The Cloud at MSC

The Campus Technology Services department at Mat-Su College is pleased to offer Virtual Desktop (VDI) services.

Background

Virtualization of computing has been around for years. Most organizations entered the virtualization arena by virtualizing their server environments. Mat-Su College implemented server virtualization in the summer of 2008. The next evolution of virtualized computing is Desktop Virtualization, or VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure). VDI involves virtualizing traditional desktop computers by moving the desktop experience to servers in the data center. Users access their traditional desktop computer over the network through a “client” which can be a multitude of hardware devices; Thin Client, standard PC, laptop or Smartphone.

Desktop virtualization proves to transform how education delivers computing resources. Students will be able to access all the applications necessary for their academic career from any device anywhere. Virtualized environments also greatly enhance the online delivery model. Students will no longer need to install specialized software to participate or need to visit campus to access those applications.


Benefits

  • Decreased Total Cost of Ownership
  • Green Initiative (Less power, less hardware waste)
  • Desktop can be provisioned in minutes, not hours
  • BYOD support
  • No need to turn off, or log off, computer at end of the day
  • Thin client devices versus desktop or laptop
    • Client is more energy efficient (10x)
    • Clients are 1/3 the cost of desktop
    • Longer lasting (7 year life / replace upon failure)
    • Reduced technical support demands
    • Reduced application compatibility issues
    • Increased data security

Limitations

  • Reduced local hard drive capacity. The standard R: and S: drive file storage shares remain available with VDI.
  • No integrated CD/DVD drive. (Drives are available  in the Library for checkout.)
  • Some applications cannot be virtualized. (However, vendors are responding quickly with solutions.)
  • Multimedia such as webcams are not supported at this time. Testing is underway to support multimedia scenarios.

Faculty and Staff Only

To access your desktop off campus, please follow these instructions:
View client instructions here
Link to download
VMware Horizon View Client