MS Windows Toaster

Kevin Fries Kevin at hcico.com
Tue Jan 18 17:29:45 UTC 2005


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Les Mikesell wrote:
| I'd give it a try on wine/crossover office first, but if you only
| need a couple of instances and have plenty of RAM, you can try
| running the desktop version of VMWare under vncserver.  That is,
| start vncserver, connect to it on the screen number it gives
| you, start vmware, repeat.  You'll be able to disconnect and
| reconnect to those screens as needed.  If you run win2k server,
| win2003 server or XP, you might get better response if you
| activate terminal services and connect with rdesktop instead
| of terminal services - and you might be able to get by with
| only one instance of win2k or 2003 server and terminal services
| but that ends up costing more.

While not exactly what I was thinking, it was along the same lines.  I
am one of those admins that gets all the blame when things go wrong, but
no budget to fix things.  Wietse Venema (author of Postfix) keeps
teasing me about needing a new job... I laugh and tell him its the
challenge thats fun.

We have this program that is a monster.  When run on a Windows machine,
it kills the productivity of the machine by not allowing the processor
to fall below 50%.  This means I can run two instances of this program
at once if I am willing to have my CPU run between 95% and 100% for
anywhere between 9 hours and 3 days... I'll pass.

The putzes that had the job before me built secondary machines and
placed them in each person's office.  This way they could each run one
instance of the program.  Stupid design that shows no flexibility at
all.  Some of the users did not even get a second machine!  Now that I
am replacing these machines, I would like to place the machines on the
network and make them available via VNC.  This makes them a service that
any of the guys can use to run as many geological models as there are
machines to run them on.

I spent $1,500.00 on a new SuperMicro 1U Dual Xeon machine (but only one
cpu installed) that can handle tons of memory.  I would like to have
that machine run two copies of windows simultaneously.  My thought was
to run Fedora, and GSX.  But now I am replacing a second $1,500.00
server with $1,600.00 worth of software... not the most cost efficient
design I would say.

As for the Terminal Server versions of Windows, that too is mighty
costly!  I will never get more than 2-3 windows sessions going at once
on this machine just because of the resource requirements of this
program (3.06GHz processor is brought to its knees by it).  So Terminal
Server Edition will suffer from the same issues as GSX does.  I can not
get enough critical mass on one server to overcome its high cost.

My "lets see if this works" idea was to use VMWare Workstation 4 to see
if I can run the session automatically without a desktop, then export it
out with VNC.  I don't think this is going to work unless I have an
interactive desktop.  This is exactly what I was trying to avoid... I
need those resources elsewhere.

Like I said originally, I am not sure what I need even exists, I was
just hoping that I missed something on Google.

- --
Kevin Fries
Network Administrator
Hydrologic Consultants, Inc of Colorado
(303) 969-8033    FAX: (303) 969-8357
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