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Virtual Computer Lab (VCL)

Virtual Computer Lab, or VCL, is a private cloud environment that allows virtual servers to be launched on-demand. Using our VCL, faculty can create classes that use virtual server technologies, which allow for computer labs to be conducted remotely. With VCL, students can experience their in-class assignments at home or in the computer lab.

Most courses can find a use for VCL:

  • Provides students with access to various software tools
  • Faculty can customize the environment to fit their needs
  • Can be used in the classroom or by students to work on assignments
  • No need for seperate licenses or to have students install software on their personal computers

These computer environments can range from something as simple as a virtual machine running productivity software to a cluster of powerful physical servers running complex HPC simulations. VCL supports the provisioning of several different types of computer resources, including:

  • Physical Bare-Metal Machines
  • Virtual Machines Hosted on Several Different Hypervisors
  • Traditional Computing Lab Computers

The user interface consists of a self-service web portal. Using the portal, users select from a list of customized environments and make reservations. Behind the scenes, the scheduling components built into the web portal determine which compute resources to assign to the reservations. The requested environment is then dynamically provisioned, secured, and configured to allow remote access by the user. The user then remotely connects to the remote compute environment using remote desktop, SSH, or any of the other supported protocols.

To start using our Virtual Computer Lab today, visit VCL. To learn more about VCL, visit our information page on the Instructional and Research Computing Center site.