New UCC resource, VDI, is explained in how to video
UCC is providing resources for students and staff to make virtual learning a little bit easier by offering a VDI. This system should allow students and staff to access and operate the UCC lab computers remotely when the kinks are worked out. The VDI allows users to log into a UCC lab computer and use its software; the user’s personal computer then becomes a portal and a monitor as the user is actually running applications on the UCC computer remotely.
This virtual desktop infrastructure system, VDI, is connected to a cloud that can be accessed by students no matter where they are. Currently, UCC only has 300 VDI connections to the cloud, meaning 300 students can concurrently access it.
Because there is limited virtual system accessibility, students should only use the UCC VDI system for resources that they can not otherwise access.
Before logging out of the virtual system, students must save all work by emailing it to themselves or using a OneDrive account. Supposedly users are able to save to a flash drive, but the process can be very difficult and time consuming at least for a MacBook. The Mainstream staff tested the flash drive with a MacBook and finally got it to work but only if an attachment and the flash drive is plugged into the MacBook before opening the VMware Horizon software required by the VDI system.
VMware Horizon is the required software that allows users to log into the VDI; it is the first step in the process of downloading the VDI to users’ computers. See The Mainstream video “MacBook VMware Demonstration” connected to this story.
Students using the VDI system must figure out what works best for them to save their work. Students must save their work from the VDI onto their own computer before shutting down the VDI. Once the virtual system is logged out, students’ work will automatically be erased from the system and they will not have access to it again.
If users are able to figure out how to use a flash drive or have a flash drive port, and if the flash drive system works as it is supposed to, this will be the easiest method of saving. However, if this is not possible, students can save their files to the VDI computer desktop for about fifteen minutes and then email their files from that desktop to their student Gmail account by opening up a Google Chrome browser tab on the VDI and accessing their Gmail.
It is important to note that the required initial VDI VMware system downloading process could take up to as long as an hour or more. The Mainstream tested downloading on two computers; one took five minutes, and the other took about an hour and both internet networks have good connections. Some computers may handle it better than others and may not take as long to download.
Internet is needed during the process of downloading and during the entire VDI activity.
We created an easier set of instructions to follow for downloading VDI and for saving files, after experiencing confusion while following the initial instructions. See The Mainstreams videos to learn more.
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