Accessing HES Servers & Software from Off-Campus
The Virtual Desktop service allows you to access MU server data and some paid MU analytical software remotely via computers, desktops and tablets. Your monitor, keyboard and mouse become a remote terminal and all the actual computing takes place on the virtual desktop server. It is free for use by HES employees, including GRA’s and GTA’s with permission from their faculty supervisor or department chair.
Here are some advantages:
- It allows you to have free access to some fee-based programs installed in the virtual system. This can be especially useful for people who only need occasional access to some specialized software and can’t justify purchasing their own software license for such limited use.
- It allows you to access the installed software from non-MU computers, even non-Windows devices, like iPads or Macs.
- It can be accessed from off campus and via wifi on campus.
- It allows secure remote access to files on the HES server (P: drive).
- It allows secure remote access to your on-campus desktop computer
- It can used by part-time employees – especially GRA’s and GTA’s – who aren’t assigned their own MU computers and have to share departmental computers or have to rely on their personal laptops, but need access to specialized software and server data.
- It offers a much safer way to access University data from personal laptops – which have a much higher risk of viruses than MU systems. It isolates the MU systems from personal computers or laptops in a way that greatly minimizes the risks of a virus on your personal laptop infecting files on University servers or capturing passwords, SSN’s, etc. while you’re connected to the Virtual Desktop service.
There are some disadvantages:
- Some software will run more slowly in the Virtual environment, so when performance is an important concern, or when you expect to spend a lot of hours using a piece of software, the virtual environment won’t be a good solution.
- There is a limit to the number of people who can use the system at one time, so you may occasionally find that it is ‘busy’. Some of the components that make this system work do cost the College money to use, so there are limits to the capacity of the system without additional funding.
- Accessing the Virtual Desktop from personal computers and even MU laptops traveling off campus is subject to a number of potential problems outside our control – from problems with your local wifi access to viruses or other technical problems on the remote device you are trying to connect with.
What software is available through the Virtual Software Service?
- Microsoft Office: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher
- Mplus 7.2 Base Program and Combination Add-On
- Stata 13SE
- SPSS 23
- SAS 9.4
- GPower 3.1
- Web Browsers: Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox
- Adobe Acrobat Pro X
- PDS 12 Textile Design
- Runway Viewer
- Milestone XProtect Video Client
From an HES computer attached to a wired network connection, go to the HES Server (P: drive) and double click on the shortcut labeled ‘HES Virtual Software’ (below). Most computers in the College already have the necessary client software installed so you should see a new window open indicating you are being connected to the virtual server. If you see an error message instead, contact firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can get the software installed on your office computer.
First you will need to install the VMWare software. If you are using an HES laptop that doesn’t have VMware installed, contact email@example.com to get the software installed. For personally owned Windows laptops, Macs and Android devices, you can download the free VMware software. *Note: You might need to right-click and select “Run As Administrator” when you run these programs after you download them, depending on the security settings for your computer.
For iOS devices (iPad and iPhone), download the free VMware software from Apple’s app store.
One you have installed the VMWare software enter the following server address when you are prompted: vdi.missouri.edu
Followed by your MU pawprint and password when prompted. Be sure to select your correct Domain – usually UMC-USERS for most HES faculty and staff. It defaults to MST, so you have to change it the first time you try to use it.
If you see more than one option after logging on, you want to select the ‘HES Win10 Pool’.