VMware Horizon View Black Screen (Hardware Issues)

From the topic you must by now have come across a dozen blogs and a couple of VMware KB articles describing the case and explaining the connectivity implied by the PCoIP protocol and you have gone off the firewall administrator to introduce him to the 10inch thick encyclopedia that you keep for such situations ;-).

BUT sometimes network protocols aren’t the problem, one of the cases that I have encountered in one of my POCs is that I had to install the whole VMware Horizon View and its supporting components on a single standard IBM blade server.

I would connect to the VDI, it connects and everything but in the _shadows_ where I could not see anything, that’s from a PC or Thin Client on the other hand when I tried connecting via the iPad it worked just fine all was good, so the catch here is the screen resolution.

I did some more tests on a nested ESXi environment and I faced the same problem, once the resolution goes beyond 768pixels in height the screen blacks out automatically it didn’t seem to have any issues with width since on the PC you have the luxury of modifying the client’s width and height.

Since I am more into HP products because of where I work at, I got a test HP DL460 G6 blade (G7 has the same graphic card as well) which I could test on and the results were the same as well, I quickly reviewed the specs of the blade and they had built it Matrox graphic cards that would support high resolutions and yet even with every 3D acceleration configuration or manual VGA configuration the results end up the same.

Also I should note that I haven’t faced this issue on rack mounted servers, as I have done dozen of VDI POCs and most of them were on rack mounted servers, so the final test was powering on my trusty HP DL380 G8 server where I have moved only the VDI virtual machines to it, enabled 3D acceleration and all mighty high resolution screen was back without any problems at all, while re-reviewing the specs the blade graphic card were “Matrox 200” where as on the G8 rack mounted servers it said “Matrox 200 Standard” also on the G7 rack mounted servers it said “ATI ES1000 standard“.

I truly do not know reason behind it, but a lesson learned is that a VDI environment is not much friendly with standard blades as I thought it would be, on the other hand it might be more happy with a blade that has a more powerful built-in VGA.

I still need to test this on an HL BL460 G8 blade so that I rest that I have done all the needed tests, once I do that I will update this post.

I hope this will be beneficial for someone.



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