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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, New VDI Project in Technical; The second would be for failover, just in case!...
  1. #16

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    The second would be for failover, just in case!

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    Wrt VMware view, it is not cost effective for most schools. Have you factored in the cost of the Windows licenses you will need for the thin clients? This on its own makes it less viable than physical boxes with OEM licenses where you can use your EES. With thin clients they are not covered by EES (unless they have a flavour of Windows on them)

    Does your solution include clients? or are you reusing kit?
    Last edited by Dave_O; 22nd May 2012 at 10:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    96Gb ram for 40 VDI connections? Seems a little ott IMHO unless you are buying the hardware to expand further in the future.

    Have you considered Vmware View? Or is the Vram costings taking it well out of price range?
    Thats about 2GB per VM plus a little bit spare, sounds about right to me. My former places had 150 users on these spec servers using XenApp and server 2008 R2

    This wont apply to a school but if setup correctly there are cost savings involved. The company i worked for installed 800 devices and saved $7,000,000 and got extra functionality and more flexibility.


    I have been unofficially looking at VDI options for the new school build at my place. There will be allot of hot desking. Nobody will have a dedicated classroom or office. Staff will use common rooms and hot desk. VDI will be a must for some users and will probably use XenApp for the ones who dont have fussy, specialist apps or need abit more of a kick. The user will log onto a ThinClient and will either get a VDI or XenApp session based on the way the account it setup.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 22nd May 2012 at 10:41 PM.

  4. #19

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    Why do you need VDI for this? Roaming profiles and a well managed desktop allow any machine to look and feel like your own!

    Does your solution not support memory over commit?
    Last edited by Dave_O; 22nd May 2012 at 10:44 PM.

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_O View Post
    Wrt VMware view, it is not cost effective for most schools. Have you factored in the cost of the Windows licenses you will need for the thin clients? This on its own makes it less viable than physical boxes with OEM licenses where you can use your EES. With thin clients they are not covered by EES (unless they have a flavour of Windows on them)

    Does your solution include clients? or are you reusing kit?
    Dave in some cases it is cost effective. Thin station is very good on old kit. With View I take a rough cost of about 250 per machine but it varies obviously with quantity. Also when it comes to replace the hardware in 4 years time you have the licensing in place and a thinclient is cheap as chips. In some circumstances it is cost effective solution.
    @techie08 - failover is good but it would be cheaper to store spare parts for the one server....

    Also if you want proper failover you would need a san in the middle. I've just built a iscsi one running about 5 vm's from a Dl380 G4 with decent SCSI disks and Raid controller using Open - E

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_O View Post
    Why do you need VDI for this? Roaming profiles and a well managed desktop allow any machine to look and feel like your own!

    Does your solution not support memory over commit?
    Memory over commit is standard with pretty much anything same with Thin provisioning of HDD space but it can come back to bite you in the back side.

    @FN-GM 2gb per VM seems rather alot to be honest from what i have been working on. I recently was working on a host system which used view for around 50 clients from 1 DL380.

    Also with Thin clients you can connect from anywhere securely whereas having students at home on a snow day its not easy to connect them to a desktop inside school otherwise, or when they are ill etc.
    Last edited by glennda; 22nd May 2012 at 10:52 PM.

  7. #22

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    @Dave_O quotes dont seem to work...

    Anyway That is all well and good but for these reasons VDI would be better.
    • When hotdesking staff can just disconnect the session and connect in another location. Everything will be open no need to log off and on again.
    • The apps follow the staff. Some computers around school may have different apps, different versions and different OS. You can assign an OS to a user and not a machine. This can be done with XenApp but some apps dont work as well with that as they do with XenDesktop.
    • Remote access it better, connect to the VDI, the machine they always use.
    • Easier to manage the machines
    • Saves licensing costs. If one users needs say photoshop and they use 5 computers. You buy one license and put it on the VDI rather than each machine.
    • Thinclients last longer than desktops, money saving there.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 22nd May 2012 at 10:50 PM.

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Memory over commit is standard with pretty much anything same with Thin provisioning of HDD space but it can come back to bite you in the back side.

    @FN-GM 2gb per VM seems rather alot to be honest from what i have been working on. I recently was working on a host system which used view for around 50 clients from 1 DL380.

    Also with Thin clients you can connect from anywhere securely whereas having students at home on a snow day its not easy to connect them to a desktop inside school otherwise, or when they are ill etc.
    All our machines have a min of 2GB ram. We wouldnt downgrade, my test VM is 1GB and runs out of RAM. Running a modern OS with apps etc will needs something better. You can get away with it now but maybe not for so long. The project i worked on had deployed 1,500 out of 15,000 and from what i learnt on that you would be lucky to get away with 1GB. It does also depend on the apps etc.

    For student remote access XenApp is the way to go.

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    All our machines have a min of 2GB ram. We wouldnt downgrade, my test VM is 1GB and runs out of RAM. Running a modern OS with apps etc will needs something better. You can get away with it now but maybe not for so long. The project i worked on had deployed 1,500 out of 15,000 and from what i learnt on that you would be lucky to get away with 1GB. It does also depend on the apps etc.

    For student remote access XenApp is the way to go.
    I havn't used/seen VDI in the education enviroment for about 3 years so not sure, but from what i have seen with some rather heavy apps got away with quite a lot using View. Although we had to use XP for the client os (licesnsed already) for passthrough of some devices to provide voice to text conversion easily.

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    Memory overcommit is only a recent incarnation of Hyper-V. I ask the question only because the 96Gb with 2Gb per machine is excessive, 56Gb would probably be enough.

    We will have to agree to disagree about value and cost effectiveness. I have been burnt by VDI and will not be revisiting it unless there is a huge leap forwards. We will keep watching and waiting. Ubiquitous wireless, mobile devices, using the software and hardware we have ... these are the areas where we will be focusing our attention over the next two years. Lets face it VDI is of much less importance than supporting staff and students in the effective use of the technology.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    @Dave_O quotes dont seem to work...

    Anyway That is all well and good but for these reasons VDI would be better.
    • When hotdesking staff can just disconnect the session and connect in another location. Everything will be open no need to log off and on again.
    • The apps follow the staff. Some computers around school may have different apps, different versions and different OS. You can assign an OS to a user and not a machine. This can be done with XenApp but some apps dont work as well with that as they do with XenDesktop.
    • Remote access it better, connect to the VDI, the machine they always use.
    • Easier to manage the machines
    • Saves licensing costs. If one users needs say photoshop and they use 5 computers. You buy one license and put it on the VDI rather than each machine.
    • Thinclients last longer than desktops, money saving there.
    Don't seem to work!!

    1. Hardly a case for mass adoption of VDI, otherwise terminal services would have been more widely adopted years ago
    2. It may be worth revisiting what a well managed environment is. This is a problem for you to deal with not the staff and throwing VDI at it is not an effective way of doing it.
    3. Better?? Define better. For whom?
    4. Is this a valid reason for VDI, just to make your job easier?
    5. I think Adobe might have something to say about this. Check their licensing documentation concerning remote access to their Apps
    6. a) Do they? b) Why would you want them to! c) They are almost as expensive as a desktop

    Look long and hard before you start down this rabbit hole.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_O View Post
    Don't seem to work!!

    1. Hardly a case for mass adoption of VDI, otherwise terminal services would have been more widely adopted years ago
    2. It may be worth revisiting what a well managed environment is. This is a problem for you to deal with not the staff and throwing VDI at it is not an effective way of doing it.
    3. Better?? Define better. For whom?
    4. Is this a valid reason for VDI, just to make your job easier?
    5. I think Adobe might have something to say about this. Check their licensing documentation concerning remote access to their Apps
    6. a) Do they? b) Why would you want them to! c) They are almost as expensive as a desktop

    Look long and hard before you start down this rabbit hole.
    1. becuase VDI is still new, much better than terminal services. Its not a reason for mass adoption but a bonus.
    2. What do you mean?
    3. Read the original post, it explains it. The use the same VDI from home they do in school have the same apps, OS, config etc.
    4. Adobe was an example it applies to thoughts of other titles
    6a. yes
    6b. Save mney
    6c. Depends what you get. Ours dont. - you looking at £550 for a decent desktop PC (Dell Optiplex 790 USSF)


    There are allot more pluses, there are just a few.

    "Look long and hard before you start down this rabbit hole". - As i say i worked on a project dedicated to this, The company had about 60,000 computers on the LAN and was at the time deploying 15,000 virtual desktop devices, when i was there we did about 8,000, i have since been told then have been given the green light for another 15,000. I do have a fair bit of experience with this....... - If i could show you the system they had i think you would be impressed.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 23rd May 2012 at 12:11 AM.

  13. #28

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    1. Not in my experience. Terminal services on Windows 2008 R2 is a) quicker b) cheaper and c) easier to manage. You do lose on isolation but if you have a robust virtual server setup then not much of an issue. We just have one licensing terminal server and a TS for each of the 5 classrooms we use thin clients in. The staff and student experience of TS is much better than VDI (VMWare View 5.0)
    2. We have a single image all machines are the same laptop or PC so whereever you go your experience is he same. Apart from the thin clients (Wyse V10Ls) which by the way we are gradually getting rid of.
    3. This is the only place where VDI is any use, for external access.
    6a difference of opinion
    6b I take issue with this, unless you are looking to keep a solution for over 8 years then there are few if any VDI solutions than are cost effective.
    6c Not sure where you are getting your Dells from and in what quantities but you are being robbed.

    Do staff and students really understand what the implications are of using VDI? Have you consulted widely? I'm sure you do have a lot of experience but quoting large scale implementations (unless it is in a school) is irrelevant, what matters is, does it work and work well, in the school environment.

  14. #29

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    Do staff and students really understand what the implications are of using VDI? Have you consulted widely? I'm sure you do have a lot of experience but quoting large scale implementations (unless it is in a school) is irrelevant, what matters is, does it work and work well, in the school environment.
    Nope read my previosu post.

    We get high spec dells with 5 years pro support. For what we get hte vaule isnt bad.

  15. #30

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    Im thinking of abandoning all plans now!!!! Seriously though its good to hear everyones feedback. A big part of me is now thinking maybe its just not the right time.

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