• 3 replies
  • Latest Post - ‏2013-07-17T16:52:52Z by mxc0bbn
15 Posts

Pinned topic TPMfOSD-Server on VMware vsphere 5 - no good?

‏2013-05-10T07:36:32Z |



after some years of struggle and experience with TPMfOSD there are still questions rising; we are on TPMfOSD v., running on windows server 2008R2 on a vsphere 5-host. Our team is deploying classroom pools, around 25 win7 machines each turn (classic kernel, not kernel-free mode), using Gbit-Ethernet on CISCO switches. From time to time deployments stall, GUI hangs, service "rembo.exe" eating 50% of CPU - we do re-starting all services as last resort which clears the situation until next time ...

Our main question:

1. Is it a good idea to run TPMfOSD-Server virtualized, or should we prefer a real machine?

There are more questions, e.g. about multicast settings on Cisco switches or using kernelfree, but first we would like to get your opinions and experiences about this topic.

Looking forward to helpful comments, regards




  • mxc0bbn
    3 Posts

    Re: TPMfOSD-Server on VMware vsphere 5 - no good?


    Hi ADV,


    To answer your question:  Yes, you can run a TPMfOSD server on a virtualized host, but you need to size it appropriately for your environment.  Typically a TPMfOSD server doesn't run more than a few deployments simultaneously (unicast).  If you expect to use that deployment server for many simultaneous deployments you can always setup multi-cast to take some of the load off.  You can also setup multiple OSD servers and configure a timed offset to answer PXE clients or even limit the number of PXE requests being served at one time before it gets routed to the next boot server.  This way you will not cause bottlenecks and still be able to have several going at once.

    I've setup systems on both virtualized and physical machines.  I prefer virtualized environments because the ROI is higher and you can dynamically re-size servers as you scale up in size.



  • martinc
    3 Posts

    Re: TPMfOSD-Server on VMware vsphere 5 - no good?


    As Mike stated, yes you can run OSD in the virtual environment. I have done this at sites and my own lab and it does work. The problem comes down to the load that you are asking. If you are doing 25 concurrent deployments, then you are probably loading down the server. What I do not know is what is the virtual guest server set up like and what is the physical system. 

    As an example, we had a basic workstation class system as an OSD "server" (carry over from a sort of POC). We were able to deploy up to 5 systems at a time with this "server" without any issues. If we went over that 5 and tried to do, say 10, the system would lock up or would eventually deploy. What I mean by eventually is that a normal deploy would take about 25 min and the overload would take 2.5 hours (if it would complete). We then moved to a more powerful system with RAID 10 (I think it was 10, way faster disk anyway) with more CPU and RAM and also to Windows 2008 R2. We were able to deploy 20 systems at the same time to the same environment and did not see any real impact to performance. I am not sure on what the max we could do, but to my knowledge, we never saw this issue after upgrading the environment.

    So in short, it could be that you are just maxing out the OSD process due to limitations on the server you are on (the guest).

    Now if you can use the multicast, then you can take this number much higher, but then you are talking network limitations after that. You make be better off using multiple OSD servers (as Mike suggested)

    I have always been torn on the virtual vs physical. Virtual is great because you can spin them up quickly, do snapshots and resize quickly. The only real downfall is that if you are sharing the physical box with others, you may never know if it is truly your guest that is the issue. Also, with the virtual, you are typically using a shared storage (NAS/SAN) so is the problem there (lack of I/O, overloaded)? Physical means that you know what is going on as you are the only one there. The big issue is cost (hardware, backups, etc).

    Hope that helps

    Martin Carnegie
    Gulf Breeze Software Partners


  • mxc0bbn
    3 Posts

    Re: TPMfOSD-Server on VMware vsphere 5 - no good?


    After thinking about your specific situation some more I thought about another way you can go.

    Since the re-images you are doing are in a classroom environment (I'm thinking a lab) you might also think about doing a re-deployment preload partition on each of the machines.  In this way, at the end of the day or week when the students finish the class you can re-image the machines to their pristine states without having to re-send the images down the wire to all of them.  Since the images are already stored in the pre-load partition all the OSD server does is send the instructions to execute the re-image down to the machines. 

    I'll admit that I haven't done this before on 25 simultaneous machines; however, distributing the workload in this way should give you a much faster re-image on all the machines without clogging up the network or installing multiple OSD servers in that segment.



    Mike Consuegra
    Gulfbreeze Software Partners