Information Technology Services (ITS)


Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Project

Information Technology Services solidified a plan to introduce Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to the campus community in the fall of 2013. VDI stores computer images on college servers to provide students, faculty and staff with a full desktop experience from campus computers and to provide faculty and staff remote access while dramatically increasing the efficiency with which ITS can respond to help requests. (Directions for remote access are forthcoming.)

ITS began the deployment of VDI in the summer of 2014 in strategic service locations to confirm its efficacy, usability, efficiency and to assess end user satisfactions. With a few modifications to the original implementation plan, ITS is now poised to deploy the next phase of VDI, including faculty and staff offices and a limited roll-out in the ACE for summer of 2015. Deployment will continue through fall of 2015.

Beginning Aug. 12, 2015, ITS will be deploying VDI on staff and faculty desktop computers building-by-building throughout the campus. A deployment schedule is available and will be updated accordingly. There will be no interruption to services and the changes will be applied upon restart.

Documentation and Training
Documentation is available for faculty, staff and student use.

Information sessions will be held in the Center for Effective Teaching (BCT 1033) to provide faculty and staff an opportunity to experience VDI and ask questions as follows:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 from 9 – 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 from 9 – 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

    Please join us for one of these information sessions! Registration is not required.

ITS selected VMware Professional Services as its partner to support the deployment of VDI to the campus community. First, VMWare provided the college with a comprehensive VDI plan including a comprehensive architectural design for VMware View, the software that is used to deploy each desktop. After gathering solution requirements and defining specific use-cases, the VMware Professional Services team provided ITS with in-depth implementation guidance as well as recommended protocols for installation and configuration tasks, day-to-day operations, design verification and implementation assistance services.

Positive Impacts/Goals of Using VDI

  1. Agile Environment/User Experience
    With VDI, virtual desktops can be built, deployed, patched and managed from one central location rather than requiring services to be completed for each classroom, lab and office location separately. This increases efficiency and flexibility for our end users and the campus community while delivering critical software application updates and fixes within hours instead of days or weeks. In short, VDI allows ITS to maintain the college's computer infrastructure in a more streamlined manner and increases the efficiency with which ITS can respond to user help requests.
  1. Computer Replacement Cycles
    ITS previously allocated STP funds every three years to replace all ACE computers. As ACE machines were replaced, they were re-purposed as office computers for the campus. One goal in deploying VDI is to eliminate the need for the replacement cycle in areas that deploy the "Standard ACE" (Classroom) and "Office" image. The ITS department will continue to replace equipment in areas that require specialty builds (i.e. Technology, Digital Media, Dental Hygiene, CAAT, etc.) and where software requires specialized hardware (e.g. CAD/CAM, etc.). By implementing VDI, the ITS department will help the college realize significant savings on hardware replacement and Windows licensing costs.
  1. Security of Information
    A VDI deployment offers many options for securing virtual desktops.

    • End users access their virtual desktops from on- and off-campus, while data and resources remain within the data center. This reduces the risk associated with the loss or theft of mobile devices.
    • VDI images can be patched immediately for zero-day security threats.
    • VDI is resilient to power and network interruptions preserving your virtual desktop session and its data.
    • VDI images are scanned for viruses at the data center and not at the workstation.

2015 Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Rollout Schedule

Faculty/Staff Office Desktop PCs

Thursday, Aug. 13

Location Status
Amstuz Science Hall Completed
Brahan Hall Completed
Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center Completed

Friday, Aug. 14

Location Status
Bulmer Telecommunications Center Completed
Siek Campus Center Completed

Monday, Aug. 17

Location Status
Marvin Library Learning Commons Completed

Tuesday, Aug. 18

Location Status
Cogan Hall Completed
Day Care Center Completed
CoGen Plant Completed
Higbee Hall Completed
LaPan Services Building Completed
Williams Hall Completed

Wednesday, Aug. 19

Location Status
Administration Building Completed
Guenther Enrollment Services Center Completed
Parking Garage Completed
Science Center Completed

Thursday, Aug. 20

Location Status
Hudson Hall Completed
Lang Technical Building Completed
McDonough Sports Complex Completed

Thursday, Aug. 27

Location Status
400 Jordan Road, Troy Completed
TEC-SMART Completed

Date TBD

Location Status
Albany Extension Center at 175 Central Ave.

ACE Desktop PCs

Thursday, Aug. 13

Location Status
Siek Campus Center - Computer Cafe Completed

Monday, Aug. 17

Location Status
Marvin Library Learning Commons Completed

Date TBD

Location Status
Classrooms (including Instructor Consoles)