All computers at Virginia Western are connected to the college Local Area Network. This network consists of wired and wireless connections. Users are placed into various network segments based on their identity and connection method, wired or wireless. Security mechanisms are in place to provide access to internal and external resources based on the rule of least privilege which means that users are subdivided into security zones that prevent their computers from accessing resources that do not pertain to their specific needs.
In addition to physical desktops and laptops, the college offers virtual desktops through our private cloud, otherwise referred to as VDI or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. These desktops are virtual computers that can be accessed on and off campus using a software client (VMWare) that can be installed on many types of devices such as home desktop computers, laptops, iPads, tablets and smartphones. The virtual computer offers many advantages including “anywhere access” to all internal college resources as if the machine was directly connected to the internal college network. Using this technology, one can work from remote locations easily and efficiently and get a computing experience the same as if they were at the college. The virtual desktop resides in the college data center and offers all the same drive mappings, files and intranet resources such as VWConnect and printing capabilities. Data and software is maintained on the virtual desktop which offers a secure and reliable system that is not loaded on the local computing device. Data in the virtual machine is backed up, protecting against device failure or loss. The virtual machine can simply be accessed from another computer or device.
The college provides a robust wireless network that supports access with college owned and personally owned devices. Students, VWCC and VCCS faculty, staff and guests using personally owned computers to access the campus network though the college wireless system will use My VWCC credentials. Faculty and staff can access the wireless system with college owned devices using their VWCC user id and password.
Two SSIDs (Service Set Identifiers) are broadcast on campus and will appear as available wireless networks:
VWCCWiFi – Network for all faculty, staff and students.
VWCCGuest – Network for campus visitors. Guest access is provided as needed by request to the Help Desk.
The standard software for all VWCC computers is the Microsoft Office suite of software composed of Word for word processing, Excel for spreadsheets, PowerPoint for slide presentations, Access for databases, and Outlook for email. For people that have not used Microsoft Office before or who need a refresher, the following links can be used to get on-line training from Microsoft.
There are three primary network drive letters that everyone should be aware of. The I: drive is your personal file storage area on the network server. The advantage of storing files on the I: drive over your computer's hard drive is that the files on the I: drive are backed up on a regular basis, whereas files stored on your computer's hard drive are not backed up and are saved there at your own risk. Additionally if you’re using VDI, you can access the I: drive files no matter where you are accessing VDI from. The J: drive is a departmental file storage area that everyone in your department/division has access to. This is the best place to store files that other people in the division need to access. The third primary network drive is the K: drive, which is used to store files that need to be accessed from the classroom, since the workstations in the classrooms cannot access the other network drives. Faculty members can contact the Help Desk to have their own folder created on the K: drive.
There is a limit to the amount of data that can be stored on the network drives. If you run out of space, you'll need to save some of the files that aren't used regularly to another storage medium, then delete those files from the network drives.
We use VW Alert to immediately contact you during a major crisis or emergency.