What is the service?

The Virtual Desktop technology is based on VMWare's View 4.x product, which is an out-of-the-box complete Windows desktop and application virtualization solution. This version was released in September, 2010 and is a significant evolution from the previous versions. VMWare's virtualization solution was chosen in order to leverage UBC's significant investment in VMWare techologies, rather than developing a new technology base. We are also introducing thin-client hardware for windows desktop and soft-clients for home/remote users.

Departments that are going VDI may also want to consider virtualizing their servers with the EduCloud Server Service.  It is a stable, cost efficient and secure alternative to physical servers.

Requirements for VDI

Ideal candidates for VDI are departments that already use Windows 7 or are Windows 7 ready. At this time, we will not consider deploying VDI with older operating systems such as Windows XP. We believe a standardized Windows 7 environment will improve ease of deployment and ongoing support allowing for a better end-user experience. Departments currently using Windows XP can be migrated to Windows 7 as long as they are not dependant on legacy software that is only available for XP.

The Enterprise Active Directory (EAD) is one of the components of the Identity and Access Management Program (IAM) at UBC. It is used as a central authentication and directory platform and is how we allow users to access their VDI sessions. If a department has not been onboarded to EAD yet we can do that as part of our installation.


There is an initial equipment cost and a small yearly fee per unit. Costs vary depending on the size of the deployment.

Rollout Process

  1. Discovery: We conduct an assessment of a department's computing needs.
  2. Design: Based on the Discovery phase we design the virtual network and create a shared operating system image.
  3. Implementation:  We install all new hardware and connect existing hardware to the virtual network.
  4. Testing:  We make sure that everything is working correctly and troubleshoot any issues
  5. Ongoing Support:  When our testing phase is complete we handover support responsibility to the rest of the Desktop Services team.

Currently we are deploying this technology to Windows user groups, such as student kiosks/labs, researchers and teaching staff. Some of the faculties which are adopting VDI include: Medicine IT, Sauder, Science, Dentistry, Finance and Human Resources. We are in detailed discussions with a number of other faculties and departments, who have seen the benefits of VDI for their users.

To sign up or for more information, please contact us.