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Running virtual desktops

Running virtual desktops

Running virtual desktops

(OP)
Hi All,
      We are in the process of buying replacement desktops and are considering using vmware to provide a virtual desktop for the students to use. I use Workstation on my PC but i'm running the machine first then starting the vm through workstation.
But to run a  say Xp VM do i need to have a host os on the pc already or can we have the machines with no or just a basic install of an os, just enough to boot the machine up, load network drivers etc then load the vm from either a usb device or from a network location. Is that possiable or is there another solution? Basically we don't want the students to see anything or be able to do anything on the machine that is not in the VM.
Thanks in advance, sorry if that's a silly question.smile
  

Regards
Max
Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience

RE: Running virtual desktops

I have been looking into this for about the last two months or so, while at VMWorld in Vegas that was my sole objective, to learn about virtualizing all of our desktops.

Here is what I've found. VMWare's VDI is good but is fairly young so it isn't perfect. I looked at a solution called Virtual Access Suite that runs on top of ESX from a company called Quest. There are a few video demos on their website. They are a sister company of Vizioncore (who makes some rockin software for VMWare) and they are a one stop shop for virtual desktops. They snap into any existing PC (PXE boot or boot from a USB key) or almost any thin client.

It has some very very nice features. Too many cool ones to list but you can check out their website for some specifics.

As far as thin clients go, for our need (specifically dual monitors) we only found two that were worthy. Wyse technology and ChipPC. The ChipPC was awesome, fits into the same slot as a light switch wall plate. ChipPC hasnt been around as long as Wyse. That being said Wyse has been around quite a while and is proven technology. Also, cheaper than ChipPC in the long (support and updates) I think I priced out Wyse thin clients at about $350 to $400 with 3 years of support.

The biggest thing as far as cost is getting all the hardware like a SAN and the ESX license (unless you have all that) plus the Quest software I don't remember what it cost but it was fairly cheap (considering a PC is $1500 +/- and is usually only good for 3 or 4 years when the warranty dies) Wyse says their thin client will last 10 years.

For us, it isn't in our 2009 budget, like most smaller companies ours is running a bit thin however we have to replace almost 15 PC's in 2010 (our company is only about 35 employees) so we'll probably plan for it then.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Rob

The answer is always "PEBKAC!"

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