Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) allows you to log into a virtual desktop with a standard W&M computer image.  It's similar to logging in to a lab computer or classroom podium computer.  Network drives, Microsoft Office software, standard computer applications, and various browsers are all available through VDI. 

VDI offers a secure environment to access services such Banner Admin from off campus, and it is Mac-friendly.  An app for tablet computers and smart phones for both Android and iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, etc.) makes using VDI easy while on-the-go.

Using VDI

VDI can now be accessed by downloading the VMWare View client or by using a web-based version. The web version may be a more convenient option for some users but it has limitations, including slower performance than the client version and the inability to use thumb drives. If you choose to download the client, you may download it to the device(s) of your choice:  a laptop, home computer, iPad/iPhone, Android phone, etc. 

To access VDI, go to https://vdesktop.wm.edu/.  You will be presented with the two options: to Install the View Client or HTML Access.  Choose HTML Access for the web-based version of VDI.

Complete instructions for downloading, installation, and web version: VMWare View Client Setup and Usage (pdf)

For mobile devices, you can download VMware Horizon View Client from the app store.  Use the same instructions (above) for installation.


Login
  1. Open the VMWare View Client
  2. Select the Connection Server (vdesktop.wm.edu) and click Connect.
  3. Enter your WMuserid and Password and click Login.  Domain will default to CAMPUS.  
  4. Choose the Virtual Desktop you would like to connect to (the only option at this point will be Faculty and Staff General Use). 
  5. You may choose to adjust the display options.
  6. Click Connect.
  7. Please be patient.  It may take several minutes to connect.
  8. Once connected, review the information presented on the screen and click OK to consent and begin your session.

Access Limitations

VDI is available at all times, however there are a couple things to keep in mind that might limit your use.  

Only W&M faculty & staff can access VDI.

For licensing purposes, there are 50 virtual computers (or VDI terminals).  That means there can be a maximum of 50 people logged-in to VDI at one time.  Once 50 is reached, you will not be able to login and must wait until someone logs-off to use the system. 

Time is also a limiting factor. An active session will be available for 10 hours.  After 10 hours (regardless of activity level) the session will be logged-off and disconnected automatically.  The screen will automatically lock if the session has been inactive (no keyboard or mouse movements) for 20 minutes.  Enter your WMuserid and Password to resume your session. 


Accessing Banner Admin

Anyone with Banner Admin PROD access can use VDI to access Banner from off campus.  After you are logged-in, you will see a direct link on the virtual desktop to the Banner Admin web page.  Use the link(s) on that page to access Banner Admin.  

Keep in mind that even though VDI is available 24 X 7, Banner is not.  Data in Banner is backed-up nightly at 3:30 am and the system is unavailable during that time.

Unfortunately, the TOAD license restricts us from loading it to VDI.  However, you can access SQL Developer instead.  If you need to use TOAD specifically you must remote-access your actual desktop via VPN (Option Two)


Network Drives

You will be able to see the network drives you have permissions to, like your personal H: drive.  If you have access to your department's group drive (G: drive), you will be able to access it as well. 

You will not be able to access your office computer's C: drive.  The C: drive you see on VDI is a virtual C: drive, not the one on your office computer.  Be careful not to save any information to this C: drive, as it will be lost.

Saving & Printing

The VDI desktops use "folder redirection", meaning anything you save to the following locations will actually save to corresponding folders on your H: drive:

  • The Desktop
  • Favorites
  • My Documents
  • My Music
  • My Pictures
  • My Videos
  • Downloads

If you want to verify that a file you saved in one of these locations is safe on your H: drive, access the H: drive (for example, via the "Computer" link on the Start Menu) and verify your file is there. However, if you save a file just under your user folder (such as C:/users/my_user), you are saving it on the C: drive, and it will be lost.

Important!  You MUST save all your work either to a network drive or a USB (thumb) drive.  Any data saved to the virtual C: drive WILL BE LOST.

To save to a usb (thumb) drive, plug it into into your computer and use the "Connect USB Device" option (at the top-left of the VDI window) to connect it to your virtual desktop.

You can also print from VDI.  Simply connect the device you are using to a printer and then you can print from the VDI to that printer.


Support

If you have problems logging in to VDI verify your WMuserid and password are correct, as well as the correct domain (CAMPUS).  Also verify that you are authorized to use VDI (W&M Faculty/Staff).

Another issue may be that a virtual desktop may not be available.  There is a maximum of 50 concurrent sessions at any given time.  If all sessions are taken, you must wait for someone to log-off before you can log-in. 

Support is available during normal business hours through the Technology Support Center.



Need help?  Contact the Technology Support Center (TSC)

757-221-4357 (HELP) | support@wm.edu | Jones 208, Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm