Virtual Desktops: Work Where You Are

January 25, 2016

As the Wisconsin winter marches on, Pioneers are reminded of UW-Platteville’s virtual desktops, which allow you to access lab software and your network storage from a wide range of devices with internet access. No need to bundle up and head to a lab. Working off-campus? Virtual desktops allow you to work from wherever you are at all hours of the day or night.

UW-Platteville’s virtual environment includes a general access lab (Bears Den) and a FacStaff desktop as well as course-specific instances for select courses in EMS and BILSA. A list of Installed Software on Virtual Desktops is posted in the ITS Knowledge Base.

Why go virtual?

The exploration of virtual environments began in part upon recommendations in the Huron Report of 2012. Following a successful pilot in the Collaborative Engineering Program in Spring 2013, additional instances were implemented in Fall 2013 to serve the wider campus community. In Fall 2015 a new grid server was added for select EMS courses which allows the graphics-intensive applications they utilize to process more effectively.

As campus prepares to upgrade to Windows 10 and Office 2016 later this year, virtual desktops will continue to be updated as well, providing around-the-clock resources to meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff.

The virtual desktop program complements other Huron-inspired efforts to reduce physical labs where prudent and increase the number of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) spaces on campus. Virtual desktop implementation is aligned with IT Strategic initiatives of delivering a student-centered IT experience, providing a resilient and secure infrastructure, and pursuing pragmatic solutions.

How do I get access to a virtual desktop?

Instructions for connecting to UW-Platteville’s virtual desktops are posted in the ITS Knowledge Base.  You will want to start with Virtual Desktop – Getting Started in Virtual Labs.  The number of desktops available to you will depends upon your campus status (staff, student) and your course load.

If you have questions about UW-Platteville’s virtual environment or need assistance getting connected, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400 or

Contributed by Ken Wiegman, ITS Software Asset Manager with Deb Meyer, ITS Communications & Training Coordinator


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