Desktop Virtualization

Posted on 2011-10-18
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Dear Friends,

I need to buy 35 new desktops.

so i need your suggestion regarding zero clients technology .

should i go for it????what will be the cost for it?

Question by:arhc
    LVL 28

    Accepted Solution

    We are actually just starting such a project. We are looking at VMWare's VDI solution.

    I think there are several things to think about. First is raw cost. Yes, the zero clients are a little cheaper than your basic PC. But you still need to buy the monitor, keyboard and mouse and you still need to license Windows and Office so at least what we are finding is that some of that ends up being cost neutral. I can buy an HP desk top for around $600, but that comes with an OEM version of Windows. The zero client might only cost $300-$400, but the license for Windows may make that cost difference moot. And you do have the server piece to consider. Not only the hardware costs, but the software and licensing costs for the server end. If all you have is 35 desktops, I'm not sure the costs are worth it.

    Now the other side of the coin is ongoing maintenance. You have a central point to set up and administer Windows and all your apps. When MS goes to Windows 8 or 9 or whatever, you update one place and you are done. Theoretically zero client boxes would have less maintenance than a regular PC. So if those 35 desktops are spread around the country that might be a big boon, but if they are all in one building the cost savings might not be that much.

    Just some things to think about.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Hello Arhc,
     first you do understand that you will need thin clients or devices (or simply clients) to connect to virtual machines (that's what zero footprint tehnology is).
    It is very cost attractive if you already have PCs but they are not meeting anymore your business requirements and upgraded is needed. In this case there are several solutions and for all budgets.

    On the other hand if you are buying for the first time, you have to count in they way your users will be using PCs.You don't pay for desktops and you save on power but you do need to invest in proper infrastructure usually based on VMware technology.

    It is something that needs good planning.
    Can you give us more details?

    Author Comment

    All the 35 clients will be in one campus of approx 2 kms.
    LVL 116

    Expert Comment

    by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
    Before you look at ANY thin clients, you need to understand what requirements you have, before deciding on the Technology.

    Checkout this indepdant article which compares technologies and disuccess the disadvantages and advantages of VDI, and the Business Benefits and pitfalls.


    If you are looking for an independent overview of the Server Hosted Desktop Virtualization (VDI) solutions and curious about the different features- and functions each Desktop Virtualization vendor is offering!? This is the whitepaper you definitely must read!
    In the current market there is an increasing demand for unbiased information about Desktop Virtualization solutions. This white paper is focused on solutions that are anticipated to have an important role in VDI deployments. An overview of available features of each solution is created to better understand each solutions capability.


    The overall goal of this whitepaper is share information about:
    ¿ Application- and Desktop Delivery Solutions overview;
    ¿ Explain the different Desktop Virtualization concepts;
    ¿ Explain the pros and cons of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure;
    ¿ Describe the different Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) vendors and solutions;
    ¿ Compare the features of the various VDI solutions;

    This document is intended for IT Managers, Architects, Analysts, System Administrators and IT-Pro¿s in general who are responsible for and/or interested in designing, implementing and maintaining Virtual Desktop Infrastructures.


    Once you have selected and understand the technology, we can discuss which Thin Clients are best.
    LVL 28

    Assisted Solution

    A couple of other things to think about...

    At least with the VMware solution, if you already have desktops in place, you might be able to use then as a thin client running a version of Linux and save the initial cost of the zero client boxes. The downside is that you still have potentially larger maintenance costs on the desktops.

    You may not have to consider this, but in our scenario we want to settle on Windows 7 as our OS. But at the moment we have a large installed base of XP and we have an app or two that a lot of people use that will NOT work under 7. We are going to attempt to thin app this so that it would run under 7, but we're not sure if that will work or not. If you're in a more standard environment, that may not be an issue.
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Do you need to have strict control over installed applications?
    Do you need to have central data share?
    Do you plan to use Windows or Linux?

    As it was mentionned before, inital cost could be even higher for the technolgy you are asking than for let's say 35 standard PCs plus 2 servers (data shares, email,printing service).

    What you get with Zero Technology (which for me is not really zero as you still have some hardware)
    is better control over clients, easier upgrades, probably smaller bill for electricity.

    I found you one article to read about to get some idea about all this.

    Thanks for clicking YES.


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