Desktop Virtualization

“He adds that companies normally allocate about 1Gb of memory for Windows 7 when not using dynamic memory, which may be a waste. “In tests, we found that when you allocate a nominal 512Mb of RAM most of the virtual machines averaged out at 750Mb of RAM,” he explains. “That gives you a 40 per cent increase in the density of the virtual machines that can run on the server, improving cost effectiveness.””

Chuckle. I budget about 512 MB for the OS and 100 MB per user giving 1000% cost effectiveness, but then, I use GNU/Linux and good old X. IT really handicaps itself when it limits choice to that other OS.

see LTSP. LTSP is available in Debian GNU/Linux and several other distros.

X has limitations in video throughput and security but it is the lowest cost solution where these issues are minor as in many libraries and computer labs.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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5 Responses to Desktop Virtualization

  1. oe says:

    And they also want reliable computers…..

  2. oldman, you forget many schools operate on a shoestring budget for IT. Think nothing but toner… Acquisition costs are huge. Schools can usually get old PCs that make decent thin clients for free. The OS is a huge cost in this case. LTSP lets the old machines have like-new performance. It works.

    K12LTSP is less active only because distros like Fedora, Centos, and Debian GNU/Linux distribute it. A few apt-get or rpm commands make it happen. Some distros even have LTSP as an installation option. Thousands of schools and school divisions use it as do governments and business offices. With a dedicated/new thin client one can use a normal PC as the terminal server just by pointing XDMCP at the machine and making sure firewalls or X listen for TCP.

    LTSP gets 377000 hits on Google
    LTSP school gets 32000 hits
    LTSP office gets 62000 hits
    LTSP library gets 28000 hits
    trends.google.com shows these countries get a lot of searches for LTSP
    1. Indonesia
    2. Russian Federation
    3. Philippines
    4. Brazil
    5. Finland
    6. South Africa
    7. Ukraine
    8. Czech Republic
    9. India
    10. Norway

    If you look for xdmcp in trends instead of LTSP you find a similar pattern but not the same countries…
    1. Taiwan
    2. South Korea
    3. Russian Federation
    4. Czech Republic
    5. Japan
    6. India
    7. Norway
    8. Singapore
    9. Sweden
    10. Germany
    X is a global phenomenon, just not popular in USA because it does not make much money for M$ and partners. I really don’t care what M$ and its partners want. Real people want cheap computers.

  3. oldman says:

    “Choosing that other OS on thick clients doubles the price of the system in schools and libraries for no benefit.”

    Acquisition cost is only a portion of the picture Pog. Your assertion falls apart when you start to factor in the increased personnel costs and training costs that ANY move away from windows entails. Add on top of this any existing investment in software and the “savings” of license costs soon become trivial.

    “Schools and lots of offices can run on little more than a browser and a word-processor. LTSP likes both.”

    Pog, there are many things that “can” be done with IT, whether they will be done is another matter entirely. IN fact, I can pretty much guarantee you that situations like the one you faced where you last taught are fewer in number that you think.

    Pog, while you may love LTSP, it has zero visibility outside the small community that uses it.

  4. Choosing that other OS on thick clients doubles the price of the system in schools and libraries for no benefit. Lots of schools can run on Debian’s repository and nothing else. They have more software than they do with that other OS because they don’t need a budget to acquire any of it. Schools and lots of offices can run on little more than a browser and a word-processor. LTSP likes both.

  5. oldman says:

    “. I budget about 512 MB for the OS and 100 MB per user giving 1000% cost effectiveness, but then, I use GNU/Linux and good old X. IT really handicaps itself when it limits choice to that other OS.”

    The efficienty of your LTSP based system is in the end irrelevant. It can not run the applications that a typical IT organization has to support, and in the end it is the applications that determine efficiency of the users. The OS has to do its job and stay out of the way.

    No one is limited by their choice of windows based applications, Pog. On the other hand the limitations of being restricted to FOSS on Linux for certain classes of applications are easily demonstrable.

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