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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, RemoteFX backend for thin clients? in Technical; People should also be aware that although you may have a PCI-E slot, and a card that will fit, the ...
  1. #16
    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    People should also be aware that although you may have a PCI-E slot, and a card that will fit, the server will not necessarily support PCI-E graphics cards.

    Especially HPs.

    We have some G5 HP servers here which we wanted to use an application that required Direct3D, while the GPU fitted, the server did not detect it, or even boot (it was not on the supported device list). Despite trying various 2x 4x and 8x cards HP could come up with nothing for a compatible card.

    Newer servers are likely to be better, but just because it can fit doesn't mean it will work.

  2. #17

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    Ye I'd imagine it wouldn't do too well as software-only. Question with the graphics cards is getting sufficiently powerful ones in half height cards, although I'm guessing once manufacturers see the demand they'll fill the gap in the market.
    Quick straw poll then, would RemoteFX tempt you to go down the Hyper-V route if you were choosing what virtualisation software to put on your hosts for a new project? Or could it be the case of keeping your servers on VMWare and putting new hosts in for VDI with Hyper-V?
    Quote Originally Posted by Willott View Post
    I've been having a look around for PCI-E 8x cards, I can only really find 16x (and from the looks of the slot/cards there's no chance we could stick the 16x card in the 8x slot). Anyone know of any decent workstation type cards in the 8x format? Otherwise this may be the downfall of this idea here.
    The DL380s have full length full height slots on a riser card so that they sit horozontaly. The slots are electroniclly PCI-E 8x but the actual sockets are PCI-E 16x. The GPUs should be able to adapt and use only eight lanes which will slow them down but it should not matter to much.

    As to Hyper-V I would and have gone that way anyway, VMware is not cheap and the only reason they are getting cheaper is because MS is posing a threat. As VMware themselves are taking MS seriously as a threat I don't think that a lot of people give them enough credit or thought due to their own prejudices.

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    VMware licensing is good for schools - i got it for £2k - Essentials Plus which you aren't going to outgrow.

    Plus Microsoft virtualisation products aren't nowhere near as good.

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    So does an RDP 7.1 session compare favorably to a Citrix ICA session in terms of multimedia performance?

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    HyperV is not a production product.
    Speak to John Reynolds at The Campion School - i know him and he took six months deploying HyperV across 5 hosts all to save the license cost of £1600.
    So in the end he didnt save anything he lost money.

    VMware Essentials Plus is all you need for a school and at a cost of £1600 why should you look to HyperV - plus VMware gives us all more experience in the outside world - nobody uses Microsoft outside of schools - its a feature less non production product + you have to install Server 2008 as its not a bare metal hypervisor. VMware/Citrix is - much higher performing.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    People use Hyper-V outside schools, stop making wild and inaccurate claims.

    Hyper-V can be installed as part of a Windows 2008 Core installation, thereby removing a lot of the extra stuff that comes with 2008 normally.

    Also, vmware doesn't include RemoteFX. Therefore, it is NOT capable of the same things we're talking about here.

  7. #22

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul121 View Post
    HyperV is not a production product.
    Speak to John Reynolds at The Campion School - i know him and he took six months deploying HyperV across 5 hosts all to save the license cost of £1600.
    So in the end he didnt save anything he lost money.

    VMware Essentials Plus is all you need for a school and at a cost of £1600 why should you look to HyperV - plus VMware gives us all more experience in the outside world - nobody uses Microsoft outside of schools - its a feature less non production product + you have to install Server 2008 as its not a bare metal hypervisor. VMware/Citrix is - much higher performing.
    Thats a big axe you are grinding there, I know of many Hyper-V deployments that have gone well in schools and elsewhere. I'm sure that there may have been some specifig issues that made it difficult to use in the situation that you reference but no product is perfect for every implementation.

    Hyper-V is a bare metal hypervisor as it sits below all the OSs installed on the system even the console one, the console just gets special privilages to output to the moniter and appear to access the hardware directly even though they go through the hypervisor.

    What specific kind of issues did he actually experience in the deployment?

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    PCIe 8x cards are rare and expensive while PCIe 16x card often simply will not fit into the slots as they normally designed for Gigabit Network cards not GPU's.

  9. #24
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    It's interesting seeing the responses with RemoteFX as it suggests that people want to use existing hardware to do the VDI deployment, is that just for testing or do you reckon you have enough spare capacity on your current virtual server farm to run some clients as well?

    In reality if you want to do a larger number of clients you'll probably need additional hardware and disk capacity so in fact you could run a best-of-both-worlds scenario with VMWare on servers and Hyper-V with RemoteFX for the desktops on new server hardware designed for the graphics accelerator cards...

    Don't want to fan the flames of VMWare vs Hyper-V on this thread but out of interest are the Hyper-V deployments out there using all the higher-level features i.e. CSVs, Live Migration etc or are they being done at a more simple level?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    RemoteFX also works with standard Remote Desktop Services, and not just VDI. So, reasonably, it shouldn't add much if any load to an existing deployment, when used in conjunction with RDS.

  11. #26

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    I'm interested in its eventual application to MPS as this would give almost full 3D support to the MPS client screens and make them even quicker than they are now. Being built on high grade desktop boards also means that they should have no issues with any kind of GPU.

    Currently we have some four screen units with 22" screens on them. The next one I build will have touch screens.

    How long it takes Microsoft to integrate this in is another question but I am hopeing soon.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    RemoteFX also works with standard Remote Desktop Services, and not just VDI. So, reasonably, it shouldn't add much if any load to an existing deployment, when used in conjunction with RDS.
    Yup fair point if going down the terminal services route, if you want a one-OS-per-user type environment that's when it starts getting complicated...

    Maybe we need a pro \ con thread for the different solutions as there's many ways of skinning the cat now...

    1) classic Remote Desktop with RemoteFX graphics acceleration
    2) full VDI i.e. one Windows OS per user
    3) share a powerful workstation between users via Multipoint

    My first thoughts on each...

    1) best user density but with the worry of one session crashing others and a more restrictive user experience (?)
    2) best experience but resource heavy and therefore expensive
    3) almost best of both worlds but if one machine goes down in a classroom it takes multiple users out until someone swaps it for a spare unit
    Last edited by gshaw; 22nd February 2011 at 12:34 PM.

  13. #28
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    This maybe of intrest-
    http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/s...A3-2927ENW.pdf

    HPs new Reference Architecture for RemoteFX.

  14. 2 Thanks to jamesfed:

    Arthur (4th March 2011), localzuk (3rd March 2011)

  15. #29

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Very useful document! It covers everything, and also points out that most of the RemoteFX advantages only appear when using full VDI.

  16. #30

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Now, using the standalone server model in that document as the basis for around 80 VDI users as they say, the cost would be about £20,000 just in hardware for:

    1 x HP DL370 G6 High Performance (ie. 2 x 2.66 Ghz 6 core xeons)
    12 x 8GB RAM modules
    2 x Nvidia FX5800G 4GB graphics cards
    24 x 300GB 10K SAS HDD's

    The largest price is nearly £6.5k for the graphics cards!

    So, that's about £250 per client, plus licensing. If you want to go the whole hog, and get new thin clients too, they come in at £440 each (for the HP t5740e). Slap in a monitor too, and you end up with £500 each. However, you may be able to utilise old equipment via the 'Windows Thin PC' (ie. the replacement for WinFLP, based on Windows 7 and therefore supports RDP 7.1), therefore making the end price £250 per machine, which is *very* good.

    So, that's £750 each. Not a bad price, but still nowhere near as powerful as a fat client costing £750 each.

    My guess would be - wait a while until the price of the graphics cards and 300GB SAS drives come down.

    Any more than that number of clients, and you should start looking at scaling to the main solution discussed in that document, using blade servers.
    Last edited by localzuk; 3rd March 2011 at 10:19 PM.

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