Systrack assessments by VMware – part 2.


Systrack assessments by VMware – part 2.

In my last blog I started with a review of VMware’s online assessment offering using Systrack. Read about that here before you go on so that you have a good understaning of the installation.
In this second part of the blog I show you what is gathered and why it might be a good idea to run this tool before you start any replacement project.
The URL for the assessment tool is still the same, assessment.vmware.com wil get you to the login page and to your dashboard once the data is in.

Dashboards

There are four dashboards available that you can access;
  • VMware Assessment Software Summary
  • VMware Data Quality Summary
  • System Demand Overview
  • System Hardware Overview
The data you get from each dashboard is obvious I think, the data quality dashboard is of course a bit a strange one  here but it will show you whether the data is gathered correctly.

It takes three days before you will get any data, you can check with a diagnostics tool whether the data is collected. It will give the occasional error but that in my case was mostly a time out pinging my router..

Data Quality

The data quality dashboard will show you whether the data is received fine. I used one system for this so it shows one system where data collection is in progress.

Same goes for the count of systems, again just one there. Both screens are good to see whether your systems are reporting back, the number and color will show which ones are finished and which ones are in progress.

Software

Of course your interest is in the software and hardware metrics for that is what you are interested in when you do this kind of monitoring.
First screen you will see here is an overview of the used and unused software, Looks like 75% of my software is unused… I better uninstall it 🙂 Funny thing is that the software that is used is not really used all of it.. it also sees system tray software as active.

There is a screen with the used software, it shows the software used on that particular computer. This is very handy when you monitor hundreds of computers in a organization and you want to know which software is being used over all computers.

There is another screen with unused software, I haven’t monitored long enough because I use Webex and Citrix receiver often. Perhaps not those three days.

Of course the number of systems installed on is a very valuable column, that is what I need in every project.

Hardware

The  hardware dashboard will show some details on your hardware but unfortunately not that one metric I was looking for, more about that later.
It will show manufacturer, IP address , system name and model, nice if you have that in an overview.

Memory details are very important so that’s a good screen to see over all computers. That’s a not to miss detail before you start a new design. These metrics will be taken to the assessment dashboard I assume.

Another one is operating system, of course that is so valuable to know. I of course should be one that you should know already and not find an XP computer all of a sudden…

Last screen in this dashboard is the CPU details which are also important.

What I’m missing in the screens and options is the screen resolution, I think that is the most important metric to be seeing in an assessment. All my customers have a few people working with poor eyesight.  I want to know about them before I give them a 1920 screen resolution giving them a headache or making it impossible for them to work.
I checked the options but there is no selection for this possible… hope it’s added soon.

System Demand

Last dashboard is the system demand dashboard, this dashboard will show if the systems are healthy for going to a RDSH or VDI environment. I didn’t get data there yet, perhaps that is because my machine was a virtual machine already. Perhaps I have to install it on a physical machine for a few days… first task, find a physical Windows machine here 🙂
The options you have in this dashboard are the following.

Conclusion

I’m happy that VMware has an online assessment tool to see which computers are fit to go to VDI or RDSH. Side effect of the assessment is that you get a nice overview of your computers in the organization. 
I think you can’t compare this with the assessment you can do with Stratusphere from Liquidware labs or a on-premises installation of Systrack or eG Innovations, which show much more details and gives you more useful information. I don’t think this online tool will prepare you for a good implementation of a VDI environment for it forgets the video settings and screen resolution. 
I have to try the tool in a live environment soon to see what the assessment dashboard brings, once I’ve seen that there will be a part 3.

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