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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Looking at virtualising.. in Technical; Hey! I'm looking for a little information on virtualisation. I work for a WBL provider that has upto 500 students ...
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    Looking at virtualising..

    Hey!

    I'm looking for a little information on virtualisation.

    I work for a WBL provider that has upto 500 students on record at any one time.

    The applications we primarily use are IE, MS Office, AutoCad 2008.

    We run MS Exchange 2010 and have a dedicated SQL server.

    Can someone tell me what is needed to go to a virtual environment and the best way to go about it?

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    before you make any judgments, check out this webinar.

    ITopia Group - Events

    You will find it beneficial, i know i did. And it will tell you about all the technologies too.

    Any information you need, PM me and i can get you the information.

    Cheers!

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    speckytecky (12th October 2010)

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Your best bet is to speak to a contractor who specialises in this, Andy at WTL (apaton on EduGeek) is very good. However, if you provide a full list of your servers someone can give you a rough idea.

    At the most basic level, you need a server with enough fast HDD space, RAM, Network speed and CPU power to run all your servers. You install a Hyper-Visor (VMware, Hyper-V, Xen) on this box and partition the rest of the HDD space for hosting virtual machines. This is not the recommended route though as it puts all your eggs in one basket.

    To virtualise 10-20 servers in a 'nice' way you'd need something like:

    • 3x Hosts of the following spec:

    2x 2.6GHz Xeon
    48GB RAM
    SD card storage (no internal disk)
    4x - 8x 1Gb NICs

    • Physical server for your PDC
    • SAN/NAS with NFS or iSCSI access, fast disks and fast NICs.
    • 3x VMware ESXi licences and a vCenter Licence (if going the VMware route)
    • Veeam (or similar) licences for backing up the VMs.
    • Dedicated storage network


    This is one of a million ways to set it up, and the spec varies hugely depending on your uptime and IO requirements.

    Chris

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    the best bet is to find a contractor to do the whole lot for you, there are loads of companies out there that will do this sort of thing. It's not something you'll pick up and get right first time without a lot of work.

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    How many servers are you running at the moment?
    Also you want to look at what you are accualy going to get out of going Virtual - if you only have a few servers the cost savings might not be enough.

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    Are we talking about virtualising your servers here, or virtualising your applications?

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    Sounds to me like Application Virtualisation.

    App virtualisation + Autocad + 500 users = mega money.

    Butuz

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    If your looking at virtualising your servers then Your looking at VMware or MS Hyper V. I would lean towards the later as they give much bigger educational discounts.

    If your looking at virtualising an application then you would be looking more toward citrix xenapp or vworkspace, again all depends on exactly what you are looking to do

    Shaun Dibble
    VMware VSP & Microsoft MCP for Licensing

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIST View Post
    If your looking at virtualising your servers then Your looking at VMware or MS Hyper V. I would lean towards the later as they give much bigger educational discounts.

    If your looking at virtualising an application then you would be looking more toward citrix xenapp or vworkspace, again all depends on exactly what you are looking to do

    Shaun Dibble
    VMware VSP & Microsoft MCP for Licensing
    or appv, again with decent educational discount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIST View Post
    I would lean towards the later as they give much bigger educational discounts.
    But a solution isn't chosen based on cost alone. It has to have other advantages.

    For instance, I install some free software over a paid alternative. School thinks it is getting a bargain, but free solution is full of bugs and niggles and I spend a lot of my time managing it. Starts out pretty cheap, but by the time you take into account all the time I've spent managing it, it can become pretty expensive.

    I'm not trying to say Hyper V isn't the way forward, just that it must have advantages over using Xen or VMWare etc

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    Hightower I completely agree

    and if you've ever watched police academy that sentence makes sense

    Shaun Dibble
    Last edited by BIST; 14th October 2010 at 09:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BIST View Post
    If your looking at virtualising your servers then Your looking at VMware or MS Hyper V.
    For server virtualisation, Ubuntu's installer lets you install a private cloud compatible with Amazon's system (and other systems that support the same API). It installs both controller and node machines and comes with the Eucalyptus VM management console. That's free, and seems pretty comprehensive - what features do VMWare or Hyper-V support that are worth paying for?

    If your looking at virtualising an application then you would be looking more toward citrix xenapp or vworkspace
    What is it that a desktop-specific virtualisation system needs to feature that a server-specific one doesn't? I guess as you're running a bunch of near-identical VMs then some sort of RAM sharing / over-commit mechanism would allow you to fit more desktops on to a single server?

    Desktop virtualisation seems to basically be thin client terminals connecting to a specific VM image, so I guess the same issues as with something like Terminal Services applies - how do you get your RDP-connected session to perform like a locally-installed desktop? Do some VM-system-specific drivers need to be installed on each desktop VM to allow for faster graphics / sound?

    --
    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    What is it that a desktop-specific virtualisation system needs to feature that a server-specific one doesn't? I guess as you're running a bunch of near-identical VMs then some sort of RAM sharing / over-commit mechanism would allow you to fit more desktops on to a single server?

    Desktop virtualisation seems to basically be thin client terminals connecting to a specific VM image, so I guess the same issues as with something like Terminal Services applies - how do you get your RDP-connected session to perform like a locally-installed desktop? Do some VM-system-specific drivers need to be installed on each desktop VM to allow for faster graphics / sound?

    --
    David Hicks
    XenApp is all about application virtualisation rather than VDI/desktop virtualisation. Desktop virtualisation needs however are all based around giving the same type of experience as a physical computer. So you're looking at USB and audio redirection, full screen HD video, no lag etc. Systems like XenDesktop and View provide various protocols and other bits of "magic" to get things to work quite well

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    dhicks (14th October 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soulfish View Post
    XenApp is all about application virtualisation rather than VDI/desktop virtualisation.
    Ae there any difference as to what needs to be installed and run server-side - shurely an application is going to expect to find itself running in an OS? Does XenApp simply share one OS'-worth of RAM between several running applications, then?

    So you're looking at USB and audio redirection
    I understood this was a function of Windows / RDP itself rather than anything to do with whatever virtual machine your desktop is running on?

    full screen HD video
    Which, I assume, needs some kind of driver installed so that the VM can access the graphics hardware directly. Are such drivers available for free VMs (Xen, KVM, whatever) or are they only available for paid-for systems?

    Systems like XenDesktop and View provide various protocols and other bits of "magic" to get things to work quite well
    Can you be more specific?

    --
    David Hicks

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    Hi SCDigital,

    I used to work for Digital Networks UK based just outside Manchester (hence the username).
    I've been out of the industry for almost a year so not sure how well they've kept up with the leading edge but speak to Clodhopper on here about the virtualization and SAN solutions he has been running since November last year.

    His was one of the first full implementations of DNUK's solution suite (Openvirt+Openvault) and I believe he was very happy with it.

    DNUK are just down the road from you in Hyde, Grtr Manchester. Please do not mention me btw, if you decide to call them, you will be told to go away (I know it happens!), best to be referred by Clodhopper or else just "find" them on the internets...



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