vLabs:Engineering allows UMass Lowell College of Engineering students, faculty and staff to access the university's software at anytime from anywhere, including residence halls, libraries, and even from home. You now have access to any tool or application available in an on-campus lab on your Laptop, home PC, and even your tablet or smartphone. vLabs:Engineering has a full suite of Engineering applications, such as Solidworks 2016, Autodesk 2017, and MasterCam. This service is powered by the latest NVIDIA graphic processing hardware.
All vLabs:Engineering users have administrator rights during their session, and may install any software they want. It is important to remember though that on logging off vLabs:Engineering, the virtual machine will be deleted and the new program with it. To request new software be installed on vLabs: Engineering contact Darren Larocque.
Engineering labs equipped with vLabs: Engineering terminals are Ball 215, Perry 313, and Perry 311. vLabs: Engineering can also be accessed via terminals in Lydon Library, Southwick 3rd Floor, and O’Leary Library. vLabs: Engineering can also be accessed on any nearly any Internet connected device. For directions please see vLabs.
In most of UMass Lowell’s vLabs pools there is a ten-minute timeout for inactivity, after which the user’s session will be disconnected. At that point a user has 60 minutes to log in and resume the session before being logged off. In vLabs:Workstation, it’s different: for vlabs: Engineering, this timeout has been extended to 48 hours. With a physical computer a user might need to leave the machine unattended for an extended time to run a large job. With vLabs: Engineering you need only disconnect your session, and reconnect (from anywhere with Internet access, not the location you last accessed it from) and resume your session.
For best results, we strongly recommend against opening any file from a USB key. Running an Autodesk or even MS Word document from USB will result in a degraded experience. In the three Engineering labs equipped with vLabs:Engineering terminals, we also recommend that USB devices – especially USB hard drives – be plugged into the USB slots on the monitor. If your device comes with a power cable, it would be best to plug it in to one of the power strips. Formatting the USB device with the NTFS file system will reduce load times for files. NTFS is not the default for Windows 10, and will need to be set manually. Please see vLabs for more information.
vLabs:Engineering users will have several file storage options.
- Each UMass Lowell student or faculty member have their OneDrive, which will appear as the “O:” drive while logged into vLabs. OneDrive is located off campus and will appear in any vLabs pool, and may be accessed from any Internet connected device by using a web browser to navigate to Onedrive. OneDrive is great for long term file storage, but since it is located in the Cloud users will notice some lag copying larger files to and from it. It is not recommended that users run Solidworks or Autodesk files from the Onedrive due to this lag time. For that, the K: drive should be used.
- Every student and faculty member with access to vLabs:Workstation will also have a 20Gb dedicated storage drive, which is mapped as “K:”. This drive is not accessible from outside of vLabs:Engineering. The K drive is located on an on-campus server, it will be much more responsive than OneDrive, and we suggest that work files for vLabs:Engineering be stored here.
- A collaborative Shared Space, appearing as the “J:” drive will be available for all users. Students or faculty who are working on group projects may store files here and they will be accessible (write, copy, delete) by all vLabs:Workstation users. The files on the Shared Space are purged every Sunday at 11:59pm – so do not use this as a primary save location.
- The “V:” drive, which is labeled Departments is read-only to students, and all faculty members have read and write privileges. Faculty members can make documents available to their students by copying them to the Departments drive.
The VMware User Experience Manager service will allow users to save settings from one vLabs:Engineering session to another. These settings include changes to web browser settings, the Start Menu, and a number of other programs. Changes are saved on logoff from vLabs:Engineering.
If you go to Start > Programs > VMware UEM you will notice an icon called VMware UEM Self-Support. Clicking on this icon will open up a menu displaying all the settings that UEM has saved for you. By clicking on a program in the list, for example Mastercam 2017 and then on the Reset button will delete all saved configurations made by you.
On your next logon to vLabs:Engineering Mastercam 2017 will be restored to its default state. The Restore button will present you with the option to roll back changes to the last time the system made a backup of the your changes, for example, you could revert Google Chrome back to changes that had been made two weeks prior. This option is very helpful for fixing issues that may pop up over time.