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General Chat Thread, A question for those who have virtualised... in General; Hello folks, Apologies if this should be in the Technical/Virtualisation thread, but I'm also after some non-technical answers, if possible. ...
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    A question for those who have virtualised...

    Hello folks,

    Apologies if this should be in the Technical/Virtualisation thread, but I'm also after some non-technical answers, if possible. I'm a head of ICT (ex Network Manager many moons ago - went over to the dark side...) and I'd like to know if anybody has any direct experience on the usability of virtualised clients for the teaching of discrete ICT- i.e. is virtualisation more suited to just basic PC use, e.g. Web browsing, MS office, or can it cope with the full range of software that an ICT department might throw at it, e.g. CS5.5, dev software etc? Does it also give access to the full range of ports on the PC?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I've always preferred the standard 3 yearly upgrade programme for hardware, but this is no longer cost effective at my school and we're seriously considering virtualising.

    Many thanks,
    Richard

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    I'm looking towards virtualising a suite of 30 machines using the spice protocol.
    I've only got as far as preliminary testing, and the only applications that found that wouldn't work are those that need dedicated directx graphics cards, games mostly. There may be a work around for this that I'm unaware of. Notwithstanding the directx issue the graphics capabilities of spice are quite impressive - I can stream full screen video and sound with no issue at all. It would have no problem running most apps, including 3d ones (that don't use directx). Spice uses the graphics card on the thin client to render graphics, which gives it a leading edge over other technology.

    Virtual desktops would make great dev machines. You could give students full admin rights, probably with no antivirus. At the end of the session the virtual machine is destroyed and a new image created for students. It takes a fraction of a second to create a new desktop and uses virtually no disk space (the original install is needed, and you'd probably want to reserve about 512Mb per windows7 installation). The client machine is a diskless desktop which boots from the network.

    Like I said, I've only been testing with free versions of software - and I'm quite convinced of the KVM/Spice setup for desktops. For more info for commercial support have a look here:

    Red Hat | Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops

  3. Thanks to CyberNerd from:

    Potts (18th March 2012)

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    Thank you for such a quick response CyberNerd! I guess the directx issue would need further testing with our software, particularly video editing, maybe Scratch and Flash too. I love the idea that we could essentially set-up our A level students with their own sandbox, that would be amazing.

    Many thanks,
    Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I'm looking towards virtualising a suite of 30 machines using the spice protocol.
    I've only got as far as preliminary testing, and the only applications that found that wouldn't work are those that need dedicated directx graphics cards, games mostly. There may be a work around for this that I'm unaware of. Notwithstanding the directx issue the graphics capabilities of spice are quite impressive - I can stream full screen video and sound with no issue at all. It would have no problem running most apps, including 3d ones (that don't use directx). Spice uses the graphics card on the thin client to render graphics, which gives it a leading edge over other technology.

    Virtual desktops would make great dev machines. You could give students full admin rights, probably with no antivirus. At the end of the session the virtual machine is destroyed and a new image created for students. It takes a fraction of a second to create a new desktop and uses virtually no disk space (the original install is needed, and you'd probably want to reserve about 512Mb per windows7 installation). The client machine is a diskless desktop which boots from the network.

    Like I said, I've only been testing with free versions of software - and I'm quite convinced of the KVM/Spice setup for desktops. For more info for commercial support have a look here:

    Red Hat | Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops

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    Quote Originally Posted by Potts View Post
    Thank you for such a quick response CyberNerd! I guess the directx issue would need further testing with our software, particularly video editing, maybe Scratch and Flash too. I love the idea that we could essentially set-up our A level students with their own sandbox, that would be amazing.

    Many thanks,
    Richard
    You can get away with Scratch/Flash over RDP. We have all the kids using Scratch remotely on a terminal Server via standard RDP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I'm looking towards virtualising a suite of 30 machines using the spice protocol.
    I've only got as far as preliminary testing, and the only applications that found that wouldn't work are those that need dedicated directx graphics cards, games mostly. There may be a work around for this that I'm unaware of. Notwithstanding the directx issue the graphics capabilities of spice are quite impressive - I can stream full screen video and sound with no issue at all. It would have no problem running most apps, including 3d ones (that don't use directx). Spice uses the graphics card on the thin client to render graphics, which gives it a leading edge over other technology.

    Virtual desktops would make great dev machines. You could give students full admin rights, probably with no antivirus. At the end of the session the virtual machine is destroyed and a new image created for students. It takes a fraction of a second to create a new desktop and uses virtually no disk space (the original install is needed, and you'd probably want to reserve about 512Mb per windows7 installation). The client machine is a diskless desktop which boots from the network.

    Like I said, I've only been testing with free versions of software - and I'm quite convinced of the KVM/Spice setup for desktops. For more info for commercial support have a look here:

    Red Hat | Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops
    Spice looks intetesting care to share more details on your setup?

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Spice looks intetesting care to share more details on your setup?

    Ben

    It's only home testing at the moment!. Basically KVM on Centos with spice enabled, PXE boot ubuntu machine using NFS. I don't actually have any spare server hardware at school until next month. Essentially it's just a basic KVM setup with spice enabled, using qemu-img to create images from a master.
    I'm visiting a company called QURU next month, they do commercial desktop VDI projects using RHEV - which has much better management tools. Although I can get several clients running on my home equipment, I've not managed to get automated client creation ( I can do it manually quite easily, so it will be possible with some more time).

    Quote Originally Posted by Potts View Post
    I guess the directx issue would need further testing with our software, particularly video editing, maybe Scratch and Flash too. I love the idea that we could essentially set-up our A level students with their own sandbox, that would be amazing.
    Video editing,flash and scratch would be fine. The 2D graphics acceleration is great. It's only really things like commercial games that are an issue. I really wanted to be able to run skyrim over spice on my laptop... There is 3D graphics acceleration in the spice pipeline though.



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