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Old 05-02-2014, 09:37 AM   #1
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Default Application Serving

Sorry for asking any possible idiot questions, but I'm not an Admin type and instead a hybrid hardware/software engineer. I'm facing a situation where the company I work for has less than 10 engineers, but facing the challenge of bang for the buck. There will likely be 3 or 4 different cad and programming applications used by all the engineers, but at different times. The applications, to my knowledge, do not have license managers that can dole out one or more sessions depending upon license availability, they are single-user applications. Each application also has a 'super user' version -- these need to be kept to a minimum due to cost (~5x as much as standard user) and their capabilities are not required as often and so will be used for 'standard' use much of the time instead of the extended capabilities they offer (this is probably irrelevant).

The purchases would be one or more (don't know how to determine loading) servers with Microsoft Windows Server 2012(?), each super user application version would be ~$5K and each standard user version ~$1K. The users would already have their own PC so that doesn't factor into the expense.

If we assume that a few engineers would be using one of 4 different applications simultaneously (3 using application A, 3 using application B and 3 using application C or other mix), which approach will be more cost effective? I foresee buying 1 super user version of each of the applications and standard user versions for the rest. My question is, can I have all of these installed on an application server and each engineer load the application from their PC when needed or just buy 1 super user application version sitting on different PC's based on perceived usage and then buy standard user version applications to be installed on the remaining PC's? These applications are single-user applications and each engineer would presumably not be able to run a particular application at certain times when all the instances of a particular application are in use.

Is there a cost effective approach that won't suffer performance-wise when multiple users need to be running different applications or do I just need to bite the bullet and buy everyone the application they need for their PC and a super user version on specific PC's?

Any advice or suggestions for more research before a conclusion can be reached would be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance,
Williamdor
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Application Serving

It will depend on the program. My guess is that they will only run on a PC. Therefore, you will need 1 PC for each licensed install. If you are not getting one for each engineer, then you will need to have community PCs that are shared.

However, like I said, it will depend on the program and if it can run off a server.


At least that's my understanding of your situation.
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Application Serving

That's good to know, of course, not the answer I was hoping for. Thank you for the prompt reply.

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Old 05-02-2014, 02:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Application Serving

You might be better off getting ahold of a rep from the product in question and ask them. Chances are they will be honest and helpful (not just out to sell the highest number of licenses they can).
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Application Serving

Thanks! That's good advice and some that I'll follow.

Regards,
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Application Serving

I'd recommend investigating Citrix xenapp (there is a windows Remote Desktop version but it's not nearly as polished).

Save money by buying cheaper work stations. And get really beefy servers since you'll be running the actual cad package on the servers and effectively just sending screen information to the users terminal.

You can even make it look like it's running on the desktop.

You can limit the number of simultaneous connections to a given application in order to keep an effective licence count.


It pretty much seems to be exactly what you're after.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Application Serving

root,

Thank you for these ideas. I'd like to think there is a 'I can get there from here' scenario instead of can't get there from here situation.

I'll pursue these suggestions and see where it takes me.

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Old 05-07-2014, 09:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Application Serving

I would recommend a 'beefy' server with Windows Server 2012 DataCenter on it. I was using Citrix Xenapp and was unimpressed. With Server 2012 Datacenter, you can create as many virtual machines as you want with Hyper-V. I am currently setting up two VM Servers at work and it is flawless; I would highly recommend it. Also, you can backup to Windows Azure and only pay when you actually use the backup. Just a thought.
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: Application Serving

Quote:
Originally Posted by SethWilliams View Post
I would recommend a 'beefy' server with Windows Server 2012 DataCenter on it. I was using Citrix Xenapp and was unimpressed. With Server 2012 Datacenter, you can create as many virtual machines as you want with Hyper-V. I am currently setting up two VM Servers at work and it is flawless; I would highly recommend it. Also, you can backup to Windows Azure and only pay when you actually use the backup. Just a thought.

That makes seemingly little sense.

Are you sure you're comparing the same products? the citrix virtualisation software is XenServer.

so you'd compare XenServer (Imo weakest) Hyper-V and VMWares Vsphere (imo strongest) Virtualisation.
(or it could just be that I've got the least exposure to that product)

Xenapp is what used to be metaframeXP.

which is different from Xenserver (virtual machine creation) and different from XenDesktop (VDI solution simillar to what you're saying.

I get what you're saying if you wanted all users to have a separate desktop that they logged on to.
so Desktop 1 for designer 1, desktop 2 for designer 2, desktop 3 for designer etc, and have those changes persistent.


But that doesn't get around the fact that different people may need to use different versions of the package (std/pro) on any day. and if you don't dedicate the desktops then are people going to be trying each desktop until the can log on?


With Xenapp you'd only need a single server license, and a licence for your terminal machines. and the client licenses (~£100 each)

I know that the licenses for the VMs would be included with the 2012 Datacentre license, but have you seen the cost of those?? plus there are TS license costs as well!

with Xenapp you'd set up one (or two, three etc) servers, and you have multiple clients connecting to the server and launching the server on the server, - not on a virtual machine running on the server....

-if you virtualise the ten desktops then that's 10 other things that you have to do. - for example windows 7 needs at least 1/2GB RAM to just sit doing nothing.
that's 5GB of server ram you need for your machines to wait doing nothing?
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Application Serving

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
That makes seemingly little sense.

Are you sure you're comparing the same products? the citrix virtualisation software is XenServer.

so you'd compare XenServer (Imo weakest) Hyper-V and VMWares Vsphere (imo strongest) Virtualisation.
(or it could just be that I've got the least exposure to that product)

Xenapp is what used to be metaframeXP.

which is different from Xenserver (virtual machine creation) and different from XenDesktop (VDI solution simillar to what you're saying.

I get what you're saying if you wanted all users to have a separate desktop that they logged on to.
so Desktop 1 for designer 1, desktop 2 for designer 2, desktop 3 for designer etc, and have those changes persistent.


But that doesn't get around the fact that different people may need to use different versions of the package (std/pro) on any day. and if you don't dedicate the desktops then are people going to be trying each desktop until the can log on?


With Xenapp you'd only need a single server license, and a licence for your terminal machines. and the client licenses (~£100 each)

I know that the licenses for the VMs would be included with the 2012 Datacentre license, but have you seen the cost of those?? plus there are TS license costs as well!

with Xenapp you'd set up one (or two, three etc) servers, and you have multiple clients connecting to the server and launching the server on the server, - not on a virtual machine running on the server....

-if you virtualise the ten desktops then that's 10 other things that you have to do. - for example windows 7 needs at least 1/2GB RAM to just sit doing nothing.
that's 5GB of server ram you need for your machines to wait doing nothing?
You are correct, I was referring to XenServer, not XenApp. I don't have a whole lot of experience with VMWare, but I have had good experience with Hyper-V so far.
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