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as we are thinking about virtualisation our desktop infrastructure, I would like to ask for hints for these requirements:

  • up to 6 desktops windows
  • different desktops and new 3 thin clients are planned
  • we have already XenServer in the office for virtualisation testing servers
  • no excessive traffic usage (no HD videos and so on)
  • we are searching for some good price/quality solution
  • if we want to virtualise linux desktops (8 desktops), what are the options

So what do you recommend us ? :) Our first idea was to buy Windows server 2008 and connect with RDP, but what about XenDesktop? Thanks.

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What you try to gain? FOr a small scenario like that you will pay big time. Not only because the hardware terminals you still need are not going to save a lot compared to normal computers (you have anyway). – TomTom Apr 27 '11 at 13:06

I would not recommend virtualizing an environment as small as yours. VDI hardware/licensing costs more up front, so you have to recoup costs in the long run with lower maintenance. The easiest way to achieve this is through standardization and automation. While it's certainly possible to do this, I can virtually guarantee with the additional investment in getting the standardization and automation running, the total price will outweigh the meager potential savings.

For a general reference, the break even for VDI in commonly around 100 desktops. This will depend very much on the specific environment, but is a good 'first glance' number.

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Although Chris S has a point in that Virtualization has quite a large up front cost the benefits will greatly outweigh this if you already have capable hardware. Creating a standard image and removing the ability of your users to change settings and install new programs through the use of active directory will allow you better control of your infrastructure and make troubleshooting much easier. If it is not already too late I would suggest that you go straight to Zero Clients for your in house desktops as it will virtually eliminate the need for hardware break/fix resolutions.

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Use tools like Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to create Images that are smaller. You can use this tool to remove unwanted pre-installed garbage and even change the welcome screen to display your company logo. Lots of fun to mess with. – Brendan Quinn Aug 11 '11 at 0:46

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