Application virtualization, IoT and Cloud Computing, Blog of Sacha Thomet

Monthly Archives: June 2019

Machine Catalog with overflow

The idea for the concept behind this blog post was born during a lunch break in summer 2018 when in Switzerland the temperature was pretty high and my colleague Stefan Moser and I had the idea to go swimming in the Aare river instead have a proper lunch. This is a good example of how leaving the Office can facilitate creativity! During our walk upstream, Stefan explained to me that he thinks we need to give vGPU also to normal Office Worker users as long we have enough capacity.

Beginning of 2018 we equipped our virtual desktop infrastructure with Nvidia Tesla M10 GPUs after we’ve done some tests and figured out that only in this way we can get the same high user experience like with a powerful physical laptop computer. We purchased 4 new VMware Hosts with each 2 Tesla M10 GPUs, this is good enough to equip 256 VDIs with an M10-B Profile, which is recommended with Windows 10 and 2 screens.

This means our challenge was having 250 pooled non-persistent VDIs with only 100 vGPUs, that’s the amount of vGPUs we don’t need for the dedicated VDIs with special GPU needs. The idea was also to use vGPU-VDIs as long we have and then switch to the cheap GPU-less desktop.

The implementation of this solution is pretty simple if you know the Power of Tags in a Citrix Virtual Desktop environment.

Recipe:

Create 2 Machine Catalogs, one with VDIs with and one without vGPUs.

 

Then create one Delivery Group and restrict the desktops to the Tag “availibleForUsers”.

 

Further, build a simple PoSh script with 3 functions:
– check the number of free VDI’s in the GPU-Catalog

– set tag “availibleForUsers”

– remove “availibleForUsers” tag as soon
enough free VDIs are in GPU pool

The script is running as a scheduled Task e.g. every 5 minutes and opens and close the overflow pool.

Of course, depending on the Logon storm you need to consider how often the script is running and how many spare desktops you keep before you close the pool (VDI Offset, $FreeMachineThreshold in the Script).

Other use cases:
This script is not only useable to overflow a GPU/Non-GPU workload, but it can also be used in the various scenarios.

Just some examples:
– different hardware types, first the new cool servers than the old hardware.
– existing On-Prem resources before pay-per-use cloud resources
– Catalog in the same location before in a remote location (without any Citrix zones)

The script is available on GitHub:

https://github.com/sacha81/MachineCatalogOverflow

FAQ:

Q: Are Tags also working when you are using Citrix Cloud?
A: Yes They are. (Thanks @bjoernmue for this info)

How to use ApplePay without an expensive Credit card even in Switzerland and other countries

Those who follow me on Twitter and Facebook have already seen that I promoted the Revolut card multiple times. This was just as a happy customer! When I’m really convinced of a product I love to spread the word and want that others also can use the new cool stuff! I was a Revolut User since the beginning of 2018 and until today I spend over 8000 CHF over Revolut in 8 countries.

Yesterday 2 very important things happened

#1 Revolut introduced ApplePay for every customer (Standart, Premium & Metal).

#2 Revolut added me to the Pioneer Programm.

#1 Means you can now open a Revolut account in seconds and you are ready after some minutes to use ApplePay!

#2 Means not only that I receive from Revolut nice influencer perks, but it also means when YOU open a Revolut account with my link, but you should also receive your first physical card free of charge. Now you ask yourself why a physical card when you have ApplePay …Ok, first, a backup is always good, e.g. what if your iPhone battery is discharged. Also, you need the card if you want to pull money from an ATM. Revolut does not charge you until up to 200.- month on Standard for cash withdrawals at ATMs!

Ok, wait… was is Revolut precisely?

Revolut is an e-money service, which means app plus physical or virtual card. With Revolut, you can spend at home or abroad at the real interbank exchange rate (without unfair bank fees), set spending budgets, split bills, exchange currencies and withdraw from foreign ATMs for free (up to £200 month on Standard). With Revolut you can freeze/unfreeze your cards at the tap of a button. And with Premium and Metal account, where you pay a monthly fee, the possibilities are even more. But start with the Standard, you can do every time later an upgrade if you need.

Insider Tipps?
  • If you have to choose the currency during payment or at an ATM, ALWAYS choose the currency of the country you are currently in, so you avoid bad conversion rates outside of the force of Revolut.
  • You are on a weekend trip and use your Revolut card during the weekend in a foreign currency? Exchange the money you need on the weekend already on Friday and avoid “weekend-fees” from Revolut.
  • There are ATMs which have fees for the transaction by the ATM carrier, you will see this before of the transaction, keep an eye on it, I see fees between 0.- and 5.-! This is outside the force of Revolut.
  • If you are in a Hotel or a Car rental and you want to use the Revolut card, consider that they may block a larger amount of your money!
  • Don’t top up the Revolut card with a classic Credit card, there are Banks (e.g. Corner in Switzerland) who charge 5.- CHF fee to charge Revolut.
How to start?
  1. Click the link
  2. Enter your phone number (a text will be sent upon completion)
  3. To Download the app
  4. Create a new account in minutes
  5. Verify your account and top-up at least €10 or local currency equivalent
  6. Order your physical standard card for free
  7. You can create virtual cards and use those asap!

This Service is not yet available in all countries, but if you are not able to use the service you will see this already in Step 2. As I know there are some readers of my blog in the United States of America I have bad news … Currently, it’s not yet possible to open a Revolut account living in the US. As soon this will be available I will update this blog post.

And how can I use now ApplePay?

iPhone X with Revolut AppYou need a device that supports ApplePay e.g. an iPhone 6 or higher or an AppleWatch. Also, it’s mandatory that ApplePay is enabled in your resident Country.

ApplePay can be added directly in the Revolut App or in a classic way in the Apple Wallet app.

By the way, to use Revolut (even without ApplePay) you need a smartphone on which you can install the Revolut App!


Disclaimer: Some months ago I was pretty sure to never write a blog post about money or a Fin Tech company. Because this is about YOUR money YOU have to make your own decisions and be careful. What I suggest is to start with a free Standart account and just start with some pocket money. Revolut does not replace your today main account!

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