SERVICES & SOLUTIONS

Virtual Desktop Initiative (VDI) Service

Service Description

The VDI Service provides remote access to users from anywhere and from any device to a full Windows desktop, which is hosted in the Health Science Center data center.

Service Options

Type 1 - Random/Non-Persistent – Desktops are based on a single master image. Users are dynamically connected to one of the desktops in the pool each time they logon. Changes to the desktop image are lost upon reboot.

Type 2 - Static/Persistent – Users are allocated a virtual desktop on first access. Once assigned, users will always be connected to the same virtual desktop. Changes to the desktop are stored in a persistent disk and retained between reboots. Each user requires their own desktop. If high availability is required, the persistent disk must be stored on shared storage.

Pricing

VDI Types and Specifications

Type Specifications Charge
Type 1 2 vCPU, 4GB RAM, 4GB hard disk $26.25/month
Type 2 2 vCPU, 4GB RAM, 10GB hard disk $26.25/month
Type 2 Advanced 2 vCPU, 6GB RAM, 20GB hard disk $35.00/month

Hardware Options

Option Specifications Charge (one-time cost)
Zero Client Supports 2 monitors, 4 USB ports, audio output, and a 3 year warranty $230/device
Thin Client (recommended) Supports 2 monitors, Wi-Fi, 4 USB ports, audio output, and a 3 year warranty $280/device

Benefits and Features

  • Flexibility - Run legacy and homegrown applications from any device; run Windows-only applications on non-Windows devices; specialized software can be added, updated, or removed quickly
  • Mobility - Access from anywhere, any device
  • Availability - Redundant power, network, and systems datacenter
  • Security - Allow secure access to sensitive data; remove content from the endpoint device; reduce threats from theft or compromise from the client device
  • Manageability - Simplify desktop support and management; manage automated upgrades, patches, and version control
  • Extend the life of older hardware - Users don't need to buy their own copies of software to be installed on their devices

Desktop Protection

Type 2 virtual desktop backups are automated. Backups are kept 3 days, and restoring a desktop from backup returns the desktop to any previous state in the past 3 days. Desktops that have been cancelled and deleted cannot be restored from backup.

Systems Availability and Maintenance

The service will be available 24/7 barring any unplanned outages and planned system maintenance windows.

Unexpected outages
In the case of an unexpected outages, IMS staff will return the service to operation as soon as possible.

Planned Maintenance
Regularly scheduled system maintenance, including virtual desktop reboots, takes place from 8 PM Fridays to 4 AM Saturdays.

Emergency Maintenance
In some situations, it may become necessary to perform emergency maintenance to correct or prevent service issues. IMS will provide as much advance notice as possible on the IMS Service status website.

Disaster Recovery (DR) and Redundancy

Redundant VDI is available at the secondary data center site to facilitate virtual desktop provisioning in the event of an outage of the primary data center. New DR-ready virtual desktops can be deployed onto end-user devices so users can continue working, keeping the core business alive.

Service Pricing and Billing Cycle

Upon requesting the new service through the IMS Self Service Portal, customers will need to provide the following information:

  • Valid project identification code (PID), approved by an individual with the authority to authorize such use
  • Approver’s full name and email address
  • Primary contact's name and email address
  • Email address of users to be accessing the VDI
  • List of up to 5 software applications (if not included in standard installation)
Billing of the services is limited by the following:
  • Orders, upgrades, downgrades, or cancellation received by the 24th of each month will be included in the current billing cycle. A billing cycle is one calendar month.
  • Orders, upgrades, downgrades, or cancellation received after the 24th of each month will be included in the next billing cycle. No proration will occur.
  • Three months of service is the minimum service requirement. There are no refunds for early termination.
To cancel the VDI service:
  • Those using Type 2 persistent are responsible for making copies of their data/files and deleting them from the virtual desktop
  • The user must request cancellation by using the IMS Self Service Portal
  • The user will be charged the cost of one month for the service amount

Frequently Asked Questions

What software is included/installed on a VDI system?
Standard software includes Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Lync, Cisco Jabber, Java and plugins. Contact IMS Service Desk for software versions and plugins.

Can I install my own applications that are not included in the standard software list?
Users can request up to 5 software applications to be installed through application layering technology for simple management. Type 2 desktop users can choose to install software on their own virtual desktop.

How do I request/remove/modify VDI service?
Submit your request at the IMS Self Service Portal
http://supportworks.uthscsa.edu/sw/selfservice/
Under My Services, select Computers and Peripherals, then Virtual Desktops (Hosted)

Do I need VPN to access VDI?
No, you don’t need VPN to access VDI.

Can I add an Outlook personal storage folder (PST) file to my Virtual Desktop?
No, PSTs are not supported on Virtual Desktop. Please contact us if that functionality is critical.

How do I access VDI?
You can access VDI using an Internet browser with HTML Access, from an installed client, or from an app called VMware Horizon.

What browsers are supported?

Browsers or client system Minimum Version
Chrome 38
Internet Explorer 10
Safari 6.2
Mobile Safari iOS 7
Firefox 33

How do I log in to mydesk.uthscsa.edu using HTML Access?

  1. Launch an Internet browser.
    1. For a list of supported browsers, see the previous question.
    2. If your prowser is not supported, download a supported browser or install the VMware Horizon client.
  2. Navigate to the following site:
    https://mydesk.uthscsa.edu
  3. Click the link VMware Horizon HTML Access
  4. On the Log In page, enter your University username and password. Make sure the Domain: field is set to uthscsa, then click Sign In.
  5. If the login is successful, you should be presented with the list of virtual desktops to which you have access. Click on the virtual desktop to connect to it.

How do I log in to mydesk.uthscsa.edu using the VMware Horizon client?

  1. Launch an Internet browser.
  2. Navigate to the following site:
    https://mydesk.uthscsa.edu
  3. Click on the link Install VMware Horizon Client.
  4. From this site you can download and install the client that pertains to your system.
  5. After installation, launch the client.
  6. If mydesk.uthscsa.edu is not listed, click on New Server.
    When prompted for a Connection Server, enter mydesk.uthscsa.edu.
  7. If mydesk.uthscsa.edu is listed, double-click it.
  8. On the Log In page, enter your University username and password. Make sure the Domain: field is set to uthscsa, then click Login.
  9. If login is successful, you should be presented with the list of virtual desktops to which you have access. Click on the virtual desktop to connect to it.