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Annual Maintenance Fee: $149/year

Includes a 19” monitor with 4 USB ports, a keyboard, and a mouse. External DVD drives, cameras, and headsets can be provided upon request.

We offer a Virtual Desktop solution that is ideal for computer labs and has many benefits over traditional Physical Desktop computers.



What is a Virtual Desktop/Thin Client?

This concept centralizes the physical resources for your computer desktop (memory, storage, processor, etc.) on servers within the University‚Äôs data center.  All your applications and data files reside in our cloud environment, and you access them directly from your Virtual Desktop/Thin Client.

As pictured above, the hardware simply looks like a monitor, and your peripherals (keyboard, mouse, printer, and scanner) are connected to it. The dual monitor feature is supported, so you may also connect your old monitor. The purchase of a Virtual Desktop includes a 19" monitor with 4 USB ports, a keyboard, and a mouse.


How much does it cost?

The annual maintenance fee is $149/year. The fees are billed to your account automatically and pro-rated based on the remaining months in the current fiscal year. Each July, your account will be billed $149. The maintenance fee ensures you always have functional hardware and access to the latest software.

Each Virtual Desktop includes a monitor with 4 USB ports, a keyboard, and a mouse. You may choose to purchase a second monitor to take advantage of dual monitor capability. You may also choose to purchase a wireless keyboard and mouse at an additional cost. External DVD drives, cameras, and headsets can be provided upon request.


What are the benefits?

You will retain the same familiar Windows experience that you are accustomed to and will be able to work with all the same applications that you have always used, such as Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, SPSS, etc. and your applications may even run faster than before.  Internet access will be available just as it is now, as will printing and dual monitor capability.

Other benefits include:

  • Rapid software installation and upgrades
  • Faster deployment and turnaround times on repairs or replacement
  • Access to your work computer from any device that has internet access
  • Lower energy consumption
  • Affordable yearly cost of $149 per system


Am I a candidate for a Virtual Desktop?

In many cases, a Virtual Desktop is a good replacement for a traditional, Physical Desktop.

At this time, we do not recommend a Virtual Desktop for the following uses:

  1. Playing video DVDs
  2. Graphically intensive software, including Adobe Creative Suite
  3. Blackboard Collaborate


Is my lab a candidate for Virtual Desktops?

Virtual Desktops are extremely well-suited for the lab environment, as we are able to arrange for the installation of new software with only two weeks advanced notice instead of the two months advanced notice needed with traditional Physical Desktops. In special situations, we may be able to install software even sooner. We have over 25 labs using Virtual Desktops at this time, and we are currently planning for continued expansion.

At this time, we do not recommend a Virtual Desktop for the following uses:

  1. Playing video DVDs
  2. Graphically intensive software, including Adobe Creative Suite
  3. Blackboard Collaborate


This all sounds great, but what if the network is unavailable?

We strive for maximum availability of our network at all times. The impact of the network being unavailable is similar to the experience you would have if it was unavailable with a traditional, Physical Desktop. In both cases, you would not be able to access email, CampusNexus, CampusVantage, or the internet. The only difference is that in the case of a Physical Desktop, you can access MS Office and your locally stored files. With a Virtual Desktop, you would not have access to any applications or files.


What is Mercer's experience with the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)?

Since March 2012, we have deployed over 500 Virtual Desktops to over 25 labs across our campuses in Atlanta, Macon, Douglas County, and Henry County, including Tarver and Swilley Libraries. Since February 2013, we have begun deploying Virtual Desktops to individuals. We have been delivering virtualized environments for many years, and within the data center, we have deployed our third generation of virtualization for our server environment. Since 2011, we have delivered several applications, including CampusNexus and CampusVantage, through our Citrix environment.

 

 

 

 

 

helpdesk@mercer.edu
(478) 301-2922 . (678) 547-6310