Now and through the summer, Centralia College is upgrading campus data cables and piloting a program to give students access to campus software from anywhere.
Right now, Centralia College is upgrading the data cables running from Washington Hall to the Transitional Services Building (formerly the Student Center).
Via a hatch in the center of campus, staff is replacing 1GB cable with 10GB cable to support a new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), a pilot program that will make students’ classroom software available on any VDI-connected computer on campus. Historically, software has been limited to specific machines and labs. With a virtual desktop, students and staff can access licensed software from any machine in the campus network and from their own devices at home.
This VDI project will accommodate the campus’ growing needs for computer labs and provide a sustainable means for IT support. Upon completion of the VDI pilot (scheduled to go live on March 1), three existing labs will be replaced, and a new math lab will be ready to go live in TSB.
According to Sam Small, interim IT director, this infrastructure improvement is just a preview of what’s to come for the whole campus.
“Following the fiber upgrade from TAC to the TSB, we will be upgrading TAC to Walton Science Center, then TAC to the Library. We will reach Hanson and the Gym following the other buildings,” he said. “The TSB fiber upgrade will be completed by Jan. 18 and TAC to WSC before the end of February. The remaining fiber runs will be completed during spring and summer quarters.”
Funding is from the annual IT lab replacement budget, the Associated Students of Centralia College, and Instruction. The total cost of the VDI pilot project, including the upgraded cable, and network is around $156,000.