Virtual Test Environments

Hi

Im looking for some opinions on the following.

We are looking at creating an environment for our developers and testers where they can create and manage isolated test environments. Mainly for Windows VMs. For example, they can have  a replica of a production server, plus create XP/Win7 VMs at will.

It would be nice if they can do this on demand via a portal but without allowing them too much management access. i.e. we limit what templates they can replicate, how many VMs they can create etc

I have looked at Lab Manager and that seems to cover the requirements however i believe its discontinued. VCloud Director i presume would cover the same thing. I havent set this up or tested it as the we dont have the resources needed at the moment purely for an evaluation.

Does anyone use this?

Does anyone have any alternatives ? Would Oracle VM 3 cover this or is this only advisable for Oracle Product VMs? Does the Oracle solution have the same management options as VCloud i.e. in terms of user portal and how we can control what and when they can access resources ?

Any advice appreciated

Thanks

Jon
cegedimitAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We use both Lab Manager and vCloud Director to Deliver virtual infrastructure on-demand, and we have Developer Clients that also use the same technology, but we also have some clients  - Developement houses, that have decided that, the infrastructure costs are too much, and they can achieve the same in using VMware Workstation 7/8 or VMware Player for free. (http://www.vmware.com/products/player/)

VMware Workstation 7/8
http://www.vmware.com/products/workstation/
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cegedimitAuthor Commented:
Thanks hanccocka

The only concern with using VMWare workstation is giving the end user too much control. I presume the only way of presenting it to them is by giving them the full product and all manageability ? I cant just say here are the templates, you can create them at will in isolated virtual LANs?

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Ou Clients have produced Templates and Virtual Machines, and store them Read Only on the LAN, Developers then copy the Templates and Virtual machines to their development workstations.

They have SSDs in the workstations for use with VMware Workstation, some initial training and development was done to show the Developers how to Snapshot, Clone from Snapshot, Create Networks, but these clients were happy with the $199 per workstation cost.
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cegedimitAuthor Commented:
ok excellent thankyou. Its worth considering anyway. I will also setup Oracle VM to see if that ticks any boxes
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you are serious about Development, VMware Workstation is a very powerful Development Tool.

Take it for a trial.
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L4NetConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Generally Lab Manager is your best bet, but like you mentioned, Director is now the current product.  I've managed similar setups where we used a combination of Director and VMware View to accomplish a flexible developer environment.  They used Director to dynamically provision servers, and VMware View provided developer desktops containing all the development tools they needed.  Worked extremely well.
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