Project: vDesk Virtual Desktops
Last updated: March 3, 2011
vDesk provides virtual system image provisioning which reduces the time and cost to manage campus computer labs, provides replicated, customized environments to students and faculty, and increases the flexibility of Schools and Colleges to support a diverse base of operating system and application needs.
vDesk is supported and monitored by a consortium of interested Schools and Departments at the university.
A vDesk session includes:
- Windows XP (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit)
- 2GB RAM
- 10-40 GB hard drive space (evaluate with ITS)
- Public or private network space
- ThinApp and ITS-owned/campus licensed software
College and departments
vDesk is intended to be used as the desktop for thin client machines in a lab environment, managed by a designated vDesk desktop administrator.
Anyone who uses labs running vDesk may use the service, unless the college or department that runs the lab has chosen to restrict access.
Supported computing environment
If you are running vDesk from a thin client, the hardware specifications for the thin client are:
- VMware specifications for View 4.5 can be found on the VMware site
- Some legacy machines can also be supported using vBoot.
If you are running vDesk from a browser on a desktop machine, minimum recommended operating system requirements are:
- Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional SP2
- Internet Explorer 7 or better
- Mac OS 10.4 and above
- Safari 3.0 or better
- Firefox 3.0 or better
- Latest version of Java and Microsoft RDC 2.0
For VMware View 4.5, the minimum recommended operating system requirements can be found on the VMware site.
Both Tier 1 and Tier 2 technical support is available during normal business hours. Routine requests are typically addressed within one business day.
ITS requires that each department that uses vDesk have a designated vDesk desktop administrator for the service, and that this individual have at least one backup.
Tier 1 support
The vDesk desktop administrator in each department provides Tier 1 support for this service.
Tier 2 Support
vDesk desktop administrator may escalate issues to Tier 2, which can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portal administrators are also encouraged to use and contribute to the vDesk wiki.
ITS will notify customers about both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance using the ITS Services Status page of service availability and service delivery issues. Services may not be available during the maintenance periods.
Scheduled maintenance for central vDesk hardware and software is essential for upgrades and to maintain security, and may occur weekly on Sundays from midnight to 6 a.m. vDesk desktop administrator may schedule maintenance for their own portals outside of this window, but are responsible for communicating any maintenance windows with their end users.
Unscheduled maintenance tasks that require service downtime will be announced as soon as possible on the ITS Services Status page.
ITS will notify vDesk desktop administrator of changes to the vDesk service.
Subscribers (users) of the service and identified owners/administrators agree to be aware of and adhere to the university's Acceptable Use Policy.
In addition, vDesk users agree to:
- Be familiar with the vDesk documentation at http://www.utexas.edu/its/vdesk.
- Use supported client software.
- Provide critical information to the departmental portal administrator in a timely manner when requested for purposes of resolving issues.
vDesk desktop administrators agree to:
- Provide ITS with contact information for the yourself and at least one backup.
- Be familiar with the online documentation at http://www.utexas.edu/its/vdesk as well as the information available at https://wikis.utexas.edu/display/vdesk/ITS+vDesk+Community+Wiki.
- Provide critical information to Tier 2 support in a timely manner when requested for purposes of resolving vDesk issues.
- Manage, troubleshoot, and resolve issues with desktop images.
- Manage, troubleshoot, and resolve issues security permissions.
- Manage, troubleshoot, and resolve issues related to vDesk and Austin Active Directory Group Policy.
Cost of Service
This service is funded by an ITAC grant for 360 seats through August 2013. It is currently available at no direct cost, up to 360 licenses shared among the campus community. Please note that the service will be reevaluated when the number of licenses used exceeds 360, or when the current licenses expire in August 2013.