Windows Systems

In addition to Windows PCs in various labs, MSI also provides remotely accessible Windows machines in the form of load balanced VM pools. These pools (detailed below) can be accessed through xen.msi.umn.edu with Citrix Receiver. For connection instructions, please see the walkthrough.

The previous generation of remotely accessible Windows servers, namely iron.msi.umn.edu and copper.msi.umn.edu, can be accessed via Remote Desktop Connection (see the Interactive Connections FAQ for Linux, Windows, and Mac connection instructions). Note that iron and copper are deprecated; they are slated to be entirely replaced by load balanced VM pools.

Available Systems

The below table enumerates all VM pools available for use.

Pool Name Users per VM Memory per VM CPUs per VM GPU Total VMs
Default Many 61 GB 8 N/A 9
GPU Many 61 GB 8 Nvidia GRID K2* 4
GPU Exclusive** 1 61 GB 8 Nvidia GRID K1 4

*Ceratain advanced GPU features (e.g. CUDA) are not available on shared desktops. Exclusive desktops may use these GPU features.
**Access to the GPU Exclusive pool currently requires a request to be sent to help@msi.umn.edu.

Storage

The following storage is available in Windows VM pools:

Drive Notes Policy
U: User files that should be saved should go here. Files are persistent. Backups and snapshots available.
G: This is the shared group directory (equivalent to /home/{groupname} on Linux). Linux homes are accessible within this drive at G:\{username}. Shared space is available at G:\shared. The same policies apply on Linux and Windows. See the storage overview for details.
S: Scratch space for temporary files. This space is shared across all VMs. Files not modified within the last 30 days deleted. Files must reside in a folder; creating files at the top level is not permitted.
L: Scratch space local to each VM for temporary files. This space can be used when applications do not function correctly on network scratch space (i.e. the S drive). Data here should be considered inaccessible on log out; it will be deleted on machine reboot and cannot be recovered. As with the S drive, data must be contained in a folder.
C: System use; do not use this drive. Files deleted on machine reboot. 1GB quotas enforced.

 

Session Time Limits

All sessions that have been inactive for 2 days will be ended. There is no set limit as to how long a session that is active at least once every 2 days may run; however, the systems will need to be rebooted periodically (generally once per month, on the first Wednesday) to apply updates.