Virtual Desktop Infrastructure - VDI

What is VDI?

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a new method of delivering computing power to the computer labs. Traditionally, a computer's operating system and productivity applications run locally on its internal hard drive. The entire burden of processing is on the local computer. With VDI, all heavy processing moves from the local computer into the datacenter, where high-end servers do the same work but in a much more efficient way.

How does VDI benefit my teaching?

  • Faster computing environment
    Since VDI runs on a powerful server infrastructure, operating systems and applications run faster than they do on a local computer. Faster computing environments increase computing efficiency for users.
  • Increased flexibility
    Previously, software could only be added or updated twice a year. This limited our flexibility in lab software changes. With VDI, we are developing the ability to provide software changes at any point in the year.

How does VDI benefit the university?

  • Increased computer lifespan
    Since the computing workload is moved from the local computer to the datacenter, the lifespan of the local computer increases. With a useful life span of 8 to 10 years, as opposed to the typical 3 to 4 year lifespan, VDI reduces annual replacement costs.
  • More environmentally friendly
    Some computer labs have new thin client style computers. (see table on the right) More labs will be converted to thin client sytle computers in the coming years. Thin client computers use 30 to 50% less power than a typical desktop computer. They also produce less heat while operating thus reducing the amount of energy needed to cool the computer labs. The longer lifespans of thin client style computers also reduces the annual amount of electronic waste leaving the university.

How does VDI change my computer experience?

The only visible differences a user experiences are listed below. Otherwise, the interaction with the computer and/or thin client is exactly the same.

  1. A new splash screen appears before the login prompt.
  2. A new message appears while the computer connects to the VDI system. The message reads “Preparing your desktop”

Usage Tips

  • For best quality of video playback, please use the DVD player unit in the instructor’s station, instead of the computer DVD drive.
  • If you are using Skype, please use your own laptop for best quality. You can also contact Media Services for equipment loans for conferencing or visit our Conferencing Technologies page for more information.
  • Please use Internet Explorer for best results when playing flash videos.

Computer Labs with VDI
Alamance 315
Alamance 318
Belk 113, 205, Commons, Periodicals, Tutoring
Carlton 321
Duke 303
KOBC 144 (VDI Thin Client Computers)
KOBC 201 (VDI Thin Client Computers)
KOBC 313 (VDI Thin Client Computers)
KOBC 354 (VDI Thin Client Computers)
McMichael 320
McMichael 203
Mooney 201 (VDI Thin Client Computers)
PHSB 135
PHSB 137

All Classrooms listed below have VDI Thin Client Computers
Alamance 202, 203, 204, 207, 215, 301, 304
Belk Pavilion 201
Carlton 309, 325
Colonnades A and B Common Rooms
Duke 202, 301, 302
Gray 201
Honors Pavilion 101
International Studies Pavilion 101
KOBC classrooms (all)
KOBC Collaborative Stations
Koury Center 139, 140, 141
Long 106A, 107, 114
McMichael 102, 103, 104, 107, 110, 114, 115, 217, 226, 322, 329
Mooney 207, 302, 304, 305, 310, 312
Powell 302
Spence Pavilion 101, 201


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