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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Re thinking the computer "Lab" Idea in Technical; Hey, Just got a bit of an idea running around in my head and I was wondering if anyone else ...
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    Re thinking the computer "Lab" Idea

    Hey,

    Just got a bit of an idea running around in my head and I was wondering if anyone else has tried anything like this. In school we do an applied ICT A level and part of this the students must install an OS in the 1st year and a server OS + network stuff (AD a couple of clients and a couple of shared peripherals) in the 2nd year. At the minute they use our old knackered hardware cast offs which isn't ideal as they aren't in the best nik to start with and we often have hardware failure driver and compatibility issues (as the same hardware is often used for break and build stuff). Anyway it occurs to me a better way would be to virtualise everything, set up a Xen/ESXI/HyperV server and use the existing (knackered) hardware they have to remote into it. Then its just a case of having the students create new virtual machines to install and configure then for the networking stuff run each server out on individual own subnets and VLANs to stop any conflicts (I think this can be done with virtual VLAN bridges). There are a few issues I need to think through before I even think about suggesting this to anyone like how to install the guest OS's (as the students have to do this and will want to at the same time which I'm assuming will be a massive pain) but I would like to hear if anyone else is running something similar.

    Cheers

    J

    P.S. I've not got a huge amount of virtualisation experiences so please feel free to make suggestions/comments.

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    I've discussed this with our ICT teachers. I'm recommending virtual box on the workstation PC's rather than a dedicated ESX or XEN server. You would need a fairly beefy server to accommodate all the students whereas a 4GB dual core workstation should be able to cope with a number of small memory footprint linux or windows client/server guests and they can keep the VM's on their network area. The big problem might be licensing if the course demands Microsoft OS's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I've discussed this with our ICT teachers. I'm recommending virtual box on the workstation PC's rather than a dedicated ESX or XEN server. You would need a fairly beefy server to accommodate all the students whereas a 4GB dual core workstation should be able to cope with a number of small memory footprint linux or windows client/server guests and they can keep the VM's on their network area. The big problem might be licensing if the course demands Microsoft OS's.
    Yep, I would say VB is the better solution for what you want to do.

    Rob



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