I have been working with MS Virtual PC 1007 for a few weeks or so. We have two objectives, both of which will be facilitated by Desktop Virtualization solutions (I think...).
The first is to isolate unfriendly legacy apps that are installed and running on a single PC Laptop. The prime example here is an old DOS based app that communicates to and manages some proprietary hardware devices via the serial port using proprietary software. There are 2 or 3 different variations of this software, today we have to delete one before we install the other (well not really 'Install', just copy to the HDD and execute, no interaction with DLLs or the Registry).
Then we have 'state of the art' software that communicates to 'state of the art' hardware using Lon bus medium and protocols vs serial... Some of this s/w does not co-exist well withe some of the fore-mentioned legacy software... So a VM for each Legacy app, and a VM for each 'state of the art' app, and no more conflicts.
Our second goal is to set up an entry level server platform running Vista or Server 200x and running multiple VMs to isolate VPN clients from each other. Our end customer's have local Software Servers installed that we need to connect to for resource sharing or RDC interation. Again we have proprietary s/w installed on these remote client PCs that we need to access (via the RDC session over the VPN). As we do NOT have control of which VPN client is implemented on each of these client PCs, we currently have to uninstall one VPN client then install another. Very tedious, especially of our service techs have to 'visit' 2 or 3 non-cooperative VPN sites on the same day... Our solution here will be to setup a VM for each group of cooperative VPN clients on this in-house VPN/VM server, have our service techs remote to this in-house VPN/VM server connecting to the appropriate VM, then VPN to the end-customers site...
I have done most of this in a beta like lab setup, Multiple VMs on a single PC laptop, host XP sp2, VM clients for XP SP2, w2k, w98, DOS. All worked nicely.
Now I have to build up the VPN/VM server so I can install each of the VMs and remote to them from off-site, then VPN from the VM to relevant customer sites.
So I have a few basic questions:
1- MS VM 2007 does not support USB or PCMCIA port access from the VM. Is there a version of Microsoft VM solutions that does, without going hog-wild and getting the very large, very complex, very over-head intensive top of the line VM server?
2- If not MS, which is more suitable: VMWare, Citrix, Sun, etc.? Assuming of course that they do support USB and PCMCIA ports.
3- Am I over complexicating this? (what do you mean, tha's not a word? I uses it all-a-time...)
4- Can I remote TO a office PC (VM) via our Office SSL VPN (hosted on a Cisco SSA 5505), then VPN out to a customer site? Is that VPN-ing over a VPN and not technically feasable??? Hadn't thought of that till I wrote this....
Here I thought I was going to rip off a quick question to you-all, not so short is it?
SNE Building Systems, Inc.