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Virtualization Nation Responds

So, we asked you recently what you were doing with virtualization...and you responded! Let's not waste any time on this one. Here are a couple of your e-mails:

Jack writes to us from your editor's home state of Texas:

"We here at Clarendon College campuses in Clarendon, Pampa and Childress, Texas are using it on every system in our IT lab. We are looking into running a server-distributed solution for a virtual machine image for each of about 15 separate courses with all pertinent OSes included. Classes such as A+ classes would have availability to Linux and Mac VMs as well as Win9x, 2K, XP and Vista to compare during lab work and instruction. I haven't found an Ubuntu image workaround for VMware on XP Pro host yet, but I think I will by mid-July when we need it. I haven't been successful with Virtual PC and Ubuntu, either. I also need a cheap version of Mac OS X to study, as well. Our networking and infrastructure class images need to use MS Server 2008 and 2003, as well as AS400, NetWare and Apple. As we are still in the development stage, I do not have enough licenses except for Microsoft OSes (MS has been VERY good to us here -- think Dreamspark and MSDNAA). We have decent host hardware, but the challenges seem to be in the software realm. If we stay with Microsoft products, this is EASY, though we are hoping for some cross-platform operation as well.

"As we work through these lab settings, we are also setting the stage for our Enterprise as well, but that is another story. Dummy terminals and 'virtual bubbles' appear to be in our near future across the organization."

Superb stuff, Jack. Thanks for going into detail. Take it easy with that Texas summer setting in.

Edward had a story for us, too:

"We've been using virtualization for years. In the late 1990s, we used VMware client so that our developers could create testing environments and we didn't need to get numerous test machines. Usually, this was to test our application on Win95, Win98, Win2000 or WinME (that was a mistake).

Working in the midrange world, we frequently would partition our systems (AS/400s, now i5s) to consolidate and save floor space, etc. More recently, we've consolidated several of our servers onto a single server and partitioned it with VMware Server. This took us from 30 cubic feet of server space to one 4U unit in a rack, consolidating five servers into one. Our next phase in the server realm will be to replicate this one server and develop a load-balancing, fail-over configuration. I can't imagine not using this in any shop that has more than one logical server."

Thanks to you, too, Edward. We're still up for your virtualization stories if you've got them. Send them to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on May 29, 2008 at 11:54 AM