Thin Client vs. Desktop in the Small Business

Mark Berry December 12, 2009

A non-profit customer has an underutilized server and a desktop due and budgeted for replacement. Would it make sense to replace the desktop with a thin client, and run the needed programs in a virtual instance on the server?

I blogged earlier about Microsoft Desktop Virtualization Licensing for the SMB. Mostly for licensing reasons, it doesn’t make sense to do full virtual desktops. So that leaves the option of running a terminal server to host the customer’s apps.

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Setting Up Dell OpenManage on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

Mark Berry November 19, 2009

One of my misconceptions about the Microsoft virtualization options was that if I wanted to have access to server management tools, I would need to run “regular” (paid) Window Server 2008 so I could install those tools, then enable the Hyper-V role for the virtual clients. It turns out that that is not the case.

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Setting Up Windows Server Backup on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

Mark Berry November 19, 2009

Part of my testing of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 will be the built-in backup solution. But although Windows Server Backup it is a built-in feature, it is not enabled by default. Here’s how to activate it and to register the VSS writer so it will tell your virtual machines to do a snapshot for the backup.

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Managing Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 from Windows 7

Mark Berry November 19, 2009

I'm testing Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 as a virtualization platform. This is the free version that only includes the Hyper-V role and a command-line interface.

Here are a few notes I made on setting things up so I can manage the server from Windows 7 (Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise only):

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Microsoft Desktop Virtualization Licensing for the SMB

Mark Berry November 7, 2009

I’ve been thinking about virtualizing a couple of desktops at a small non-profit customer site. The desktops are five years old, due and budgeted for replacement. There’s an under-utilized server available. Why not run Windows XP or Windows 7 as virtual desktops on the server, and replace the desktops with thin clients?

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Moving PBX in a Flash from a Virtual to a Physical Machine

Mark Berry November 24, 2008

After running PBX in a Flash (PiaF) in a virtual machine for a few days, I had a couple issues:

The system would generate an occasional message “TSC appears to be running slowly. Marking it as unstable.” This issue did not keep the PBX from running.

Voice quality was sometimes jittery. In a call, it would sometimes “cut out” (like a bad cell connection). In voicemail, even listening to the pre-recorded prompts, there was frequently some garbled-sounding audio.

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Virtualization, Source Control, and Bug Tracking

Mark Berry June 6, 2008

I attended the San Diego .NET Developer Group on Tuesday. Nick Pearce gave a great presentation on how to use virtual machines as a developer. I jotted down a few notes on topics he and others mentioned.

Virtualization

Some random notes: 

  • Nick is moving from Virutal PC to VMWare for the dual-monitor support.
  • Remember to turn on hardware virtualization support in your computer's BIOS. Some (like my Thinkpad) disable that by default. 
  • A quad-core processor might help performance with multiple virtual machines.
  • Use a separate disk drive for a differencing volume to reduce contention.
  • You can clone a PC image, but use SysPrep or (XP only) NewSID to fix the SID in the clone.

Source Control

Several products were mentioned:  SourceGear Vault, PerForce, Subversion.

Bug Tracking

More products here:  FogBugz (integrates wtih PerForce), Trac, BugTrac, Mingle

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