Control Center Setup

Posted on 2013-01-25
Last Modified: 2013-03-07
I've been tasked with recommending a Control Center Setup.  This control center will have 15 workstations all with dual monitor.  And 16 very large monitors on a wall.  They would like any one of the workstations to be able to send it's video to any one of the 16 very large monitors on the wall.
Like you'd see in a NASA Control Center.  I'm considering a VDI solution, Thin Clients or even just use regular full workstations.  Not sure what is best and how to even get started.
Anybody have expertise in this?
Trying to figure out a general layout of how it works and recommended hardware.
Question by:cridog
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LVL 120
ID: 38819930
Can this be achieved with a single workstation using something like the nVidia Quadra Plex, which we use, and Projectors connected to monitors or projectors.

Author Comment

ID: 38819941
I will have 16 workstations each with two monitors.  And need the ability to send any one of those workstations video to any one of the very large 16 screens on the wall.
Doesn't sound like this single workstation with nVidia Quadra Plex can do that.
LVL 120
ID: 38819944
Two quadra plexs per  PC will do it, will give you 16 screens.

Can be done with VMware View, but its alot of technology just for 16 displays.
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LVL 120
ID: 38819994
Another idea cheaper than VMware View is 16 x Thin Clients , low power and dumb, single workstation running Windows 7 and TSPlus.Net, all connected in 16 different sessions, running software connection from Thin Clients to 16 Displays.

What software needs to be displayed, DirectX or OpenGL, 3D based?

Author Comment

ID: 38820069
Sorry... I'm not clear.
I like VMware View so that might be an okay solution.  Can you give me more detail?  I thought you use Thin Clients with VMware View. How exactly does this have individual workstations with two monitors and also be able to send a screen to one of the 16 wall monitors?
We have lot of money to throw at this.  So if VMware View is the best solution that is what we will do.  Want this to run perfectly.
I think we need to be able to display all three.. DirectX, OpenGL and 3D.
LVL 120
ID: 38820112
If you need ALL three DirectX, OpenGL, 3D, you need to check if VMware View will suite, because its not quite there yet with the latter technologies eg Games!

Yes, you can use Thin Clients with View, but you need quite alot of server infrastrucure behind the scenes for 16  workstations.

you would need to connect 16 thin clients to 16 monitors, or 8 thin clients dual monitors, to 16 monitors, but these cannot be switched, but you could login to different virtual pcs.

Author Comment

ID: 38820148
The 16 thin clients will have their own dual monitor.  Plus I'd like to have the option to put any video from any thing client up on anyone of the very large screens on the wall.
Can I do that?
Is VMware View best.  No gaming.  Just business stuff.
Do I get VMware View and 16 thin clients?  What kind of video card do the thin clients need?
LVL 120
ID: 38820294
The 16 thin clients will have their own dual monitor.  Plus I'd like to have the option to put any video from any thing client up on anyone of the very large screens on the wall.
Can I do that?

No. The thin clients can only display their own session information, two dual screens, there is no way to toggle data from another session.

think of VMware View as 16 dedicated PCs with two screens, but the PCs are just virtual on a server.

I mentioned Games, because they have HIGH 3D requirements, if your Business Requirements have the same requireiments - View is not for you.

Thin Clients are thin clients, they are dumb, e.g. Dell Wyse P20.

Consult the following documents, which will give you a better understanding of VDI.

Author Comment

ID: 38820489
I'm looking for a solution.  How would you do it?  A comprehensive solution and I'll award the points.  No 3D requirements.  Just business type applications.
You are the expert.  

What would you use?  14 workstations; 16 very large screens on the wall.  Each workstation with two monitors and the ability to send a screen from any of the workstations to any one of the 16 very large screens on the wall.

There must be a typical way of doing this.

LVL 120
ID: 38820568
We would use 15 physical workstations, with dual monitors, with nVidia/Radeon cards with four outputs. or, dual video card, and two ouputs on PC motherboard

two outputs dedicated to dual monitors at the desk, the third output delivered to monitor on the wall. this can be delivered via DVI or HDMI.

then using converter switches, a bit like KVMs, switch displays to wall monitors.

When we have done Big Projects and Computer Exibitions we have worked with Audio Visual Specialists Saville AV, we have provided computer builds, they have done AV cabling.

Author Comment

ID: 38820735
Does the converter switch allow you to place a workstation video on to any large display?  Or only the one you already plugged into?
LVL 120

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 38820767
Correct, when cabled correctly.

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