Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 08, 2016, 04:08:54 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?  (Read 2874 times)

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
I've done my best to be able to deal with my on-the-run computing needs by setting up portable applications on my USB and stuff.  But how difficult would it be to make my home PC accessible virtually?  A full desktop virtualization, that is.  I want to use the programs there in case I need something during an emergency situation.

I know this can be setup using various virtual software, but is it even worth it?  I have a time warner cable connection, which is decent, but can it handle this sort of thing effectively?  Would the lag be too unbearable?  because it's not just about setting it up, I know I can do that.  Is the experience going to be productive, though?  I know, I can't expect the speed of a local PC, but I also can't have a situation where I move the mouse to the side, and it takes 10 seconds to see that on the screen.

My company uses Citrix, which does this, but in a way that I can't explain.  It's not just a window into another desktop, it actually brings the programs to the local pc, so it's all rendered locally.  Other programs just give you a window basically that shows the remote desktop.  I've used remote desktop (basic windows XP accessories) within my building to connect from a laptop to my workstation, and that works really well.  but I've heard it's unbearably slow when people try doing the same from home.

So i want to explore this idea.  I'd like to hear about your experiences with this, or if there are experts, any advice.  Thanks.

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,296
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2010, 01:35:51 PM »
I spend most of my day working via Remote Desktop to the various internal and external servers I manage. I seldom ever have any issues. The occasional lag is hardly noticeable, and basic printing to local devices (I've never tried large graphics) works fine.

Only real lag prone area is when you try to browse local drives (deep into large file systems) using the connect to local drives feature. But as long as you stay close to drive root and leave the window open it's not hard to deal with.

Well over half of Page Countster was written and tested at night while I was connected to my office comp via RDP.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2010, 01:44:02 PM by Stoic Joker »

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2010, 02:34:12 PM »
Stoic, what software do you use to setup the remote connections?  Do you just use the Remote Desktop Connection that comes with Windows?  What do you use for a client?  What if I'm on a mac, is there a way to connect to my XP PC at home?  Is there some portable client app I can have on my USB drive and connect from a Mac to my pc?

And I can't tell from your explanation:  are you just connecting to files and folders, or are you actually running a virtual desktop and using programs installed on the other pc?

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,296
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2010, 04:01:20 PM »
Stoic, what software do you use to setup the remote connections?  Do you just use the Remote Desktop Connection that comes with Windows?

Yes. But, Home PC will need to be a Professional/business edition - Home editions do not have Terminal Services bits necessary to connect to them (from is fine)


Quote
What do you use for a client?

Same, you can either memorize the connection info or save a .rdp file on your ThumbDrive. There is a downloadable install copy of the client software, but it's only needed for the rare NT4/Win2k case.

Quote
What if I'm on a mac, is there a way to connect to my XP PC at home?
 
Then you have my sympathy... :) ...As I understand there is a Mac version of the MS RDP client available. As long as Home PC is a Business or Professional Edition yes.

Quote
And I can't tell from your explanation:  are you just connecting to files and folders, or are you actually running a virtual desktop and using programs installed on the other pc?

Yes it's a direct connection to the remote machines desktop, so whatever project you were working on can be accessed directly - Just like you were there. The MS RDP is much like Symantec's PC Anywhere or a VNC connection except it's smooth, fast, and doesn't waste a ton of bandwidth.

If you choose to connect the local drives using the RDP config option, then any drives available to the machine you are connecting from will be made available to the machine you are connecting to. I usually just connect the clipboard so I can cut and past text between local and remote machines (even if you're connected to 4 or 5 at a time - as I frequently am).

wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,406
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2010, 04:14:03 PM »
You can also use VNC... there's a client for mac from what I understand, though I haven't used VNC since MSRDP started being a viable product.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2010, 04:49:06 PM »
Thanks Stoic. I'm going to try it out.  I've used the .rdp file here at work, so I'll try that also.  I'll be blown away if the responsiveness is anywhere decent.  I'm already impressed that you connect to multiple computers and are able to work productively.

I'll also take a look at VNC, wraith, thanks.

4wd

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,474
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2010, 08:48:35 PM »
You can patch both Vista HP and 7 HP to allow RDP Host to work:

Vista HP
Windows 7 HP

I've done it to my install of W7HP x64 and it works fine, (apart from sound but not a problem for me).  Haven't tried Vista because I don't have it.

All the usual warnings apply: You screw it up, it's your fault.

superboyac

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,070
  • Is your software in my list?
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2010, 10:14:15 PM »
I have a question:
How come ALL corporate software companies can't clearly explain what their product does exactly?  I'm no dummy, but it takes me way too long to figure out what the hell is going on.  I see it all the time with corporate software.  I see it with this virtualization stuff, I saw it with the business process modeling stuff, I see it with collaboration stuff.  It's out of control.  I am just about convinced that it is done on purpose.  Why?  I don't know.  I can't see how it helps financially or anything.

Take Citrix for example:  try figuring out in 10 minutes what the hell their product does.  Ok, I know it has something to do with remotely connecting to a computer.  Presentations server, Xenapp, Xendesktop?  Which one is for what?  THen they have videos that are just as unclear.  Then page after page of polished marketing links and brochures that really aren't clear what it does and what the different parts are and which ones you need to do a particular thing.  Sheesh.  Why can't they just say something like, "This is an application to remotely connect client pc's to a server, deploy applications remotely, etc."  there's nothing like that.  Man, what is everyone's problem?  What's the price?  Do they do this to make sure you call them and have a rep sent to you?  That's the only logical conclusion I can draw from it.

Stoic Joker

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 6,296
    • View Profile
    • www.StoicJoker.com
    • Donate to Member
Re: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2010, 05:29:38 AM »
Do they do this to make sure you call them and have a rep sent to you?  That's the only logical conclusion I can draw from it.

Yes! Signup Now to Target Yourself with High Pressure Sales Tactics. Nevermind what the product Does...You Need One Now! And With Our "Flexible" (as concrete) Licensing Plans, You Can Get One for the Entire Staff!!! (for only $3 less than a Kings Ransome).


techidave

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,012
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: How difficult/feasible to do a desktop virtualization of my home PC?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2010, 05:54:38 AM »
Citrix is an expensive item.  Our school looked briefly at it 5 or 6 years ago.  For our 100 machines or so it would have been $20,000 to implement it.  Why, supposedly so we could use our older, slower machines and save money cause we wouldn't need machines with hard drives and cd drives.

Give me a break, I still used the older, slower machines without a whole lot of problems.  But there are quite a few schools that do use it.  They must have deeper pockets than our school does!   :(


sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this thread.