly passed thru 2 Windows 8.1 "Gaming" VDI machines.
I do have a Radeon 5670 that I am currently testing with. Thus far I have managed to get the drivers to install, GPUZ detects the card, but when I attempt to connect via PCoIP I disconnect after a brief period of no video. Time to troubleshoot!
Well, I finally took some time to swap the Device ID resistors on my Asus GT640 card to get it to report as a K1 GRID card. It took maybe 45 minutes to an hour to do. Mostly because I was nervous and my hand kept shaking... knocking the resistor off the solder pads.
But once done, I installed it into my Secondary ESX host and...
It took a bit of digging, but I was finally able to find a Razer Nostromo in Blue (discontinued model), now all my "Human Interface Devices" match.
I've also begun to get used to the Cherry MX Brown switches on the Corsair K70 RGB, and I must admit... I miss it when I am using another keyboard. I still bottom out, thus my typing is a bit clacky but I am learning to ease back some and release pressure once I feel the actuation point on the switch.
Well, the time has come...
Both ESX hosts are getting their boost to ESX 6 as well as vCenter 6. I again had to do the ESX customizer path with the net55 vibs for the RealTek network adapter support. But once in place I was able to install ESX 6 on host #2 and verify functionality.
I also received my eVGA nVidia GT640 in the mail today and went ahead and purchased the widely hacked and documented ASUS GT640. The goal is to possibly use the eVGA card as it has 4GB of RAM, else if I am unable to determine the device ID resistors I will fall back to the 1GB ASUS thats widely documented. Most likely donating the eVGA to my Father.
With the upgrade to ESX 6, I hope to breathe new light into pure DirectPath I/O for the 2 Radeon cards I've been toying with as well. If all goes as planned, I'll be using a GT640 as a Grid card, else possibly one of the Radeon cards direct to a VM.
Well, I won 2 ebay auctions and I finally got my order from Act Labs. This means 2 things; 1, I'm not going to get a new monitor for my arcade for awhile now and 2, I may have to re-do the new artwork I've been creating due to my locked 1024x768 resolution on the current monitor.
Either way, the order from Act Labs was an old stock Light Gun. Sadly they only had red, so it will at least match the game play of blue and red for the players but not so much the arcade colors.
As for the new graphics, a quick teaser of the marquee...
Part 2 of the auction winnings, includes an EVGA GeForce GT 640 (4GB version) that I hope...hope. I can convert into a "K1 Grid Card" for ESX02 and VDI use.
There are several articles across the internet documenting such success, I'm just not sure if this card is in the list of hacked cards.
The end goal, is to allocate either 2 VDI machines with 2GB of vRAM or 4 VDI machines with 1GB of vRAM and play old school LAN party games such as Day of Defeat, Duke Nukem 3D and the like.
I have tried DirectPath I/O with both a Sapphire Radeon 5670 and 6450 with not so acceptable results, both tests consisted of a Windows7 x64 VM and both tests worked during the initial boot but failed every time after upon reboot. I do plan on testing these cards with DdirectPath I/O on a Windows 8.1 VM as well, but I am expecting the same results.
Once my items arrive and I get to tinker abit, I'll start to post my results.
I decided to take a collection of the base specs of each system I am currently running. Alot of hardware has swapped around and I have added a few items.
This does not include my Zero Clients that I will be configuring to use ESX02, my VDI host.This list is being added to the Hardware section and will be maintained along with the hardware updates.
Amazon Fire TV (Stick)
Raspberry Pi B+
Tablets and Laptops
Asus Nexus 7 ASUS-1B32
HP Mini 210-1076NR
HP Stream 7
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro 13
PogoPlug Series 4 POGO-V4-A3-01
PogoPlug Series 4 POGO-V4-A3-01
Patriot PCNASJV35S4 Diskless System Javelin S4 4-Bay Media Server
Dell Vostro 360