Ever wish you could use the software found in our Windows general access labs without physically needing to walk into the lab? We're getting a few steps closer to making this reality with our Windows Lab Virtualization pilot. The server to support this was set up this spring and initial testing of a limited number of applications occurred near the end of the semester. Over 40 pieces of software were packaged this summer and it is now ready for increased usage while still in a pilot mode.
The virtual lab is designed to allow students and faculty who have either a Windows PC running Windows Vista/Windows 7 or a Mac running OS X version 10.4 or higher to access software titles that are in our general access labs. We do not have every piece of software available since some software vendors charge a prohibitive amount to allow us to offer access to them virtually and some software will not run virtually. (For example, the Adobe Creative Suite is not available due to licensing issues.)
How it works: If you are on a Mac or a PC open a web browser and navigate to https://virtual.uwec.edu. If this is the first time you access a virtual lab machine from your computer, client software will be installed and will need to be configured. For instructions, see the LTS Online Help article found at http://www.uwec.edu/Help/campus/Lab-Virtualization.htm. Once you have installed and configured the client, you can simply double-click the client shortcut or go back to https://virtual.uwec.edu. You'll then be led through the connection and login process.
Once logged in, you'll have a Windows 7 instance that acts exactly like you were in one of our labs. While a virtual connection will never be as fast as running software directly on your own PC, most people piloting the software have been happy with the responsiveness.
Please note: Just like in the lab, anything saved to the desktop or PC is lost when you exit, so you should always save to your network drive. This should be automatically mapped in the virtual machine. And, just like in the lab, we have a limited number of seats. Our pilot provides up to 100 seats in the virtual lab, but the number will be expanded as demand grows and resources allow.