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TLT Unveils Virtual SINC Site for Students


virtualsincsiteloginVirtual network computing is now available to all Stony Brook students. Nearly a year ago, Matthew Froehlich, Manager of Instructional Computing Systems in the Teaching, Learning + Technology (TLT) department, assembled his team of support personnel to begin working on a plan to build a virtual computer lab at Stony Brook. After a significant testing phase, Stony Brook’s Virtual SINC Site is ready to be rolled out to students.

Students no longer have to physically visit one of SB’s 17 SINC Sites during scheduled hours in order to access specialized programs, electronic technology, and applications that were previously only available on SINC Site computers. The virtual SINC Site is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the student’s own machine using a Web browser, and has 75 software titles available for use including Adobe CS5, Amos, ArcGIS, Endnote, Maple, MathType, Microsoft Office 2010, RAMAS, and Mathematica products, just to name a few. The virtual SINC Site works on Windows and Macintosh operating systems and students never have to install any programs.

The back end of the system uses the latest virtualization technologies, but students simply navigate to a Web site where they are presented with a login page. Once they authenticate with their NetID and NetID password, they are presented with a series of application icons which they have access to without needing to install the application on their own computer. As an example, this virtualization technology allows a Microsoft Windows version of a program to run on a Mac and gives students access to mapped network drives as well as the ability to print from their own machine. When they are finished with their work, they close the application and it is gone. No files are copied to their machine.

Students will not have to wait for a seat in a crowded SINC Site during peak usage times because now more people can use the lab software without having to be physically present. A student can access these applications at any time from their residence hall, a coffee shop, the library, or anywhere else they can pick up Internet access.

The Virtual SINC site is limited to 220 logins. If all 220 seats in the virtual SINC Site are taken, the next student who tries to log in will receive an access denied message and will be asked to try back later. The virtual SINC Site will work on student-owned computers running Windows or Mac operating systems. Smart phones and other operating systems are not supported at this time, but when they are, students will be made aware.

For those who are ready to give it a try, please read through the following instructions:

For assistance, call Client Support at (631) 632-9800.

—Kerrin Perniciaro

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