Students at Indiana University (IU) can now access discipline-specific software from home, via IUanyWare, which was previously only available on campus. IUanyWare is a client virtualization service at IU that enables students to access general-purpose and discipline-specific software from their desktop, laptop, or mobile device, regardless of their geographic location. In the past, restrictions limited access to discipline-specific software to specific computers on campus and prevented students from using this software from home. In addition, slow Internet speeds or older home desktop computers may have limited students’ ability to access certain software. However, now with IUanyWare’s Citrix protocol, restrictions, low bandwidth, and older home desktop computers no longer hold IU students back from remote learning.
The IUanyWare team worked throughout the pandemic to ensure that faculty and students could interact successfully with the technology resources provided by the university during the COVID-19 induced era of remote education. At first, the IUanyWare team needed to bring awareness to the benefits that IUanyWare could provide to faculty and students from different schools at IU. Some schools were assigning computers to students and the students were required to know the computer name and the IP address of their assigned computer. The computers also needed to be constantly available. As one can imagine, this arrangement quickly devolved when students would try a different IP address if their assigned computer wasn’t working and inevitably use an IP address that was assigned to another student. When the IUanyWare team explained to the schools that students could log in to https://iuanyware.iu.edu and they would be automatically assigned their own individual computer, the schools quickly came on board. Students from schools like IUPUI’s School of Engineering, The Media School, Speech and Hearing Sciences, and Jacob’s School of Music are taking advantage of the IUanyWare services offered.
Speech and Hearing Sciences wanted their students to be able to access their clinical software from any location. However, they also needed to make sure that students, or anyone else for that matter, could not access data without an administrator’s approval. The team worked with Speech and Hearing Sciences to secure their remote desktop servers and spent several months making sure the machines were HIPAA-aligned. Laura Karcher, a Clinical Professor for the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences says, “IUanyWare has allowed our professional students to securely access our electronic medical record system remotely which positively impacted work efficiency and training opportunities for our students.”
IUanyWare has allowed our professional students to securely access our electronic medical record system remotely which positively impacted work efficiency and training opportunities for our students.
The Media School also wanted its students to have access to specialized licensed software remotely. The Institute for Communication Research (ICR) is a place where, according to their website, undergraduate or graduate students can go to “test out their hypotheses on the impact of media on people, the impact of individual differences, how people make sense of media, how people choose media and how media makes sense to them.” By installing a virtualization client on the ICR lab computers, students have access to software that’s useful in scholarly and educational activity such as MediaLab and DirectRT, E-Prime, and iMotions, from the comfort of their own home. Sandy Coulter, Enterprise Architect for the College of Arts + Sciences Information Technology Office says, “As an IT Professional within the College of Arts + Sciences Information Technology Office, we know the enormous amount of work the pandemic brought to all faculty, students, and staff. The IUanyWare team’s knowledge, professionalism, timeliness, and collaborative efforts allowed me and other IT Professionals in the College’s COLL+IT units to offer sustainable solutions allowing learning and research to continue from remote locations. We congratulate and offer our thanks to the IUanyWare team. Job well done!”
IU’s remote learning efforts have also reached beyond the borders of the United States. IUanyWare made it possible for students who needed to return to their home country to access software that otherwise might have been restricted there. The IUanyWare team ensured that during the COVID-19 pandemic, and into the future, students can learn from anywhere.
The IUanyWare team not only virtualizes and provides access to applications and desktops on-premises and in the cloud, they now provide access to desktops that were once walk-up/sit-down computer labs on campus, including Mac computers. They also provide the security framework for the network to enable secure login to these on-campus resources. No VPN is required to access anything within IUanyWare as they have a device that acts as the load balancer and secure gateway for the environment.
With the IUanyWare team’s move to the cloud in early May 2021, they are now able to offer and extend their resources to external cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Google–GCP, and Amazon–AWS. IUanyWare is truly a virtual platform service provider for Indiana University offering secure access to on-premises resources and creating/leveraging access to new cloud resources all under one login and platform.