Going Virtual: Best Practices

Wednesday, February 17 | 3:30PM–4:15PM | Capitol Ballroom F-H
Session Type: Professional Development
Virtual Desktops
Is your space for computer labs shrinking? Can students access applications remotely? The answer today is a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment. VDI offers flexibility for multiple lab environments and scales with the unique higher education requirements. In spring 2009, three colleges and Information Technology Services at the University of Texas at Austin started a project to launch a campus-wide VDI service. The goal was to offer a hosted solution while providing the colleges with local control over their application environment.

Virtual Computer Labs: A Reality
At Goodwin College, offering computer labs for many computer-related courses requires the availability of multiple servers at each student's disposal. Deploying multiple servers for each student poses practical challenges and is expensive. While sharing computers would alleviate this problem, it wouldn't promote learning as effectively as having all the servers available to students. This problem was solved by deploying multiple virtual servers as virtual machines on a single physical box for each student. The architecture of these deployments provided the students and faculty with a rich hands-on experience at a fraction of the cost.


  • David Burns

    IT Director, McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin
  • Bob Gloyd

    Director of IT, University of Texas at Austin
  • George Mathew

    Full Staff, MIT
  • Charles Soto

    Director, Information Technology, University of Texas at Austin

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