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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, VMWare Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in Technical; ...
  1. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by st-johns View Post
    Dave

    We are interested in using VMView for a new ICT suite to reduce our TCO and wondered:

    a) If you did it yourself or used a supplier? If you used a supplier who were they and would you recommend them?

    b) Depending on where you are in the country (and if it is appropriate) visit you to see it in action etc?

    Andy
    St John's School, Epping, Essex

    Andy

    a) Did it myself, not difficult if you have some experience of virtualisation. Hardware from IBM & Wyse. If you're just doing one room with say 25 machines, I would host it on one ESX with local storage as this reduced complexity and cost (considerably). OK you don't get the resilience but you do get to see if it works and you can always scale out if and when. You could do a room of 25 with:-

    ESX
    1 x IBM x3650 dual processor 3GHz, 24Gb memory, redundant power, extra dual nic (2 on board already), 2 x 72Gb 15K SAS HD (raid 1) - for ESX 4 x 300Gb 15K SAS (raid 10) - for VMs. Should cost about £3800
    VMWare software
    1 x View starter pack (10VMs) enterprise
    2 x 10 pack enterprise
    Thin Clients
    25 x Wyse V10L - £380 each

    b) Come whenever you like. We have been fully virtualised server side for 2 years and Thin clients for just under 1 year. Unfortunately it may be a trek for you as we are in South Yorkshire. Postcode is S60 5EJ, Google and give us a call.

    Dave Orridge

  2. #17
    Axel's Avatar
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    Andy,

    We can loan you a handful of thin-clients if you want to run the evaluation yourself. The Axel M80f is faster, smaller, and costs less than half the device mentioned above - and we can assist you with the set up. There are several recent comments from schools using our products in the post below.....

    Axel AX3000 m70 for Lesson Monitor

    Mattthew Stones
    www.Axel.com 0845 225 2822

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_O View Post
    Andy

    a) Did it myself, not difficult if you have some experience of virtualisation. Hardware from IBM & Wyse. If you're just doing one room with say 25 machines, I would host it on one ESX with local storage as this reduced complexity and cost (considerably). OK you don't get the resilience but you do get to see if it works and you can always scale out if and when. You could do a room of 25 with:-

    ESX
    1 x IBM x3650 dual processor 3GHz, 24Gb memory, redundant power, extra dual nic (2 on board already), 2 x 72Gb 15K SAS HD (raid 1) - for ESX 4 x 300Gb 15K SAS (raid 10) - for VMs. Should cost about £3800
    VMWare software
    1 x View starter pack (10VMs) enterprise
    2 x 10 pack enterprise
    Thin Clients
    25 x Wyse V10L - £380 each

    b) Come whenever you like. We have been fully virtualised server side for 2 years and Thin clients for just under 1 year. Unfortunately it may be a trek for you as we are in South Yorkshire. Postcode is S60 5EJ, Google and give us a call.

    Dave Orridge
    Thanks Dave

    As you say South Yorkshire is a bit of a trek . . .

    The problem we have is time (the school won't pay for anyone to be full time which is when we could do it ourselves). The servers are already virtualised with ESx server which is why we are considering VM View for VDI. We have already spoken to one supplier and are talking to another today (who has reference sites running Quest vWorkspace on ESx rather than VM View). I'd certainly like to call you and will try my luck later this week to see if you are free for a 10min discussion or find out a convenient time as we would like to run some applications you had problems with e.g. Adobe SC4, Moviemaker and WMP 11 (not AutoCAD etc . . .) and wonder whether you have made any progress with graphics acceleration?

    Thanks

    Andy

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axel View Post
    Andy,

    We can loan you a handful of thin-clients if you want to run the evaluation yourself. The Axel M80f is faster, smaller, and costs less than half the device mentioned above - and we can assist you with the set up. There are several recent comments from schools using our products in the post below.....

    Axel AX3000 m70 for Lesson Monitor

    Mattthew Stones
    www.Axel.com 0845 225 2822
    I didn't realise that sponsorship of a thread meant that vendors actually contribute. Personally I find this both invasive and annoying.

  5. #20

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    Blimey..

    Andy...Rob....youre all on here!!

    M of M-Tech!

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    Hi Dave, we are completley new to the whole idea of virtualization and thin clients and read your post with great interest. Is the invitation open to other schools to come and visit you too?

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennylang74 View Post
    The ability to migrate live virtual desktops/servers from one physical host to another is something that interests us. The ability to backup and move virtual desktops/servers as flat files is also interesting, particularly from a DR point of view.
    I'd suggest you check out esXpress for a backup solution as it is easily deployable and uses the virtual infrastructure to back itself up.

    There's also a good entry level functionallity for backing up virtual machines with vSphere 4

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by dickiedickie2 View Post
    Hi Dave, we are completley new to the whole idea of virtualization and thin clients and read your post with great interest. Is the invitation open to other schools to come and visit you too?
    Sorry not been back here for a while.

    With reference to the invitation, it's open to anyone as long as you give me some notice. We have an open door policy and are happy to share knowledge and ideas with anyone. The notion of "knowledge is power" and lets make people pay for it ,is one which does not sit well within my own philosphical framework. So expect to have any information or knowledge you have sucked out (as we expect the same in reverse) if you come.

    As a child of the 50's all this new fangled GUI stuff is a bit too much, thank god for the move back to command line in windows 2008 . Powershell 2 is the new black. Personally I use Solaris 2 on an old unix box. Never gone wrong, never got a virus (never been on t'internet). I'm a man of simple taste. Rave on!

    Dave O

  9. #24

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    Update on VMWare View implementation

    After just under two years I have come to the conclusion that VMWare View is not a cost effective solution for the majority of schools. If you look at the present pricing on GreyMatter and lookup the price of View Premium you will see it costs in excess of £11,000 for 100 VMs thats without the SNS which work out at around £2000 pa. Along with the requirement to buy VECD licenses at approximately £2 per VM per month ie £2400 pa makes it a poor investment. If we had paid anything like this at the onset (we did not by the way) we calculated that we would have to keep the present setup for 8 year before it came anything like as cost effective as a PC. I have yet to find any IT solution that has lasted that long. As to the performance....

    Performance is OK. We don't get a great number of complaints, just one or two USB issues. Will we be expanding? No. PCoIP? not all its cracked up to be. All in all a bit disappointing. The hardware was still a good investment it is located in a different block to our server virtualisation solution and gives some level of failover/resilience in case of DR. The journey has been useful and my knowledge of the technology and what it delivers valuable. Has the school gained from this? Well at least when BSF comes along and the MSP says they want to use Thin Clients throughout the school. The answer will definitely be NO!! What it has taught me is that IT management needs overseeing, controlling and aligning with the needs of the school. There's nothing worse than a school lead by a misguided, ill informed IT manager/curriculum leader and I've certainly experienced several of those in my time.

    As to other thin solutions we use.

    We have used Citrix before but don't like it for cost and complexity reasons.

    What I do like is Ericom on top of Terminal services (Windows 2008). This is an excellent solution to deliver remote apps. We have 150 terminal services licenses (on a virtual terminal server instance) and the free Ericom offering. This combination is used to deliver remote apps to staff at home. It is simple to set up and very popular with staff. Published apps include Smartboard's Notebook and Open office and one or two others (which I shall not mention). Why bother doing this? Staff like the ability to open and work on docs directly in school from home. I would certainly recommend this to anyone wanting to extend access to apps outside the boundaries of school, just be careful though which apps you publish as your licensing may require a revisit.

    I hope this has helped you come to some conclusions of your own. As a parting shot I would just like to offer a warning, please be deeply suspicious of anyone who says Thin client technology is as good as a PC (or laptop for that matter - but that's another story), it's not. It should never be a whole establishment solution, certainly not as the technology stand now. As a solution to a problem with one or two rooms... yes maybe.

    Dave O

  10. Thanks to Dave_O from:

    pran (28th January 2011)

  11. #25

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    Dave,

    ....can you elaborate why you were underwhelmed by PCoIP. That is often billed as the solution to the one technical area that differentiates where thin clients v. PCs can be deployed, ie the ability to run multi-media, and so the main reason to consider VDI over terminal services or Citrix

    Did it just not work ? Did streaming MM put too much load on the servers/network to get PC like performance...?

    Thanks

  12. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_O View Post
    What I do like is Ericom on top of Terminal services (Windows 2008). This is an excellent solution to deliver remote apps.
    Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote App Services work without any problems, maybe look at just using that on it's own first before getting Ericom involved! I have just removed Ericom from a place of work and now just use Remote Desktop Services using RemoteApp and it's much better than the previous Ericom.

    James.

  13. #27

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    James

    We can certainly look into that but bear in mind that we use the free version of Ericom so using it, not using is is not a real issue to us. It just gives staff a name for remote apps and as I always say if it ain't broke...

    Dave O

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