Macquarie Uni gets deep into virtual desktops


in brief Following on from the news last week that recruitment firm Hudson (and a number of others over the past year or so) is rolling out an extensive desktop virtualisation project internally, comes further detail about a similar (and quite innovative) program at Macquarie University. CIO Magazine reports (click here for the full article):

“The ‘iLab’ project, which was in pilot mode from October 2011 until its official launch this semester, enables students to use VMware View client applications on Mac, Windows and Linux PCs to access software that would otherwise be confined to the university’s computer labs.”

Mac Uni chief information officer Marc Bailey is well-known as an outside the box thinker, and of course the university even before his time was known for its early adopter status when it comes to new technology, being one of the first in Australia to deploy Google Apps in a corporate setting. So we’re not surprised by this desktop virtualisation initiative (If you want a decent overview of the recent accomplishments of Bailey and his team at Mac Uni, click here for a summary video the CIO put up on his blog in late March).

However, it would also be appropriate to point out that in a very broad sense, this kind of technology is hardly new. When your writer was at the University of NSW studying business information technology in 1999, it was a common practice for students enrolled in the computer science faculty to export applications using X-Windows from the university’s Linux and Unix boxes to their Windows or Apple desktops. And I’m sure they still do :)

Image credit: Sailor Coruscant, Creative Commons