You are viewing posts by Rob Zylowski

Rob is old, really old! He went to the University of Rochester undergrad and got a BS degree in Geology, then an MBA from the same school. He started out in IT in the 80’s and early 90’s doing lots of stuff. He then became an IT infrastructure consultant for 15 years mostly for fortune 500 clients doing AD migrations, standard desktop deployments, server and desktop virtualization, networking messaging, storage, DR etc. Rob now lives in central NJ with his wife and two children, one in college and one soon to be (feel free to recommend a raise to Unidesk management). For Unidesk he spends time on helping customers with strategy and developing scripted solutions to common customer problems.

Shrink Those Bloated OS Layers - Utility to Compress a Unidesk Layer

Posted by Rob Zylowski on Oct 21, 2016

As most Unidesk customers know when we create layers we capture changes to the file system at a block level. This means that deleted files for the most part take up the same room as regular files. Normally this is not that big a deal as the percentage of deleted files to the overall number of files is normally pretty small.

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Microsoft RDSH Session Management at Scale

Posted by Rob Zylowski on Oct 13, 2015

We have been working with Microsoft VDI - including session hosts (RDSH), full virtual desktops, and Azure - for about a year now in the field. As with anything, it has taken a while to understand the strengths and limitations of the technologies. We've found that the underlying RDS broker technology scales very well. A load balanced pair of Remote Desktop Connection Broker Servers can scale to many thousands of desktops or session hosts and provide quick connection times for users. However, the management tools built into Windows Server do not scale as well, topping out at about 400-500 virtual machines.

In the past, IT administrators would need to utilize PowerShell as they approached the 500 VM mark. With Unidesk's extensions to RDS, patching and updating RDS collections is now automated and simple. But there are still some great things you can do with PowerShell to extend RDS with additional capabilities. In this blog, I'll introduce my first utility to help with managing Windows sessions and virtual desktops at scale.

Microsoft VDI, Microsoft RDSH   |   Read this post >

PowerShell Remoting is “Powerful”

Posted by Rob Zylowski on Mar 23, 2015

If you have followed my work at Unidesk you know I am a big proponent of scripting to help manage large VDI infrastructures. Back in the day, this meant using vbscript, cmd script or even things like kix which provided very easy and powerful log-on scripting. However now Microsoft PowerShell scripting for Windows Desktops has taken on a new level of power. You can do almost anything in Windows via PowerShell. That said you can do a lot by including PowerShell scripts when a machine boots or when a user logs in. But sometimes you really need to be able to make changes directly over the network.

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Managing VDI Desktops in a Microsoft Hyper-V / RDS World

Posted by Rob Zylowski on Mar 2, 2015

With the recent introduction of Unidesk 3.0 for Hyper-V I have been spending a significant amount of time learning and scripting Hyper-V/RDS solutions.

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Tracking VMware View Pool Usage

Posted by Rob Zylowski on Dec 2, 2014

One thing that is certain about managing a large group of desktops is that you can’t have enough information about how your service is utilized. As VDI Admins we make many decisions based on what our users tell us. As an example, I have a customer with a very large VDI deployment of more than 4,000 desktops. This is a school district, and they are set up where every school has its own VMware View Pool. When they set up the environment they created the number of desktops in the pool to match what the school administrators told them would be the number of desktops required for the school.

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How to hide the floppy drive using a GPO

Posted by Rob Zylowski on Nov 19, 2014

By default, when VMware or Microsoft create a virtual machine it is created with a floppy drive. Many VDI administrators do not want their users to see the floppy drive considering floppy drives are not used in VDI and really not used anymore for physical computers either.

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How to make a user a local administrator of a desktop

Posted by Rob Zylowski on Apr 24, 2014

This topic comes up every so often, for some reason last week I was asked this by three separate customers so I thought I would do a blog about it.

How can I make the user of a desktop a local Administrator of that desktop? There are several ways to allow a group of users to be local administrators on all desktops. You can handle this through a startup script or a Group Policy Preference. So for example you add the Domain group "Domain Users" to the local Administrators group via a startup script or in Group Policy Preferences. I have blogged on this in the past and developed scripts to help out if you want to take this approach see www.virtualdesktopmanagement.net.

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Two Scripts to Cheaply Capture Important Information from Your Desktops

Posted by Rob Zylowski on Apr 23, 2012

There are lots of products out there that help to manage desktops. These products can provide really important information including performance data, hardware and software inventory, as well as alerting for low disk, or a runaway processes. 

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