VCL incorporates Microsoft Azure WVD
Why the transition?
- The change in Microsoft licensing has made it acutely expensive to properly license Windows, such that the students are allowed to remotely connect to NCSU-owned computers from their personal computers. Traditional VCL Windows resources have been run on NCSU-owned servers. This extra cost does not apply to resources hosted in MS Azure and the WVD environment.
- Cloud technology has developed at a rapid pace and I.T. teams across campus have been testing this technology for a couple of years. The rapid transition to Microsoft WVD was due to the challenges brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased cost to license remote desktop licenses for students.
How is WVD different from the traditional VCL?
- Prior to the transition when using VCL, users would access a dedicated remote windows virtual machine to utilize a specific application environment. In most cases with administrative privileges. Today users will continue to access many of the applications through the VCL portal with the primary differences being how to access. The Microsoft WVD environment connections are mainly through the web browser that requires no additional software on your end. In addition, administrative access is no longer allowed as the WVD virtual machines are shared between NCSU users. See below for the login process and how to get started.
- When logging in to the VCL you should select Reservations, then click the New Reservation button. The dialog box will let you select Reservation types. The Basic Reservation should be chosen then locate your desired environment, such as NCSU (WVD). Note it will display (WVD) in the name.
(Hint: type WVD in the search box to only show those images containing the WVD name.)
- Once the environment is selected then the information in the box will provide an image description. Once you have read and made sure it is the image you want to acquire click Connect.
- Once the connect button is clicked another dialog box will provide instructions on how to proceed with your reservation.
- Click on Open the WVD Portal and a new window will appear that will ask you to sign in. Logging in requires unityID@ncsu.edu (ex:firstname.lastname@example.org). The Password will be your unity password.
NOTE: It may not prompt you for logging in if you have previously logged in. Make sure you are logged out of all other Microsoft Accounts.
- Once sign in is successful, a new window will appear displaying all the software to which you have access. Click your desired resource to proceed.
WARNING: It may not prompt you for logging in if you have previously logged in. Make sure you are logged out of all other Microsoft Accounts.
- Once the desired resource is clicked a dialog box asking you to allow the remote computer to access resources on your computer appears. To proceed you should click Allow.
- When Allow is clicked it will start to load the resource and then display another dialog box asking for you to enter your credentials. The user name here can be just your unity ID or your unity ID followed by @ncsu.edu ex: jddoe or email@example.com. (WVD prepopulates your username to include @ncsu.edu). Password is still your unity password.
- When the log in is successful the resource you have chosen should appear on the home screen as an Icon.
NOTE : If the resource that you picked is not an icon you will have to click the start button and scroll through the list of programs displayed to access it.
Troubleshooting solutions if problems are encountered:
- Use incognito window if you do not see the dialog boxes appear with Google Chrome.
- If credential errors continue make sure to Clear Cache.
- If you do not see any resources to click on and there is an empty page under All Resources like the following image, simply reloading the page will usually help them appear.
Where should files be saved on Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)?
- Files on the Windows Virtual Desktop should “NOT be saved on desktop locally, Documents, or (D:) temp” because it is not guaranteed to be saved or recovered.
- Saved files should be on NCSUdrive (B:), Google Drive (G:), or OneDrive.