Starting in Fall 2016, Student Computer Labs began a transition to VDI.  VDI stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, which means that some of our computers, nearly 60%, do not have an operating system natively installed on their local hard drive.  Instead, these computers are pulling down a desktop running on a server located across campus, essentially a streaming video of a computer.

All software listed here should be available during this pilot.

The Benefits

  • Near instant software delivery
    • Every student computer is a clone of a master computer, allowing us to update a single machine.  Once that occurs, a short update will bring every other computer to the most recent update, allowing us to install new software overnight.  In some cases, it can be pushed out mid-day, even mid-class, allowing for greater access to the tools students and professors need.
  • Security
    • Since the desktops are not installed anywhere, they can be deleted and remade rapidly.  Viruses are no longer major threats to a machine as it can simply be deleted.  User information is not stored locally on a hard drive, allowing it to be behind the safety of a protected server.
  • One-size-fits-all
    • It has long been the mission of Student Computer Labs to offer the same experience in all of our labs, regardless of a student's major.  With VDI we can take that one step further, as the hardware no longer matters.  The endpoint can be as simple as a phone and offer the full power of our desktops, as all of the computing power is on the server.


Our Goal

It is Student Computer Labs' goal to use this new tool to provide a better lab experience for our users.  The logins will be faster, the software will be more readily available, and the labs will become more accessible.  We understand that a change like this has some impact and we are working very hard to make the change seamless and simple.

If you have any questions about VDI, or are concerned with some aspect of it's performance, please let us know.  We want to do everything we can to make you succeed using this software and are dedicated to constantly improving the service we can offer.  Thank you for your help.


Jason Armstrong