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Virtual PCs (VPC)


About VPC

Virtual PCs is a new initiative to standardize central PC management by leveraging the use of cloud infrastructure and technologies.  It aims at supporting general computing needs in departments with the first phase targeted for use by the administrative and clerical staff.

Key Benefits

Please watch the videos at https://www.smarter.hku.hk/en/page/news/VPC to see how VPC can help colleagues save time and effort.

vpc-video

Key benefits of VPCs are summarized below:

  • Reduce manpower in PC support by using common set of software and centralized update
  • Extend the PC replacement cycle 
  • Improve security protection with continual Windows and security patch updates
  • Single sign-on to central IT services such as email and centrally managed file storage e.g. SharePoint and Departmental Data Asset Storage (DDAS)
  • Self-service data recovery via daily snapshots (up to 30 days)
  • Quick deployment, plug-and-play
  • Go green requiring little electricity and desktop space

Provision through Central Cost

  • One VPC box per user with keyboard and mouse (reuse existing monitor)
  • Disk storage: 100GB personal drive on VPC per user and 5TB OneDrive for Business on Microsoft O365
  • Departmental storage connecting to central file server f1.hku.hk (100GB/department) and Departmental Data Asset Storage (200GB/department)

Common Software List

A common set of software is installed on the VPCs.  The software list will be updated on a quarterly basis and software upgrades will be arranged by ITS through central deployment.
 
The latest software list is tabulated below:

Categories Application Name Description Version installed on VPC Next version to be upgraded on VPC Expected date of upgrade 
Windows 10    
1709
1903 December 2019
Web browser
  Edge   Bundled with operating system
  Internet Explorer   Bundled with operating system
  Mozilla Firefox   Up-to-date 68.2.0 ESR n/a
  Chrome   Up-to-date 78.x n/a
Productivity
  Microsoft Office Professional Plus
(Access, Excel, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word)
Office suite 2016 2019 February 2020
  Skype for Business 2016 Instant messaging, video conferencing tool Professional Plus 2016 n/a n/a
  PDF-XChange PRO PDF document editor and viewer Up-to-date version 8.0.333.0 n/a
  Notepad++ Text/source code editor Up-to-date version 7.8 n/a
  WinMerge Text differencing/merging tool version 2.16.2.0 version 2.16.4 November 2019
  SmartDraw 2018 Diagramming software 2018 2019 To be confirmed
  EndNote X9 Reference management software version 19.1.0.12691 version 19.2 December 2019
  AutoCAD DWG TrueView 2018 Viewing AutoCAD data files Up-to-date version 22.0.50.0 n/a
Multimedia
  VLC Media Player Multimedia player 3.0.7.1 3.0.8 November 2019
  IrfanView Graphic viewer Up-to-date 4.53 n/a
  GIMP Image manipluation 2.10.8 2.10.12 December 2019
Security
  Microsoft Azure Information Protection Protect sensitive documents (IRM tool) 1.53.10.0 1.54.33.0 November 2019
  Sophos Endpoint Security and Control Antivirus solution Up-to-date 10 n/a
  VeraCrypt File encryption/ decryption tool 1.23 1.24 December 2019
Utilities
  7-Zip File archiving tool Up-to-date 19 n/a
  FileZilla FTP client FTP client Up-to-date 3.45.1 n/a
  PuTTY Terminal emulator Up-to-date 0.73 n/a
Statistical Analysis
  SPSS Statistics analysis 25 26 To be confirmed
  AMOS Structural equation modeling 25 26 To be confirmed
  Sample Power Sample size tool 3.0.1 n/a n/a
  MATLAB Numeric computation and visualization R2018b R2019b To be confirmed
Others
  Adobe Flash Player   Up-to-date 32.0.0.270 n/a
  Convene Paperless meeting 5.5.6161 5.6.106592 November 2019
  Microsoft Silverlight 5   Up-to-date 5.1.50918.0 n/a
  AutoCAD 2017 (for specific licensed users in the Estates Office only)      

Last update: 31 Oct 2019

Supported Peripherals

Categories Peripherals
Hand writing device PenPower EZ Go Pro Writing Pad

Remote VPC Access User Guide

Rollout Schedule

Phase 1: Mid-November 2018 

  • To launch 500 VPCs.  ITS conducted reviews with users and track benefits following the completion of Phase 1.

Phase 2: June 2019

  •  More VPCs were deployed to departments not covered under Phase 1.

Training

Hands-on training are being arranged.  Please click here for registration.  

Other colleagues who are interested in knowing more about the VPCs are welcome to visit the Learning Environment Services offices at the Chi Wah Learning Commons (CPD-1.64) or the Curve (KKL-204) to try out the demonstration units.

Get Started

Fill in CF85 on Application for Virtual PCs.  The allocation of the VPCs is based on the rollout schedule indicated above.

FAQ

User Guide