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Good morning.  Our Team here at Pittsburgh is embarking on a thorough testing & viability project related to introducing a VDI into our 18 computing classrooms.  Presently populated by high end workstations, and running apps to those similarly running in your environments like ANSYS, LabView, SolidWorks, Matlab, COMSOL, etc, we want to determine how well a VDI can perform and deliver in a production classroom compared to the dedicated environment in which they now operate.


I would love to get some feedback from those of you who have taken, or are considering taking, the plunge on this front and what your experience has been.






Brian A. Vidic | Director

Swanson School of Engineering Technology Group

University of Pittsburgh

3700 O'Hara St

Suite 148 Benedum Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
(: 412/624-8101 | 7: 412/624-2027 | *:



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Hi Brian,


We have been working on a similar project at UConn.  We’re about 18 months into a computer lab VDI initiative across the entire university, under a program we call UConn vPC.  We’ve found that computer labs are the perfect use case for non-persistent VDI, which is much easier to scale and predict than persistent VDI (i.e. faculty/staff workstations).


This project does include an Engineering lab, which is the department I work for.  Here is a list of the applications we’re using today: (Engineering applications are at the bottom).  The performance of these applications, in general, has been pretty good on the VDI platform.  Our computer labs are primarily used for instruction, which doesn’t stress these applications to their max.  Our lab VDI image has a single processor and 4GB of RAM.


It is very important how you architect the server, storage, and networking infrastructure in VDI.  I’m happy to talk to you more about this.



Ed Swindelles

Manager of Advanced Computing

University of Connecticut, School of Engineering

860-486-4522 | @edswindelles | #UConnIT


Here are Georgia Tech we have around 1,000 virtual desktops running under Citrix XenDesktop 5.6 and recently Windows 8 / RemoteFX.
Our students have been able to access remotely most of our Engineering Software since 2008.

Currently we have around 100 Windows 8 / GPU enabled VMs used by students in a lab to access AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor (for high-end user, rendering purpose).

Thanks - Didier.