OS streaming can deliver considerable manageability benefits to Intel IT training rooms with multi-user PCs. To evaluate performance and utilization in a production environment, we conducted proof of concept (PoC) testing in two rooms located in different buildings on an Intel campus. We found that OS streaming improved manageability and delivered fast client boot times with moderate server and network utilization, even during worst-case boot storms.
Streaming enables us to download software images on demand to client PCs in training rooms, rather than dispatching technicians to perform image refreshes that require the room to be taken out of service for four hours. Instead of individually managing multiple client systems, we can centrally manage one set of client images for each type of training, improving manageability and reducing cost.
For our PoC, we used a standard two-socket server based on Intel® Xeon® processor 5060 with two cores to stream the OS over the enterprise network to as many as 39 PCs in two training rooms located in different buildings. We monitored server and network performance and utilization during boot storms in which all clients booted simultaneously. We also monitored longer-term utilization during live classes.
Clients booted very quickly, even during worst-case boot storms. Including domain authentication, boot time averaged about 95 seconds with 19 clients and 160 seconds with 39 clients.
Good performance was provided when running the network at 1 GB between the server and the client switch, with a single 1-GB server network interface card (NIC). Bandwidth of 100 MB was adequate between the client switch and the PCs.
Server utilization remained moderate, even during boot storms when many clients boot simultaneously from the same server.
Our successful PoC demonstrated that we can deliver good streaming performance in a production environment without heavy investment in server or network infrastructure. OS streaming improved manageability of multi-user training room PCs and could enable us to use rooms more efficiently by installing client software in about two minutes rather than several hours per room. Next steps include return on investment (ROI) analysis to determine the business case for implementing streaming across our training rooms.
We found that OS streaming improved manageability and delivered fast client boot times with moderate server and network utilization, even during worst-
case boot storms.