The CCB IT maintains a Virtudal Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for use by the
department's students and post docs. VDI is a form of server-based computing
that extends a full featured desktop experience to the end users while keeping
all the processing centralized on the CCB's servers.
Because of the budget restraints and strict policies regarding purchasing of
computer equipment from goverment grants, the practice of allowing
students to utilize their personal laptops in a secured work enviorment has been
growing. This trend is dangerous and brings to light several serious security,
reliability, and productivty concerns that need to be addressed. To combat this
the IT staff has deployed VDI so that users on their personal machines can work
securely and leverage all of the serices provided to the department.
Overview of VDI
When a user connects to the CCB's VDI server they essentially turn their laptop
into a "dummy terminal" of old. It is like hooking up their keyboard, and screen
to a computer that is located in another room.
How VDI Works
To the end user the experience is the same as if they were logged into a normal
lab machine. The sever technology allows for the user's to experience a rich,
multi-media experience based on Windows 7.
Essentially the VDI servers become a user's personalized work computer, without
the need for professors to purcahse a machine for every one of their lab
members. This greatly reduces costs for the members of the CCB, and support
requirements of the IT staff.
Benefits of using VDI
There are many benefits of using the departments VDI servers, some of which are listed below.
1. Reduces Costs
Instead of purchasing a comptuer for each lab member, the VDI service is provided to all CCB users for free.
2. All Data is Backed up
When utilizing the VDI server, all the data is saved centrally, and backed up three times daily. The IT staff does not support personal laptops and in the event of a harddrive crash, all that data is lost and can be costly to repair.
The way the Rutger's software licencing is handled, it is impossible to purchase or install certain programs on personally owned machines. The Computers in VDI are owned by the univeristy and allow more applications for the users.
4. Accessible from everywhere
Users are able to connect to their work machines from the dorms, from their house, or the coffee shop, anywhere with an internet connection.
5. Increased Productivity
Its easier to share files, callorabate on projects and limit emailing of large data back and forth. Everyone can utilize the CCB's resources where before it was limited to the few lab machines in each room.