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I am hoping to gain some insight as to how I might virtualize/consolidate the desktop environment for my developers.

Our dev/unit testing environment consists of a WebLogic server installed on each developer's Windows XP workstation. He/she will make coding changes, compile their JARs, and then composes their work with JARs from their peers' last commit from ClearCase. They run an Eclipse-based client locally to hit the instance of WebLogic on their desktop to do unit testing without affecting other developers' configurations.

This development environment is on an isolated "testing" network. The developers use separate workstations for office email, etc. but are not permitted (secure environment) to install the WebLogic Server instance locally.

I am fairly new with managing WebLogic, but have experience managing other applications/development environments using Windows Terminal Services. Would it be possible to "sandwich" several instances of WebLogic Server for, say, 25-50 developers on one instance of Windows 2003 or 2008 server, and have the developers access their individual WebLogic Server instances via RDP session? Or can it only be installed in a single Application Server instance per OS instance?

My ultimate goal is to have an isolated server (trying to avoid the cost/overhead of using vmWare with a bunch of XP or Windows Server VMs) that can be accessed from the "office management" network and do away with the need to maintain an additional set of desktop hardware/OS instances. Any "outside-the-box" ideas are welcome, but there are many security constraints and coporate standards which restrict the set of possible solutions.

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You can run multiple Weblogic servers on your Server class machine. (May be not 20 -25 though)

Each Weblogic server is finally a java application which you kick off with the startServerCmd batch file. You will be limited by the RAM available on the server.

For a dev instance, if you give each weblogic server 512 Mb to the JVM heap, you can ideally run 8 servers on a 4 Gb server.

Also, each WLS will need a separate port.

Developers can access their servers via RDP. You will have an issue around security and separation of concerns, since each weblogic domain runs under the common BEA_HOME, so the developers might be able to access other domains. Or you might have to install BEA_HOME within each RDP profile.

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This approach sounds promising; I could at least consolidate a few desktop VMs into "farms" which would follow the logical division of the WLServers. Would I simply run a single AdminServer and then multiple instances of the custom servers? With some careful parameter configuration, I am willing to give this a try. Thanks very much! – mxmader Oct 7 '10 at 2:26
@mxmader: You wouldnt be able to run multiple Managed servers to the same Admin BECAUSE the Admin will keep the same codebase (i.e. same jars/wars) in sync across all it's Managed servers. I'm assuming you need each farm with a separate code base. So you'll actually need multiple "weblogic domains" which is "multiple admins". In dev mode you dont need Admin + Managed - we usually only keep Admin servers on which we deploy the code and test. – JoseK Oct 7 '10 at 5:14
@mxmader: see here… and you could run multiple domains off a single BEA_HOME or multiple BEA_HOME – JoseK Oct 7 '10 at 5:15

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