moifmurphy
Contributor
Contributor

An introduction to VDI?

Hello, we're pretty new to the Virtualisation thing and we're looking for a down-to-earth explanation on how VDI could work for us.

Specifically in a call centre environment. We have 30 Dell GX60's all running Windows XP connected to an AD that do nothing other than run web based applications and Open Office. Being a couple of hundred miles away we have little contact with the call centre and there's always a niggling thought in the back of my mind that they're doing things that they shouldn't be.

My basic understanding is that there would be a central server provisioning VMs to the clients and they'd be running some kind of thin client software as the 'operating system'? I've researched a little in these forums and have seen Wyse and 2x as examples but if we were to go down this path then we'd be looking at saving money, not spending it. And how are the VMs managed? Are we able to keep a real-time view on things? Can we lock them right down so all they can do is run icons off of the desktop? Is AD even needed in that kind of environment?

Also, what happens with licensing for XP? Can we use the product key that came with the Dells on each VM?

Thanks in advance.

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2 Replies
mittim12
Immortal
Immortal

My basic understanding is that there would be a central server provisioning VMs to the clients and they'd be running some kind of thin client software as the 'operating system'?

There can be a connection broker that users access to manage connections to VM's or you could do some type of one to one ratio and deploy custom remote desktop connections to users. I would only recommend the latter in small environments as it would be a management nightmare for a large of amount of users. There are numerous connection brokers, VDM, Leostream, Provision Networks, and Citrix are the ones that come to mind first. You can connect up to these brokers through a thin client or if you didn't want to spend money to buy new clients you could utilize your current XP machines to connect up.

And how are the VMs managed? Are we able to keep a real-time view on things? Can we lock them right down so all they can do is run icons off of the desktop? Is AD even needed in that kind of environment?

The VM's would be managed through Virtual Center and the Connection Broker. You would definitely be able to keep an eye of real time statistics of the machines. You can definitely lock them down. You can do anything to these VM's that you would do to a typical desktop. AD is needed.

Also, what happens with licensing for XP? Can we use the product key that came with the Dells on each VM?

I would check with your Microsoft rep for that answer. They would be able to best explain it to you.

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TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

Hello, we're pretty new to the Virtualisation thing and we're looking for a down-to-earth explanation on how VDI could work for us.

That is nothing to be ashamed of, we all were pretty new once. Smiley Happy

My basic understanding is that there would be a central server provisioning VMs to the clients and they'd be running some kind of thin client software as the 'operating system'?

there is no requirement for a Thin client device, you could utilise your current desktops and have them repurposed.

I've researched a little in these forums and have seen Wyse and 2x as examples but if we were to go down this path then we'd be looking at saving money, not spending it.

There would be a cost involved with the setup and migration to a VDI environment.

And how are the VMs managed?

The VMs Guest are managed via Virtual Center.

Are we able to keep a real-time view on things?

Yes you can get a handle on real time stats for your VM Hosts via VirtualCenter. Stats on your Guest performance is another matter.

Can we lock them right down so all they can do is run icons off of the desktop?

the Locking down of desktops is done via Group Policy or registry hacking and is not a VMware issues persay.

Is AD even needed in that kind of environment?

AD is a required part of a VDM deployment.

Also, what happens with licensing for XP? Can we use the product key that came with the Dells on each VM?

This all depends upon what sort of License you have on your XP desktops. if it is an OEM license then the answer is no you would not, but you would need to discuss this further with your licensing contact and your supplier

Tom Howarth

VMware Communities User Moderator

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410