Virtual Sites FAQ

Why is Virtual Sites not available to Michigan Medicine Faculty or Staff? What alternative remote software options are available for Michigan Medicine customers?

The new Virtual Sites uses the Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop product. Use of this product relies on Microsoft 365 licensing. Michigan Medicine has a separate Microsoft 365 license from the rest of campus; thus Michigan Medicine customers are not licensed to use the ITS Campus Computing Sites Virtual Sites.

Health Information Technology & Services (HITS) provides several options for accessing their software remotely.

When I use Virtual Sites, where should I save my work?

During all Virtual Sites sessions, we recommend saving all of your work to cloud storage providers. The most commonly used storage providers at U-M are Google Drive, DropBox, and OneDrive. Please review the Safe Computing Sensitive Data Guide for information about each cloud storage provider.

We recommend using Kumo to map cloud storage locations as network drives so that when you use the “Save” feature in an application, U-M Google Drive, U-M Dropbox and OneDrive will be listed under “This PC” in the save window. View more information about how to configure and use Kumo.

What is that “Local resources” pop-up that opens when I launch an application or a Desktop?

Each time you launch a new application or Desktop within Virtual Sites, it will ask if you want to allow Virtual Sites access to your local resources. Local resources include a printer, clipboard, and file transfer. We always recommend clicking Allow so that you can use those resources during your Virtual Sites session. This makes tasks like printing or copying and pasting between documents much simpler.

What happens if I save my file to the Desktop or Documents folder on Virtual Sites?

Your document will exist on that Desktop or in that Documents folder for 72 hours from your most recent login to Virtual Sites. While your document will persist, this is not the recommended storage solution. Please save to a cloud storage location such as U-M Google Drive or U-M Dropbox. Each Virtual Sites application and desktop (GPU and NonGPU) has a dedicated storage location. If you don’t see your document that was saved to the Desktop, it may have been saved using an application and was therefore stored in a different location.

Note: Each user is responsible for their own data. Virtual Sites is not responsible for any data that is lost after being saved to local Virtual Sites storage.

I uploaded a file in Virtual Sites. Where did it go?

Uploaded files are automatically put in the Remote Desktop Virtual Drive on RDWebClient folder. View directions to access this folder and the uploaded files.

My internet connection was interrupted. Did I lose my work?

If you reestablish your connection to Virtual Sites within 15 minutes, your session will continue as if the interruption did not occur. When you reconnect to Virtual Sites within 15 minutes, you will need to reopen any individual applications that you were using in your previous session and your work will be as you left it. If you were using a Desktop option, launch that same Desktop(GPU or NonGPU) and your work will be available in the Desktop Session.

I need to use two applications at the same time and need to share data across applications. How do I do that?

When you need to work across multiple applications at the same time, always use a full desktop (either GPU or NonGPU). For example, if you need to use Microsoft Excel and IBM SPSS at the same time and share data between the two applications, log into Virtual Sites, launch a GPU desktop, and then open Excel and SPSS. 

If you are simultaneously logged into more than one Virtual Sites session or using more than one remote app at the same time, files saved to a local drive will not be available across them.

What happens if I log into a GPU desktop and a NonGPU desktop at the same time? Can I share work across them? Will Kumo work?

When you launch a Desktop session of Virtual Sites, you are working on a virtual computer similar to sitting down at a computer in a physical lab. If you open another session or another desktop, you are effectively sitting down at a different computer in that same lab. Files you are using on one computer or desktop are not available on the other. However, you can upload files to cloud storage on one desktop and then download them onto your other desktop.

I’m working in a single app but now I realize I need to share data across two apps. How do I connect the two applications?

We recommend using a session desktop to connect multiple applications or share data between them. To do this, save the work to a cloud storage provider such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Close your current single application and then open a session desktop by double-clicking on either of the icons labeled VS GPU Desktop or VS NonGPU Desktop