Robert you asked Tony during the video about using Virutal Server for academic purposes. While I am not using Virtual Server for this exact implementation at Grand Valley State University I have advocated one scenario and physically run another.
The first scenario that I have managed to get approved and it will be implemented over the summer is running virtual PC in our Computer Science Teaching Lab. This lab is used for 2 different datacom courses and currently all of the systems are setup in pairs
(one XP and one 2003 Server). Students currently have to work in pairs and part of the lab is installing and configuring a 2003 domain with a client. The problem is that if the lab before you does the install you may or may not get to do it depending on the
mood the teacher is in. What I have advocated is running a managed environment in the lab that is extremely restrictive (the lab has has problems with viruses since all students know the admin passwords for the lab domain) then setup virtual hard disks on
the servers which a student can download and use. Each student would then get their own N 2003 servers and M XP clients as well as the possibility of runnign other clients such as linux in order to setup a mixed environment. Anyhow I can go into this more
if people want to contact me, but I will cut this short here.
The second environment that I acutally run is a 2003 Server environment. Our university (as many others) only supports an open source development environment and the sys admin does not want to have anything to do with Microsoft Windows (though he is slowing
changing his mind since his box was hacked more then mine this year. He is at 4+, the 2003 server is still at 0). Anyhow the department would not support my efforts fully at the time being and so I only had one server to work with. Since I was setting up a
Terminal Server developement environment I wanted to have the ability to rebuild the terminal server if needed to add or remove software depending on what projects were going on during the semester. So I began to look at virtual server. The current environment
is setup as such
Host Operating System
ISA Server 2004
Virtual Server 2005
1 external NIC
1 Loopback Adapter (for internal network)
1 administrative login
There is a problem with making the host OS a part of the domain becuase of the way time synchronization works on virtual server so I could not use some features of the ISA server.
Virtual System 1 - Domain Controller
Virtual NIC (internal network)
Virtual System 2 - File Server
Virtual NIC (internal network)
SQL Server 2000
Visual Source Safe
Virtual System 3 - Terminal Server
Virtual NIC (internal Network)
Visual Studio .NET
A few other tools
The TS system is setup in a secure way to let each user develop and debug both winforms application and asp.net application (thanks to AppPools). It has been a very nice setup and students are really enjoying the environment.
The one major problem is that NO ONE else at the university understands the servers and since I am moving across the country (to Redmond ) in about 24 days they are frantically begging me now to explaing things (which I tried to do in the past). We are planning
a seminar in the next 2 weeks so that a few faculty members can see how things work, but my guess is that I will be getting alot of phone calls over the next year.
Anyhow just a tribute to the beauty I see in the virtualized environments . Sorry for the book...