A few months back VMware released the “VMware OS Optimization Tool” via a Fling from VMware Labs. This tool is to help simplify the creation of Windows 7 golden images optimized for VMware Horizon View. While VMware has published a great white paper titled “VMware Horizon View Optimization Guide for Windows 7 and Windows 8” that contains scripts one can use to make the recommended optimization changes mentioned in the paper sometimes having a nice, quick, and easy to use GUI fits the bill:
The setup and installation of the tool is very straight forward, download the VMOSOT_Installer.msi from the VMware Labs site and save/copy it to your Windows 7 virtual machine. Execute the MSI file and follow the Next, Next, Finish, setup routine. Once completed you will be presented with two icons on the desktop, one for launching the tool locally and the other for running the tool against a remote target. For this exercise I will be focusing on running the tool locally. Once the tool is launched you will want to start in the “Analyze” tab. From here you can click the “Analyze” icon located in the lower left hand of the screen. Screen shot below shows a “fresh” Windows 7 install that has not been “optimized” yet. As you can see, I have some work to do:
In the lower right hand corner click the “Optimize” button to apply the recommendations. This process should only take a minute or so to complete:
Once the changes have been applied click on the “Optimize” tab to view the changes that were made and there success/failure:
Pretty easy if you ask me. But wait, there is more. The VMOSOT works based on a “Template” format. If you click on the “Template” tab you can see under the “Template Name” section the tool comes with pre-configured templates. The first titled “Master Template” and the other “Windows7-8”. These templates are XML files that you can modify or create your own templates as needed. This provides use the ability to further customize your golden image with additional registry settings/changes, Windows services changes, and the execution of shell commands.
Last but no least is the “History” tab. This alone to me is great reason to utilize the tool over scripts as it provides the ability to “Rollback” any optimization changes that have been applied. As you will see in the screenshot below, I recently applied an “Optimization” task to my Windows 7 golden image:
If I wanted to “Rollback” those changes I would select the “Optimization” task and the “Rollback” icon in the bottom right hand side of the screen becomes available. Click button and my previous optimization changes are removed:
All in all a great tool that every VMware Horizon View administrator should be aware of and give a try. Also, if you aren’t familiar with the VMware Labs, head over there a give them a look. VMware engineers have developed several, great free tools that can make your life a bit easier managing and maintaining your VMware infrastructure.