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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Is there anything that does this.... in Technical; This will be a fairly brief explanation of what im after but any information would be useful.. I want a ...
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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Is there anything that does this....

    This will be a fairly brief explanation of what im after but any information would be useful..

    I want a virtualisation setup where i can have a server hosting an image which can be edited and added to with ease i then want client PCs to be able to connect to this via network boot and download the image and run it as if it was a standard windows install on there machine (preferably the image would be downloaded to the hard drive on there local machine rather than ran from the remote location)

    Is there anything that can do this? obviously the huge downside is the size of the image and amount of PCs that would be connecting to it, but i already have an idea on that front!

    Obviously the next problem is that each PC once the image was downloaded would end up having the same SIDs and would need some way of adding themselves to the domain (this is where im hoping there is some decent software available somewhere that can do these things automatically)

    Am i living in a dream world or is this possible?

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    ajbritton's Avatar
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    Hmmm

    You've described a technical solution to something, but what is the actual problem you are trying to solve?

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    plexer's Avatar
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    I guess you're leaning towards desktop virtualisation.

    Ben

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    It sounds very much like VMware view.

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Theres some desktop hypervisor stuff coming out soon that'll run local VMs on the desktop just like they are properly installed on the local HD.... but you need VT on all your machines. This can be centrally managed and VMs can be deployed easy.... very early days tho.


    Without running it locally, as KC said, that more like VMware View: centrally managed image with dynamic provisioning of desktops depending on user load.

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    It sounds very much like VMware view.
    I'm just about to start evaluating that, if it does what i want it to then that would be perfect!

    Anybody with experience of vmware view here that can give me some opinions on it?

    ajbritton - No problem, just trying to make life easier for ourselves while at the same time improving speed and ease of use for the teachers and students over our current solutions

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    I'm just about to start evaluating that, if it does what i want it to then that would be perfect!
    I'd be interested in seeing it.

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    Anybody with experience of vmware view here that can give me some opinions on it?
    Foundation (dunno what its called with view 4) is about a grand for the 2cpu licence, use of ESX for 10 desktops.

    With that we also have a full copy of vCenter server with view composer installed (and 4 other esx hosts).

    We are only testing the virtual desktops for two purposes:

    1) ICT curricular fulfillment - students have to do stuff with CMD, change background and time etc.
    2) GOLA testing - specific desktop that autoboots the gola stuff and they can do nothing else.


    I've created a snapshot of each VM when shutdown and this can be used as a template for clone desktops.

    From here you create a pool, set a miniumum amount of desktops that are available, an amount to prepare and a maxiumum. I've set this as 1 available, 1 prepare and 10 max. Assign your users and finish the deployment.... with view composer it'll go off, clone your template and boot it ready for a user... as one user logs in, it'll prep another copy of the OS and boot it. You can set the 'ready' amount of desktops higher, depending on your need. You can also get it to delete the VM and recreate it when users log off.


    At the client end: IE with active X for RDP, or the view client for RDP or PCoIP. Thin clients and the linux open souce view client can also work.

    Still early days, but looking ok so far.

    sorry if its a bit of a mess, feel free to PM for questions or if that didnt make any sense.
    Last edited by Theblacksheep; 25th November 2009 at 01:07 PM.

  9. Thanks to Theblacksheep from:

    mrbios (25th November 2009)

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.C.Leblanc View Post
    I'd be interested in seeing it.
    Well if i get it up and running properly (given that i get enough time to!) and seeing as your located in stroud you could always come in and have a look if you like, see if it would be useful for yourself

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    @mrbios

    VMware View (and other virtual desktop solutions) are great solutions, but there is also a product that does exactly what you wanted in your original post. I'll state my interest here as I'm from Wyse and its our product.

    The product is called Wyse WSM. It streams the OS and applications on demand to either a zero client (thin client without any local storage) or a diskless PC.

    Unlike View, or server-based thin client solutions, the OS and applications run locally on the client. I've attached the product factsheet fyi,

    regards,
    David
    Attached Files Attached Files

  12. 3 Thanks to DavidAngwin:

    jinnantonnix (4th December 2009), mrbios (4th December 2009), tmcd35 (3rd December 2009)

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Thanks David some very interesting stuff there, a few questions though..

    Are there pricing benefits for the more you order? and what is the cost of the R00L box without the education discount? (as it states it's ending on the 31st december)

    Am i right in thinking that: You have a zero client for each student, then each classroom has a WSM server? and is this WSM server supplied or is that something we're required to setup ourselves by either A. buying something from you to run it on or B. using existing server hardware?
    Last edited by mrbios; 4th December 2009 at 07:39 AM.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    I've seen some rather funky demos of Citrix XenDesktop doing something similar to what you want. You basically create a base image for your client machines which only contains the OS. You then use XenApp to 'stream' your applications to the client desktops on demand.

    IIRC all the parts of the process can be cached so, for instance, only the applications that are required get downloaded to the machine.

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    @mrbios

    Re the pricing, more volume always adds more flexibility. As you say our current Educational pricing is dated to the end of December, but talk to us if you have a requirement. Price is very rarely the limiting factor.

    The architecture is designed to be very flexible. There is a main 'core' server which is where the master OS images and application packages are managed. In a distributed site, or across several schools you then have local 'edge' servers which are sync'd in the background to the core server, and provide the streaming service for the local clients. On a single LAN-based site everything can be run from one central server room.

    You have a zero client, or diskless PC for each student. You can re-use existing PCs as long as they can network boot. It's much easier to do this if they have similar hardware, otherwise you have to manage multiple drivers in the OS image - doable but more work. The technology works well for a teacher's class-front computer connected to an IWB too.

    The server software can sit on your server-class hardware (virtualised if needed); on our WSM Appliance; or on a converted PC. Server-class hardware will run hundreds or thousands of clients. Converted PCs or the WSM Appliance will run tens of clients.

    Wyse has partners in the UK with skills in WSM, as well as our own technical team. It's all Windows-based technology, so there's nothing particularly different to learn. We find some schools like to build their own skills for ongoing management, and others want a reseller/service provider to do it for them.

    Hope this explains it,
    regards,
    David

  16. Thanks to DavidAngwin from:

    mrbios (4th December 2009)

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    As @Ric says, Citrix have their Citrix Provisioning Server technology too. Wyse zero clients work fine with this too. Feature sets are different but both Citrix PS or Wyse WSM stream to the desktop client and run apps locally.

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Very interesting David, thank you, I think we're going to make a move for a 30 day evaluation soon as it sounds very promising

    Next question for you though, we have about 40 old HP T5510 thin clients, are we able to make any use of those in this system? we're not that bothered if we can't but worth asking i guess

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