For about a year now, I have been working with three other CIOs on a project we call LabSTOR. Rick Holmgren (Allegheny), Mike Roy (Middlebury), Pam McQuesten (Occidental) and I all wanted to find a way to get access to the kind of remote computing services provided by North Carolina State’s Virtual Computing Lab (VCL). The service allows people to use specialized software without having to install it on their local machine and without having to visit a lab.
At the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC) conference in June 2009, we tested the waters for interest and came away confident that we should move forward with a pilot project. After a good deal of research, we contracted with NITLE to help manage the project and with Longsight for the infrastructure. We recently announced the initiative and called for twenty schools to commit funding for a three year pilot. Within a day of the announcement we had fourteen commitments! See the map below for a snapshot of schools that have joined.
Here at CIS, we are thinking of use cases that would make sense in LabSTOR. If you know of a piece of software that is installed, say, in only one lab, but which you think ought to be available remotely to anyone on campus, drop me a line.