New Computer Desktop Magic

New Computer Desktop Magic

July 28, 2010

We are moving toward virtual desktops. This means that – just like your network drives do now – your computer software and your files will follow you around, no matter which campus computer you log in to.  The virtual desktops are available in the classrooms and labs now.

How does this work?
We have a powerful server in the ITS data center where the software you need is installed and the software configuration is remembered. When you log on to a system on campus, the server creates a “virtual desktop” for you and sends it to your computer screen. You can then use your computer and programs as normal, never even knowing that all the REAL work is being done on a system far away. It’s that seamless.

You say your machine is a Mac? Or you’re running Linux? This is so sophisticated that you can run it from any machine you are working on – no matter which operating system you are currently using.

What does this mean?

Now, if you use a piece of software that is only available in the lab, you have to go to the lab. With the new virtual desktops, the lab software can be available to you from your residence hall personal computer – or even from your off-campus home PC!**

Because the software actually runs on the main server, the demand on your individual desktop and laptop computers will be rather low. Hopefully, this means they will not need to be replaced as often, saving the University big bucks in computer replacement costs.

It also means that new software installs should be a snap. If you need Adobe Acrobat installed, there’s no need for a person from ITS to show up with a CD. A couple clicks on our end and it’s there for you to use.

And because it doesn’t matter which physical computer you are logged into, it’s like having your personal computer magically following you around campus.

When do I get it?

We have most of the computer classrooms and labs converted to virtual desktops now.  During the Fall semester we will be making virtual desktops available to faculty and staff, and providing more information on how to use virtual desktops from your home personal computer.

** Some restrictions apply. Void where prohibited. Cancel anytime.