Senior Information Technology Manager
University of Texas, Austin
Safety precautions put in place to address the pandemic on campuses have resulted in the removal or reduction of access to lab computing resources, connectivity, and licensed software (in University of Texas libraries’ case, titles such as Matlab, Adobe Creative Cloud, NVivo). Concurrently, coursework has moved almost exclusively online, many times without equivalent computing support for the curriculum in place. This discussion will explore the attempts to address this need at a Tier 1 institution and the solution selected, Apache Guacamole. The final product allowed us to provide access to both Macs and PCs, as well as meet our university’s requirements for single sign-on and multifactor authentication. We will discuss our selection process, solutions that were trialed but ultimately not selected, use metrics, user adoption/input, and how we see the service evolving over time. Specific attention will focus on evaluation of these solutions based on cost effectiveness, security, maintainability, and low barriers of entry given the short runway the pandemic allowed to roll out an enterprise service.