All in on Jump Servers


One of the blogs I follow regularly is Brent Ozar‘s. He does an excellent job pointing out or explaining issues that dba’s need to think about. This post from a few days ago is an excellent case in point. Having a server that sits in the same infrastructure and that you can let long running queries run on without issue is wonderful. No more worries about disconnections or battery failures stopping long running queries. However, I actually suggest taking this even one step farther.

In this era of virtualized environments, many companies are utilizing thin clients hooked up to virtual machine pools as their users desktops. Tools such as VMWare Horizon and Citrix Receiver make this easy to manage and deploy. It’s great for standardizing desktops and managing install images. If you need to upgrade an application just upgrade it on the base image an recompose the pool.

One underused aspects of these technologies is the ability to create dedicated virtual machines and assign them to individual users. Instead of a dedicated jump server, I actually have my default desktop on a dedicated VM. Then I can login to it from anywhere without having to stop work and shutdown. My laptop becomes an expensive thin client instead.

The beauty of this though is that I can work from any device. My home network contains no Windows machines yet I can work just as effectively from a Mac or Linux desktop as from Windows since all I need to access my work desktop is the VMware Horizon Client or if it’s not installed I can use the HTML client instead.