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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Client virtualization in Technical; Is any one aware if there is a way of virtualizing client pc's so that the virtual pc running on ...
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    Client virtualization

    Is any one aware if there is a way of virtualizing client pc's so that the virtual pc running on the client harnesses the power of the local hardware, so that programs like Adobe Photoshop, and multimedia can be done on them?

    I hope that makes sense.


    I have looked at thin clients but they lack the power to do some stuff that we require, but i love the central managed idea of vm's, im looking for what seems like the holy grail.

    Fast hardware with a client vm that is deployed and controlled centrally.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    All virtualisation harnesses the power of the underlying hardware, well almost - I'm guessing you are on about graphics virtualisation? Take a gander at Virtual Box. It supports both 2D and 3D hardware acceleration for Windows clients. 3D support for both OpenGL and Direct-X.

    If you've been looking at thinclients, you may want to look into Multiseat computer systems (Windows Multipoint Server, nComputing, VeryPC, etc). They are a kind of hybrid virtualisation/thinclient system that has very good multimedia support.

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    You might be right and i might not be getting the terms correct, but i want to be able to run a virtual copy of xp on a dell 755, then when i need to update xp or install new software, i can install it once on the virtual xp copy then all the hardware pc's around the school would use that xp vm. But the vm needs to be able to use the underling hardware.

    Sorry for the vague info.

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    Grab VirtualBox (free), slap a trial copy of XP into it and have a play around. See if it does what you want.

    If the basic concept is what you're after then you can probably stick with VirtualBox, if it's close but you want more capabilities then you can look at more commercial virtualisation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    Grab VirtualBox (free), slap a trial copy of XP into it and have a play around. See if it does what you want.

    If the basic concept is what you're after then you can probably stick with VirtualBox, if it's close but you want more capabilities then you can look at more commercial virtualisation.
    Hi James, will Virutalbox sit on a bare metal pc before any local operating system? Or is it ran after you have a operating system installed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob101 View Post
    Hi James, will Virutalbox sit on a bare metal pc before any local operating system? Or is it ran after you have a operating system installed?
    After you have an operating system installed.

    If you want a free one that'll run bare bones then ESXi's your best bet.

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    You sound like you are after a hypversior... try Citrix XenClient Citrix Systems » Desktop virtualization, virtual desktops - Citrix XenClient

  8. Thanks to Ric_ from:

    rob101 (26th November 2010)

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    Yes you appear to be after the holy grail! This is fine, but I hope you realise holy grails are very expensive!!!

    Client virtualisation is already expensive - if you want to do that and then also run the virtualised clients on high end hardware then you are looking at a doubly expensive solution. You will have the best of both worlds but then you will also have the worst of both worlds too (excessive purchase and replacement cost, excessive running costs).

    We are sticking with full fat clients in intensive parts of the school and thin clients in less intensive areas to hopefully deliver as good a compromise as possible in terms of the best of both worlds.

    Butuz

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    This is the holy grail I am after too but so far multiseat systems are the closest I've gotten to it.

    Terminal server is too slow. Desktop Virtualisation is too expensive (and wouldn't support 3D). RemoteFX with a decent multimedia ThinClient might work but then the costs of the ThinClient are up there with a half decent fat client.

    I can't help thinking that there must be a way of using Windows 7's ability to boot from a VHD image and/or PXE booting. But from what I've found so far the VHD needs to be on the local HD to boot and PXE booting requires [F12] to be pushed on the PC at boot up.

    EDIT: also, AFAIK none of the bare metal hypervisors support graphics acceleration so probably be no good for multimedia work, and usb support tends to be lacking on bare metal hypervisors.

    You could build a really slimline, quick booting Linux disto that auto runs VirtualBox?
    Last edited by tmcd35; 24th November 2010 at 12:42 PM.

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    I would also do the thin thick client mix but the school wants to be able to have the same ability's on all pc's. Ric if i go down the hypvisor route with Citrix can i control it all from one place?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob101 View Post
    Fast hardware with a client vm that is deployed and controlled centrally.
    Are you doing this simply becuase you want to be able to deploy an identical image to all hardware? It might be rather easier to get a better workstation imaging solution (FOG, etc).

    Edit: just looking at your original post, your requirements are for Photoshop and "multimedia". We found a £2,000 Dell server running plain Windows Server 2008 R2 could handle 30 clients running Photoshop okay, and that was with Linux clients using RDP 5.2.

    --
    David Hicks
    Last edited by dhicks; 24th November 2010 at 12:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    You sound like you are after a hypversior... try Citrix XenClient Citrix Systems » Desktop virtualization, virtual desktops - Citrix XenClient
    That looks really good and what i'm looking for, what do you know about it?

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    Looking around there also seems to be VMware View, does any one know anything about this?

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    Given the topic of this thread, this might be interesting to people.

    Webcast tomorrow at 11 am (proper time) about desktop virtualisation.

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    Thanks James I will tune in for that.

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