Information Technology Services (ITS) will launch the mycloud.uncg.edu Mobile Application Services (UNCG App Store) and MyCloud Desktop in early fall 2014. These services will provide UNCG faculty, staff and students anytime, anywhere, any device access to the UNCG desktop computing environment and University licensed software applications.
Mycloud.uncg.edu services run on servers in the campus data centers, not on individual computer workstations. Users interact with virtualized desktops and applications just as they would if they were locally installed.
The UNCG App Store is populated with UNCG licensed software applications, which are provided at no cost to faculty, staff and students as an on-demand service.
The MyCloud Desktop offers faculty, staff and students access to the UNCG private cloud where the applications, devices, and data they need (the “UNCG desktop”) can be accessed on-demand.
Mycloud.uncg.edu services require internet connectivity, but do not require a connection to the campus network, or a powerful workstation or laptop computer. These services function just as they do if installed locally on a workstation or laptop.
ITS will begin piloting Thin Client devices for use with the UNCG App Store and MyCloud Desktop in late Fall 2014. Thin clients are essentially “black boxes” that typically contain only enough information to start up and connect to the data center servers that provide a virtual desktop and application services. They provide end users with a full featured computing desktop at a very low price point.
Mobility and enhanced productivity
Mycloud.uncg.edu services enable the critical freedom of being able to use the UNCG desktop and University licensed software applications anytime, at any location with internet access, on almost any device. These services enable faculty, staff and students to use Windows and Mac workstations and laptops, tablets and smartphones, and personally owned machines for work computing. This will create significant opportunity for increased mobility and teleworking.
Increased operational efficiency will be realized because ITS can now centrally manage virtual desktops and software applications that are not device specific in our data centers. Patching and upgrading can be completed centrally (one time) and pushed instantly out from the data center for all mycloud.uncg.edu users. This eliminates the need to rebuild each workstation or laptop (reimaging) every time a major new operating system or software version is released. Devices that fail can be replaced in minutes as compared to days.
Better protection of University data assets
Mycloud.uncg.edu services help ensure better protection of University data assets by keeping University data within the protected confines of the University data centers. Data is never stored on the local workstation where compromise is much more likely to occur. Only secured and encrypted keystrokes and screen images are transmitted between the data center to the user’s device.
Mycloud.uncg.edu services will reduce the amount of labor required to deliver the UNCG desktop computing environment and licensed software applications to campus. These services can also extend the life of existing computing devices by enabling faculty, staff and students to continue using older computers that might not be capable of running the latest operating system or software application locally. By early 2015, departments that need to purchase new computers may be able to transition to a less expensive “thin client” device rather than continuing to use traditional workstations or laptops.
Reduction of campus carbon footprint
Shifting toward less computing resources required on the desk provides an opportunity for substantial energy savings and overall reduction of the campus carbon footprint. A typical thin client device uses only a third of the power a traditional PC uses and generates far less heat and noise.