Requesting a Block/Classroom Allocation

VCL Block Allocations

Block Allocations are a way to have a set of machines preloaded with a particular environment at specified times and made available to a specific group of users.

  • This is very useful for classroom and workshops use cases, allowing students or workshop members to easily access the VCL image required and insures the necessary amount of machines will be reserved. They can be made available on a repeating schedule, such as when a course meets each week.

Block Allocations only allocate machines for a group of users – they do not create the end user reservations for the machines — all users still must log in to the VCL web site and make their own reservations DURING the period a block allocation is active.

For example: A class using Matlab meets every Wednesday of a semester from 1pm to 3pm and has 12 students. Using Block Allocations, 12 machines are preloaded with Matlab by 1pm each Wednesday and only the 12 students in the class are able to make a reservation for those machines. The term “preloading” means the wait time for the reservation would be less than 1 minute. This guarantees that each user will be able to log in to VCL, create a reservation, and be connected to the VCL machine within a couple of minutes or less.

An important thing to note is that each user needs to login AFTER the block becomes active to make a NEW reservation of the block-reservation image, i.e., in the above example during the class and NOT BEFORE 1pm start time. Logging in before that may actually cause delays for the users since other than the block resources would be used, and those images may have longer preparation times.


To request a Block Allocation, click on the Create New Block Allocation button on the Block Allocation page and fill in the required fields.