Computers in Wittenberg University’s residence halls will be replaced this week, according to University staff.
Installation of “virtual desktop computers” will begin this week in five of Wittenberg’s residence halls. The new computing system will make it possible for multiple computers to operate from a remote server, rather than from an individual CPU tower that most current campus computers require. This computer structure will allow students much easier access to campus drives and printers, and the new units should be much more reliable.
“The idea is that there are really no moving parts on the desktop unit,” said Wittenberg’s Chief Information Officer Rick Mickool. “[The computers] will contain new displays, their screens are going to look better and they will be more energy efficient.”
Students in residence halls should expect a dramatic change in operations from the current computers, which are notorious for their slow speeds.
“[Dorm computers] are the worst on campus,” said junior Mike Evans, a Solution Center employee who has worked on Ferncliff and Firestine units. “To log in it takes 20 minutes to a half hour.”
Associate Dean of Residential Life Mark DeVilbiss says that the virtual desktops will be a significant upgrade for dorm computer labs.
“It’s going to be a difference of night and day,” said DeVilbiss.
The virtual desktop program will act as a pilot for future use of this technology on Wittenberg’s campus. According to Mickool, Wittenberg staff will be closely monitoring the performance of the computers. If the devices are successful, the program could be expanded to include other computer labs on campus.
“[Furthering the program] will be based on the discovery and the performance results we get out of this pilot,” said Mickool. “I think this pilot is really going to inform where we use this solution and how much it’s going to cost.”
Installments will begin this week in Firestine, Ferncliff, Myers, Tower and Woodlawn residence halls. New Hall is the only dorm not to receive an upgrade, due to its lab of newer, fully functional computers.
(Kent Montgomery / s12.kmontgomery@.wittenberg.edu)