Virtual Computing | University of Portland

Virtual Computing

What is Virtual Computing?

The idea of virtual computing is pretty simple: rather than running on a processor and hard drive sitting under your desk or on your lap, the entire computer runs within a single program running on a powerful server in a machine room.  One such server could simultaneously run dozens or even hundreds of user computing sessions, and users can connect to and use their computer from any other device - a very cheap and easily maintained "thin client", a personally owned computer, or even a tablet or phone.  

Virtual computers are easier and cheaper to maintain, they save energy compared to having desktop computers, and they cut down on "e-Waste".  They also give users a consistent and persistent computer desktop that moves with them across the campus and the world beyond.

Using Virtual Computing at UP

Information Services maintains a virtualized data center and virtual desktop computing environment that is available to all staff, faculty, and students.  The virtual computing environment is accessible from any device using the VMWare View software or via an internet browser by visiting and signing in with your UP single sign-on credentials. VMWare view software is free and can be downloaded to any desktop, laptop, tablet, or smart phone directly from VMWare or from your mobile platform's app store.

Through either interface, staff and faculty can access the staff kiosk virtual desktop and their personal dedicated virtual desktop. Likewise, all students can access the student kiosk and engineering students can access the engineering kiosk. For help downloading and configuring VMWare view cclient software visit the Software Download Center on the Tech Support Portal or contact the help desk (503.943.7000 or