Virtualization

I have a client I would like virtualized as we are about to buy a new server. Not sure which path to take. This is what they use everyday.

Peachtree
MS Office Outlook
ShipWorks
IE
Networked printers
Desktops - W7 and Vista

I have been thinking of going to Hyper-v and Xenapp, but when all is said I also want them migrating to thin clients. With this said are there any suggestions?
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HaroldNetwork EngineerAsked:
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Skyler KincaidConnect With a Mentor Network/Systems EngineerCommented:
You do not need 7 processors.

We have a terminal server environment that host about 20 users per server and each server has a quad professor with 16GB of ram.

http://www.howtogeek.com/100812/setup-terminal-services-remote-desktop-server-2008/

You basically configure the Wyse clients to launch an RDP session right to the server. Super simple. You just have to make sure to get all your Group Policy settings correct and look down the settings for the users.

So they can't do things like shutdown or restart the server.
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Skyler KincaidNetwork/Systems EngineerCommented:
VMware Hypervisor (ESXi) is free for small applications and it by far the best virtualization platform. We used it across all our clients and internally.

We also have had great experiences with Wyse thin clients.
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HaroldNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
xKincaidx: any problems that you can think of or suggestions in how to research and plan?

I have 1 server and 6 PC's I'll want to virtualize. This means I'll need a server with 7 or more processors correct? How do you calculate memory per server then machine?

Server is just hosting a SQL Express DB and storage.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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HaroldNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
xKincaidx: thanks, let me read through this and I'll probably have more questions.


hanccocka: I don't know what the budget is yet, as I want to have this all together to present as an option. I just know they are very systematic in day to day work and it looks very conducive for to virtualize.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Check the links, and work out options for

1. RDS
2. Citrix XenApp
3 or Maybe VDI
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Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I only use Hyper-V and not ESXi though I have acquired clients with ESXi.  In my opinion, the products are nearly identical for use in small businesses.  Microsoft has some very nice features while VMWare has some potentially severe limitations as I understand the product - 32 GB of RAM max for the host hardware - this can SEVERELY limit the number of VMs and how powerful you make them - Microsoft has no such limit.  (reference http://www.vladan.fr/esxi-5-1-free/)  If you want a FREE Hypervisor solution, then Hyper-V is generally the better value in my opinion.

Can you clarify what your question is?  Do you want to know what hypervisor you should use, whether to use VDI or RDS?  Something else?
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HaroldNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
leew: The network is small 6 PC's, 1 server and networked printers. All the employees use the same 3 apps all day and the owner uses one additional for accounting.

I specked a server with 40GB RAM and planned to run ESXi and run the VM's hosted from the server, as I would plan to migrate to Thin Clients as the PCs aged out. This way I can use the W7 keys and not have to worry about W8, as the main app is not compatible. CRAP, I never saw the FREE version having memory limits. Damn I submitted the order for them to buy GEEZZZ.

I just tried to modify the server config on Dells site and just run Windows 2008 Server to use Hyper-v and it gave me an error stating it want go above 32GB. WTH!

I've seen Hyper-v with Xenapp, then the pricing for Xenapp was not going to pass with the owner.

There are so many Virtual options and everyone seems to have pros and cons to every environment, you really don't know what will work and what want until you try. I just don't want to buy into something and then it NOT work.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The FREE version of ESXi, is designed for you to trial it!

32GB limit, and single processor!

Purchase a full version for $500, and you'll get 3 x 2 Processor Licenses, and vCenter Server, and then you will be able to Backup Live VMs.

or switch to Hyper-V 2012 for FREE!

or purchase a Windows 2012 Server!

Have you decided on Remote Desktop Services or VDI (Full VMs)
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HaroldNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
hanccocka: not sure what to do now, with all this brought up, sure I'll bumps in this section too...."Have you decided on Remote Desktop Services or VDI (Full VMs)"

I've used Remote Desktop but not VDI, so can't really make that call a this point.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Remote Desktop into a Host Virtual Computer is VDI of sorts, and not Remote Desktop Services, which is session based.

Ask your users, if they need to connect USB flash drives to their computers? this is usually the biggest issue with VDI, RDS or Virtual Computers
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HaroldNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
The only thing USB is keyboards and mouse. The printers are all networked via ethernet. Also read issues about video problems.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
... I would plan to migrate to Thin Clients as the PCs aged out. This way I can use the W7 keys...


Unless you're using a volume license, you can't.  The keys (and the licenses) that come with PCs DIE with the PC they are installed on.  To use a VDI solution, you would need to buy 6 Volume Licenses of Windows 8 Enterprise.  (You can then downgrade to 7).

VDI is the MOST EXPENSIVE form of virtualization.  Approach with care and a spreadsheet.

I just tried to modify the server config on Dells site and just run Windows 2008 Server to use Hyper-v and it gave me an error stating it want go above 32GB. WTH!

Server 2008 R2 Standard (and 2008 standard and 2003 R2 x64 standard) all are limited to 32 GB of RAM as well.  HOWEVER, Server 2012 is NOT - it has no RAM limits (other than the hardware technology limits).  Server 2012 Standard is functionally identical - the only difference is in the number of VMs you're allowed to run.  If you buy 2012 standard you can install TWO VMs of standard for no additional charge.  If you buy Datacenter (MUCH more expensive) you can have an unlimited number of VMs.  Otherwise, they are exactly the same.

Further, NEVER, EVER buy the Server OS with the hardware.  You're shooting yourself in the foot.  You CANNOT transfer OEM Server licenses.  Which means they die with the hardware.  It also means you cannot use certain backup software since they won't work with OEM copies.  ALWAYS buy a volume license.  You may pay a little more, but you get a LOT more in terms of rights.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
If you buy a SINGLE copy (preferably Volume License) of Server 2012, you can then install 2012 on the hardware, install ONLY the Hyper-V 2012 role so you get your virtualization machine.  Then you have two Server VM licenses - downgrade each (if you want - I wouldn't, but you can) to 2008 R2.  Make one your DC and one your RDS server and go with RDS.  Then you just need 1 more User CAL plus 6 RDS CALs.  (You also need 6 copies of office (ONLY Volume License versions can be installed on an RDS server) and need to check the licensing agreement on the accounting app as that might have RDS restrictions).
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HaroldNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thank you all, this was educational and very helpful. I think we'll go with ESXi and RDS, as I have used RDS before and xKincaidx mentioned the simplistic's of.
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