Virtual Information Commons Remote Desktop Australian National University

During the 2020/2021 COVID lockdowns, when access to public facilities was severely restricted, the Australian National University (ANU) commissioned Insitec to develop a cloud-based virtual desktop solution that would enable its computer laboratory-based teaching to continue.

The innovative virtual desktop solution enabled more than 20,000 students and staff at the Australian National University to continue working remotely during the COVID crisis.

The challenge

The Australian National University (ANU) needed a cloud based environment in which to operate its ‘Virtual Information Commons’ so that its community of more than 20,000 students and staff could continue to work remotely during the COVID pandemic.

Insitec established a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution that would deliver a cloud based virtual desktop for the ANU community of users. The single-tenant, physical infrastructure was built on VMWare Horizon in minimum time for ANU to continue delivering world class teaching services.

Our solution

  • Installation and configuration of secure network inter-connectivity between ANU and AUCloud, using CDC’s Australian data centre.
  • Installation and configuration of a virtual desktop and virtualisation layer on the physical infrastructure, involving extensive interaction with VMware’s technical specialists in Australia and the US.
  • Configuration of AUCloud’s network and security settings to ensure ANU’s networks were properly configured.
  • Provision of managed service provider (MSP) services, including support desk.
  • Implementation of a proof-of-concept environment for acceptance testing before a staged release to the University community.

The result

  • The solution enabled the over 20,000 students at ANU to continue working remotely during the COVID crisis.
  • Insitec’s fasttrack response ensured the new service was operational within two weeks.
  • As the MSP, Insitec worked with ANU to develop a communications plan for end users, to raise awareness of the availability and the capabilities of the new service.
  • Insitec continued to manage the service during the critical period until December 2021.