Drew University offers commuter students and faculty the ability to access academic software available via the campus network from off-campus through the use of a virtual desktop solution. The system allows you to use applications such as SPSS from home by running the application on an on-campus virtual PC which you control remotely. The service is easy to use and provides a seamless experience after a small program is installed on your computer.
- [Starting VPC]
- [Installing the vWorkspace Client]
- [Using VPC]
- [Managing and customizing your VPC session]
- [STEL:Using VPC on a Mac] (unsupported by Drew – information provided for convenience only)
If you have not used vWorkspace from this computer before, you will need to [install the Quest vWorkspace client], a small five megabyte download. Once the client is installed, you can use the vWorkspace Web Access interface to run applications.
From the Applications tab, click on an application's icon to start it. If you are using Firefox, it will prompt you with the following window, asking you to open or save the file:
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Select Open, click the checkbox to do this automatically for files like this from now on, and then click OK. The file is a temporary informational file, letting the client know the connection details. Once the file is opened by the client, it will start the session with the remote virtual desktop.
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The first time you launch the client, you will be prompted by the Windows Firewall. Please click on Unblock, to allow the client to run.
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On future sessions, you will not need to unblock the client.
Now that the client is running, it will take a short period of time to bring you to the application itself. The remote virtual machine will be logging you into Windows and execute your Novell login to map your network drives. Any future applications launched from the Web Access page will load much more quickly, as there will already be a virtual machine with you logged in.
The application will then load, with green title bars on its windows to help you differentiate between virtual applications and applications running on your local computer.
When running applications through vWorkspace, those applications will not have the same My Documents and Desktop as your local machine. The My Documents folder will be redirected to your University network documents folder, as if you were logged into a desktop or lab machine on campus (F:\My Documents). The Desktop of the virtual machine is redirected to F:\VPCDesktop, and any files saved to the desktop can be found there. If you are working from off-campus, you may upload files to or download files from your F:\My Documents for use with your VPC session using NetStorage. In addition, your local computer's drives will be available to the virtualized applications, and will show up near the bottom of the list of drives when opening or saving a document.
Your computer's printers will also be available from within the applications, and you will be able to print from them as if you were running the application locally.
Beyond the ArcGIS and SPSS applications, there are also links provided to other resources you might find useful. One link runs Moodle from the remote virtual machine, letting you easily upload files from your network drives to an assignment drop-box. There are also links to access your K: drive and network My Documents folder (F:\My Documents). These icons will start Windows Explorer on the virtual PC and allow you to drag and drop files saved, for instance, between your My Documents and ToFaculty folder on the K: drive.
When you close the last virtualized application you have open, you will see a green dialog box that reads Logging out. Do not worry, this is merely the remote machine ending your session and making the virtual machine available for someone else.
If you are accidentally disconnected from your session due to a network outage, your computer will automatically try to reconnect to the existing session twenty times. If you experience internet connectivity problems lasting longer than that, running the application from the vWorkspace Web Access portal will let you resume your existing session up to 30 minutes later. If a session remains disconnected for more than 30 minutes, it will be logged out automatically to free up that virtual machine for another user.
VPC sessions time-out after 2 hours of inactivity. If you leave your session unattended for 2 hours, you will be disconnected and logged out from the remote virtual machine automatically.
Please contact the CNS Helpdesk if you have any problems. You can reach the helpdesk at (973)408-3205, or at email@example.com. To provide feedback on this documentation or the service in general, please feel free to add a comment to this page or start a discussion in the technology discussion forum.