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VGA Output from a VM in eSXi or Hyper-V

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I am having an issue on how to get VGA output from Virtual Machines by using as less equipment as possible.

We currently have some physical machines running platforms from which users see different information. I want to remove all the machines and replace them with virtual ones to save both space and power.

My environment consists of a Blade Enclosure and on which I have both Hyper-V and eSXi Clusters. So I can host the VMs on any of these.

What I want to do is too find a way to create the VMs and display them on normal screens.

I attempted to use Belkins Network USB Hub along with USB to VGA Adapters but I had continuous disconnections from the hub.

Any idea is welcome on how to solve my issue!!
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post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peiler View Post

Hi guys,

I am having an issue on how to get VGA output from Virtual Machines by using as less equipment as possible.

We currently have some physical machines running platforms from which users see different information. I want to remove all the machines and replace them with virtual ones to save both space and power.

My environment consists of a Blade Enclosure and on which I have both Hyper-V and eSXi Clusters. So I can host the VMs on any of these.

What I want to do is too find a way to create the VMs and display them on normal screens.

I attempted to use Belkins Network USB Hub along with USB to VGA Adapters but I had continuous disconnections from the hub.

Any idea is welcome on how to solve my issue!!

Secondary computer that is connected and running the consoles for the VMs.
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post #3 of 8
@OP

How about an Ethernet switch and some VDI terminals?
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@OP

How about an Ethernet switch and some VDI terminals?

I was also thinking of VDI Terminals but I was wondering what kind of equipment I would need. The idea is not to have all the towers around to save space. I prefer to keep the cost low but all solutions will be considered smile.gif
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post #5 of 8
@OP

Look at the VDI solutions from VMware and Citrix. I'm sure there are others (and cheaper too), but those are the ones I am aware of. You could probably get away with some cheap RDP terminals (Dell Wyse and the likes) and just point each one at the relevant VM on the blade enclosure.

Make sure you invest in a decent network switch though. biggrin.gif
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@OP

Look at the VDI solutions from VMware and Citrix. I'm sure there are others (and cheaper too), but those are the ones I am aware of. You could probably get away with some cheap RDP terminals (Dell Wyse and the likes) and just point each one at the relevant VM on the blade enclosure.

Make sure you invest in a decent network switch though. biggrin.gif

A typical gigabit switch will do just fine for a Windows Server 2012 VDI or Citrix (VDI-in-a-Box, or XenDesktop) environment. Those are the three that I have the most experience with, at least in enterprise environments. In enterprises, I usually try to steer people away from VMware View, which just isn't as good as the others in my opinion. Those are all paid options, that you likely won't be able to afford at home, if you were to properly license everything.

There are also Open Source VDI options, but they are going to be based around Linux. Ulteo and Cantivo are the two top Open Source VDI solutions, which I have little experience with. Another option would be Microsoft Terminal Services (aka, Session Based Desktops). If you are running Windows servers and Hyper-V, you can just create some Windows 7 VMs and using Windows PCs (Windows 7 Thin PC maybe?), create RDP connection files and store them on the desktop. Simple power on the thin PC and double click the RDP connection, and bam...powerful Windows 7 or 8. With Hyper-V in Server 2012, virtual graphics are pretty decent (enough for Youtube, Hulu, etc) but you can always add an actual video card to your Hyper-V box and enable RemoteFX. Very simple to do, and I do it. In one of my Dell C1100 servers (running Hyper-V on Server 2012), I have a Radeon HD 5670 which has 1GB of RAM and I have 256MB dedicated to a Windows 7 VM and 256MB dedicated to a Windows 8 VM. Those VMs are pretty much my test bed, if I don't want to install something on my main PC, so I spend a bit of time on those two...even over WAN. I can easily forget that I am in an RDP session with RemoteFX...even at 128MB of RAM. It's not enough to do serious gaming, but it will definitely impress you.

I actually got my tech blog going again, and am starting to write more articles. A write up on RemoteFX is on my todo list!
post #7 of 8
@OP

Following on from what tycoonbob has posted, you could possibly combine VDI with Terminal Services, i.e. more than one user sharing a VM and running their own applications from it. I assume that each VM would have to be running Windows Server though, rather than Windows 7 (or Windows 8).
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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by parityboy View Post

@OP

Following on from what tycoonbob has posted, you could possibly combine VDI with Terminal Services, i.e. more than one user sharing a VM and running their own applications from it. I assume that each VM would have to be running Windows Server though, rather than Windows 7 (or Windows 8).

Yeah, I mentioned that above. Sorry if I wasn't too clear. smile.gif

Or you could take it a step further and through App-V and/or RemoteApps into the mix, and have a truly dynamic environment based around Microsoft UE-V (User Experience Virtualization). Pretty cool stuff, that no matter what/where/how you log into something, it all looks the same. Same apps, same profile, same everything. Sure is a lot of work though, and I can't say I recommend it for a home environment. Last time I did some UE-V work for a client, it was a full 40 hours to get the infrastructure in place and set up a Proof of Concept for 30 users.
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