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I'm looking at the feasibility of providing remote access to multiple virtual machines. The VMs themselves will provide user desktops.

To make best use of the available resources, I'd like the VMs to hibernate when the user disconnects. Which implies being able to start them up when a user connects. Ideally each user would 'own' a VM image - but if not then I'd require that the session was terminated. Obviously this would require the remote access protocol to be tied into the VM management. Is there anything out there to provide such functionality?

(extra credit for open protocols! ;)

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

This is essentially VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and the two big commercial players would probably be VMWare View and Citrix XenDesktop. XenDesktop can certainly do as you require, though it's far from open or free! I'm pretty certain VMWare View also ticks all the boxes, but I've not deployed that beyond test environments.

You may also look into VDI in a Box as another commercial option as this requires less core infrastructure.

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If you want open, and VDI, you need to look at RHEV and maybe it's upstream project oVirt.

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