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Virtualized desktops to bring better mobility to Aalto users

Whether on campus with your laptop or trekking across Canada, Aalto’s licensed software will soon be at your fingertips.

Aalto University is constantly looking for ways to make the lives of its community members smoother and easier. One of the latest ventures is virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, which will support Aalto’s direction towards a more flexible and mobile approach to studying and working. As work on virtualizing desktops at Aalto University begins, Ville Pursiainen, Specialist from IT Services, reflects on the potential future impacts of this technology at Aalto University.

Once ready, VDI will enable users to access Aalto University’s virtual desktop environment anytime, anywhere. According to Pursiainen, the goal is to make all software and applications on Aalto University’s Windows and Linux desktops remotely available.

Regarding the effects of VDI, Pursiainen envisions further freedom to roam. “Ultimately, you won’t always have to come to campus to work,” Pursiainen condenses. Students, researchers, and other faculty members can use their own devices for tasks that were previously only possible on university computers, enabling them to work wherever they feel most inspired.

This shift towards a more mobile mode of studying and teaching is in line with the university’s broader strategy to promote flexibility and new ways of working. “Though the need for IT classrooms will never disappear, their nature will change over time as the use of personal devices increases,” says Pursiainen.

Though the real-life impact of this technology remains to be seen, VDI ensures that Aalto University continues to move with the times and reflect its community. As mobile devices become increasingly central in both work and study, VDI caters to users on the go. “It’s all about future-proofing. With this technology, we will meet the needs of today and be prepared for tomorrow,” says Hannes Päivänsalo, Head of IT Operations.

In preparation for Väre, the first applications running on VDI will be available by the end of the summer 2018. The aim is to have the remainder of the licensed software available by the autumn of 2019.

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