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Information Technology Services (ITS) provides reliable support and maintenance of computing technology and services responsive to the needs of the university community in accordance with the University Mission. Through computer management practices, ITS is able to provide better support and to ensure UAS is properly licensed to avoid costly fines/litigation.

UAS managed computers share common software builds. These builds are intended to ensure that:

  1. UAS computers run licensed software.
  2. Only authorized individuals can access UAS computers.
  3. Effective “patch management” is in place to keep software and operating systems up to date.
  4. Files are automatically backed up and encrypted to protect sensitive data.
  5. University resources are consistent.
  6. Devices are effectively maintained by UAS ITS.

These strategies are intended to provide a uniform level of service across UAS. In developing these standards, UAS works closely with the rest of the UA system to ensure that there is commonality across UA. When departments need to work outside the established strategies, they need to address the University requirements on the departmentally managed equipment page.

There are three styles of ITS managed computer builds: Employee Virtual, Employee Non-Virtual, and Student Virtual.

Information Technology Services provides both a virtual and non-virtual infrastructure for staff and faculty. We can create a personalized virtual build or non-virtual build to supplement or replace your existing laptop or desktop. Students have access to an student virtual build in various campus locations.

Virtual machines (VM) are UAS' chosen solution to allow staff and faculty to access their computer, software, and documents in a wider range of locations. The virtual environment allows customization and control, as well as being hardware agnostic (meaning you can use just about any device). Through the use of VMware Horizon View Client you can access your designated virtual machine from any configured computer. These VMs are supported by ITS to provide the most complete and reliable ongoing service.

What is a virtual machine?

A virtual machine is a software computer that runs an operating system and applications in a similar manner to a non-virtual computer. These virtual machines are stored on a centralized system rather than on local computers. Once configured, virtual machines provide the same set of functionality as non-virtual computers, with added benefits of portability, manageability, and security.

If you have any questions or would like to know if moving to a VM is right for you, please contact the Helpdesk.

Build Request Form

Windows and Mac computers are both supported by UAS. When deciding on a platform, we recommend choosing one that is not only familiar to you, but also supports the applications you will need to be using. For a list of university licensed software available for each platform please see the software catalog.

Departments are responsible for the purchase of their own computers. ITS has provided the below information as guidance for departments preparing to make a new purchase.

UAS ITS will make every effort to place the employee non-virtual build on departmentally purchased hardware, but cannot guarantee that it will work with every device. Departments should be aware that they may need to return the device(s) if found to be incompatible with our employee non-virtual build, utilize our employee virtual build, or assume responsibility for them as departmentally managed computers.

Minimum Recommended Specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i5
Memory (RAM)8 GB
Hard Drive500 GB or 256 GB SSD
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics
Service Contract

For Mac computers: please add Apple Care for iMacs, and Apple Care Plus for MacBooks.
For Dell Computers: Please add Pro Support for Desktops, and Pro Support Plus for Laptops.

The University of Alaska has contracts with Dell and Apple which allow us to purchase computers at a discounted price with enterprise level support. UAS ITS cannot guarantee support for other computer brands or those purchased from other vendors.

Please visit the Office of Information Technology's Current Hardware Recommendations webpage for Dell and Apple purchasing links.

Build Request Form

Classroom Support manages the student virtual inventory and software environment (or build). 

Student work stations are available in the Learning Center, Writing Center, Technical Education Center (TEC) and in Anderson Building. Mobile Classrooms are available upon request for classes in the Egan Wing and Library. Both the student work stations and mobile classrooms have access to software on the student virtual build.

For more information about available classroom technologies please contact Donovan Grimes (796-6189, dmgrimes@alaska.edu) or the UAS Helpdesk (796-6400, uas.helpdesk@alaska.edu).

Virtual Computers FAQ

A virtual machine is a customizable computer designed to be accessed from a variety of locations. It works in a similar manner to non-virtual computers, but is located on UAS servers. Employees can access their virtual machine on any computer with a VMware license and an internet connection.

It differs in several ways: virtual machines are independent of hardware, VMware can be installed on any computer that follows our license agreements, and they offer greater flexibility than physical machines. ITS also has the ability to add or reduce the server's memory, add or remove a processor, add a virtual disk, or increase an existing disk size by shutting the VM down and changing its settings. There is also a snapshot feature that lets you save the state of the server in case you need to restore it later on.

There are many benefits to using VMware.

  1. You can rapidly deploy a common, supported desktop environment across your network.
  2. You can create a single desktop image and use that image to deploy virtual machines.
  3. A single server can support many virtual desktops.
  4. Each of these desktops reacts as a standalone Windows 10 desktop or other operating system.
  5. Users connecting to a virtual desktop can have full access to all features of that VM without impacting the other virtual desktops or the host server.
  6. Virtual Machines are independent of hardware. They are accessed through VMware, which can be installed on any computer that follows our license agreements.

Virtual machines are not for everyone. If your job requires you to travel or you are frequently away from a stable internet connection, virtual machines are not well suited for you.

  1. An internet connection is required. Loss of internet results in disconnection from your virtual machine. This results in no loss of data.
  2. Hardware settings can't be changed from the virtual environment. This limits your external customization (but you still have control outside of the virtual space).
  3. Virtual machines do not recognize internal disk drives. You will need to use an external disk drive.

Horizon View can be installed on most versions of Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux.

Yes, we can create a virtual machine for you. It will be a standard Windows 10 Virtual Machine; we do not currently have a MacOS virtual environment. Any VM we create will be accessible from any university-purchased computer with VMware installed, Macs included.

Yes! VMware software can be run from a wide variety of devices. UAS is licensed to access our virtual machines from any UAS owned or leased Microsoft or Apple computer.

Non-Virtual Computers FAQ

If you have an older computer that is not keeping pace with your everyday tasks, you can ask your department to purchase a new computer. The University of Alaska System has contracts with Apple and Dell that provide deals on our recommended hardware. Once your computer has arrived, you will need to fill out a Build Form requesting an employee virtual or employee non-virtual build for your new computer. With that completed, the Helpdesk will reach out to you to schedule a time when we can place the standard UAS software (or build) onto the computer, as well as any specific software you need. 

Windows and Mac computers are both supported by UAS. ITS will make every effort to place the employee build on departmentally purchased computers, but cannot guarantee that it will work with every device. 

The University of Alaska has contracts with Dell and Apple which allow us to purchase computers at a discounted price with enterprise level support. UAS ITS cannot guarantee support for other computer brands or those purchased from other vendors. Please visit the Office of Information Technology’s Current Hardware Recommendations webpage for Dell and Apple purchasing links.

IT provides software support for Mac computers. While we do not have a Mac build, we can provide certain UA licensed software. For a list of software available please see the software catalog.

IT is processing the creation of an updated non-virtual build. It will be Windows 10 and include our latest licensed software.

For a list of software on the current build, see the Managed Software page.

The primary user of a computer is given full administrator rights on the machine. This means you have the ability to install any programs you have legally acquired.

IT is able to install programs that we control the license for, and can assist you installing any additional software.

When your computer is being built by our technicians, it will be assigned to an individual. This person, the primary user, will be granted full administrative rights to the machine. If there is no primary user for the machine, an administrator should be requested in the build request form. 

If you have been issued a computer by your department but it hasn't been rebuilt, please contact the Helpdesk. We can remotely grant you administrator rights to your primary workstation.

 

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Contact the Helpdesk

(Helpdesk)
907-796-6400

(Toll Free)
877-465-6400

(General Information)
907-796-6452

uas.helpdesk@alaska.edu

 

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