Virtual Machine FAQ

What is a Virtual Machine?
A virtual machine (VM) is a software implementation of a computer in the cloud. It works just like the physical computer that you can touch but it is actually located somewhere else. An essential characteristic of a virtual machine is that the software running inside the virtual environment is limited to the resources provided by the virtual machine - it cannot break out of its virtual environment. In other words, you may have software on your physical computer that is not available on your virtual machine. You can not run the software on the physical computer from the virtual machine.

Anything saved on your physical machine is not saved to the server. Therefore, it is not backed up. This means that if your physical machine crashes, you will lose everything on your physical machine. If your information is saved on the virtual machine, it is backed up and can be restored if it should ever crash.

How to deal with local printers
Local printers are printers that connect directly to your computer. These are not the networked printers that are shared. Local printers can be used on the VM. The software for the printer needs to be installed on the VM by an administrator. Once this is done, the printer is accessible on the VM because the VM can connect with peripherals (printers, scanners, label makers) that are plugged in via USB. The IT staff will be happy to provide you with the software installation.

Can I install software on my VM?
No. You do not have administrator rights on the VM. Contact the IT staff if you need software on your VM.

What about Windows and Microsoft updates?
These updates will be applied automatically to your VM and you do not need to worry about them.

How do I log off or close down my VM?
Go to Start in the lower left of the screen. Click on the down arrow beside the Shutdown button. Click on Log Off that pops up in the window.