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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Core Builds

There are four main core builds of Managed Desktop, employing different configurations and policies according to end users’ requirements: Teaching, Staff, Kiosk, and Lab.

Teaching

The desktop service that underpins teaching and learning activities on approximately 2,500 PCs in classrooms and open access PC areas across the University. The service is available to staff and students, and provides access to a large software suite and all core desktop benefits.

Staff

The desktop service designed for University staff and postgraduates to underpin all aspects of teaching, research, and administration. This service is adopted by all departments, colleges and business units on nearly 3,500 PCs across the University, and is subtly different to the Teaching build in terms of access controls, software availability, and personalisation options.

Kiosk

The desktop service providing a locked down, secure kiosk environment for dedicated functions including external visitor access, Library catalogue searching, and quick access to University e-mail or other web services. Machines running these services cannot be logged onto, and operate within a locked down web browser only.

There are around 50 of these kiosk-based services across the University, based within the Bill Bryson Library, College libraries, Palace Green Library, and the World Heritage Centre.

Functionality can be customised to requirements, if you'd like to make use of this service please contact the IT Service Desk for further information.

Lab

The desktop service designed for machines across the University required for specialist use-cases and extended hours of operation; translating most typically to research, experiments, and other long-running processes. Lab build provides optimised configuration over Staff and Teaching builds in terms of access controls, uninterrupted use, performance, and persistent user profiles.

Lab build may not be suitable for all situations, please see the description of optional features, build and configuration is described below. Lab builds are generally not approved for personal PCs.

Access

  • OneDrive disabled
    OneDrive storage can be disabled, for data security reasons.

Uninterrupted use

  • No automatic log off
    Machines will not log off after a period of use.

  • No automatic screen lock
    Non Admin users accounts will not automatically lock after a desktop screensaver is activated.

  • No nightly shutdown
    Machines will be exempt from Greenspace’s nightly shutdown policies.

  • Extended deadlines over patches and no forcible reboots
    Machines will receive an extended deadline of 30 days for all Windows patches. Patch installation will not otherwise automatically restart the PCs.

Performance

  • High performance power plan
    The machine will not lower its performance, throttle, or otherwise disable hardware for the purposes of power saving.

  • Sophos directory exclusion
    Options for exclusion directories can be requested and added into the local AV policy

Data loss prevention

  • Profile persistence
    Configurable options for local profile persistence between 1 and 365 days to avoid potential data loss from data stored in local profiles.