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My employer is looking to upgrade their IT infrastructure and wants to possibly use VDI (virtual desktops) / terminal services. I'm their only PHP web developer, so always run Apache locally for development and testing (and PHP / MySQL etc.).

Has anyone tried running Apache / MySQL in a VDI environment? Would the server firewall interfere somehow, as in would 'localhost' not behave in the same fashion?

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migrated from Mar 15 '12 at 12:27

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Apache would run, and while you're in the remote session "localhost" would behave as you expect. But, in general VDI environments should only be applied to highly controlled and similar desktops (a developer would very rarely be happy or productive in a VDI environment; with some specific exceptions).

There are three "pillars" of VDI (as according to me)

  1. Standardized; the employees on the system all run the same set of applications (more or less)
  2. Managed; tightly controlled environment (without extremely tight security controls simple mistakes turn into widespread outages as employees could directly impact each other).
  3. Scale; the CapEx on VDI projects is substantial and rarely makes sense for less than ~50 employees (this does vary quite a bit depending on situation). The OpEx makes up for this initial expenditure fairly quickly if #1 and #2 are implemented correctly.

I don't pretend to know exactly what software or control over your "local" machine you'd need. But most developers want Admin privileges, which conflicts with #2. Also whatever development applications you use are likely to not be used by anyone else, even if you're just using something simple like Notepad++.

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Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. Certainly all my applications are not used by anyone else, and performance worries me too. (Especially for design work). As a general habit I tend to modify the hosts file quite often, which needs admin privileges. Will be asking the boss not to go down the VDI route, or at least only do it for people who would benefit. Cheers. – James Pegg Mar 16 '12 at 12:49

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