The search for a new demo and testing environment was a challenge.

I checked a lot of available cloud-hosted solutions and hardware providers. Most of the time a lack of control in the cloud or the price were factors that doesn´t suited me much. Also mobility-aspects very driving my thoughts

Then Apple announced the Mac Pro at the end of last year. The decision was made!

We at RISC bought a brand new Apple MacPro with 12 Cores, 64 GB of RAM and a small 128 GB SSD inside the Mac for the OS.
Because demoing, snapshotting, reverting and doing it all again needs disk space we bought a Pegasus J4 with 4 Samsung 840 1 TB SSDs.
These HDs were configured to run in RAID 10. So we have 2 GB of space for nearly every “dark” demo environment we could think of ;-).

Now lets dive a little bit deeper into it. Pictures say more then 100 words could ever do…

51 VMs running simulatenously…


The Mac runs Mac OS X Maverics 10.9.4 and VMware Fusion Professional 6.0.4 to host the environment.

I created some templates for Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 to create quickly machines when I need them.

In the future SCCM 2012 R2 will deploy all operating systems and applications fully automated to the VMs.

What is running?

  • SCCM 2012 R2
  • SCVMM 2012 R2
  • SC Orchestrator
  • App-V 5.0
  • XenDesktop 7.1
  • XenDesktop 7.5
  • XenApp 7.5
  • AppSense DesktopNow 8.4
  • SQL 2012 R2

Some file servers, license servers, VMware vSphere 5.5 Hosts and management stuff. Some clustered NetScalers and AppSense DataNow Appliances.

Are you impressed???

Demos at customer side

What do we do with that piece of pure power at our fingertips? We simply put the Mac with the Pegasus RAID and a WiFi Router into a Rimowa Pilot Trolley and transport it wherever our customers want to.
We even take it with us by plain because the case has IATA conform dimensions.

Pray to god they never put it on a electronic balance…the flight would be a short one…lol.