RamCloud NextGen is LIVE effective July 3, 2023.
This website explains changes to RamCloud, why changes were made to the RamCloud environment, what changed, timeline for these changes, opportunities for upcoming and on-demand training, support, and FAQs.
Information Services & Technology is fully committed to equitable access to technology including a virtualized software environment that effectively meets the emerging and continuing needs of West Chester University students, faculty, and staff. We are making improvements to our virtual software environment to meet current instructional technology needs. The upgraded RamCloud platform will provide equitable access to a complete virtual desktop, D2L Integration, Cloud storage access, and virtual classroom features.
Why Did the RamCloud platform change?
RamCloud has been used for virtual software and desktop access for over 10 years providing students and faculty the access to software that is needed. This next generation RamCloud platform uses state-of-the-art techniques so that all users have a great experience streaming apps from Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems straight to a student’s browser on any device, plug and play integration with university Learning Management System D2L, simplify management tasks, quick and efficient access to university storage platforms including OneDrive and GoogleDrive, reduce lags, lower total cost of ownership and enhance security.
Information Services & Technology is fully committed to equitable access to technology including a virtualized software environment that effectively meets the emerging and continuing needs of West Chester University students, faculty, and staff.
A New Look
- The login page has an updated look
- Selecting a desktop from the App Store launches a pre-configured full virtual desktop (instead of selecting specific software apps. There are three desktop choices:
New Features include:
- Apps and Desktops launch directly in your browser. You no longer need to download or install any additional software.
- Connect to your OneDrive/Google Drive cloud storage with Cloud Mounter from within your RamCloud virtual desktop (instead of configuring it at a separate site)
- Easy to use Upload/Download Buttons for file transfer
- The option to save files directly to your RamCloud virtual desktop
- Upload and download files directly to/from D2L from your RamCloud virtual desktop
- Faculty have the ability to add a virtual desktop to D2L courses
- Faculty have many new features available such as Virtual Classroom and Screenshare with students
What Stayed the Same?
- The login URL remains the same. Go to https://ramcloud.wcupa.edu/ to sign in.
- Virtual software and desktops will still be available on any platform, Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android. Virtual software and desktops will now also be available on ChromeOS.
- All of the 30+ software titles remain available in RamCloud NextGen.
- You can access your OneDrive cloud storage from RamCloud. Additionally, you can access Google Drive and be able to store files on your RamCloud desktop for the entire semester.
Equitable Access to Technology
A student with a Chromebook has the same experience with the software as a student with a high-end gaming computer.
The new RamCloud virtual desktop can be added directly to a D2L course as an external resource. Students can submit assignments directly from their virtual desktop.
Faculty can drop in on active student software sessions to guide and support coursework.
Cloud Storage Integration
Connect to OneDrive/Google cloud storage with Cloud Mounter from within your virtual desktop.
|Phase I||Start Date||End Date||Status|
|Pilot||February 2023||March 2023||COMPLETED|
|Upgrade Configuration||March 2023||May 2023||COMPLETED|
|Phase II||Start Date||End Date||Status|
|Beta Testing - Faculty & Students||May 30, 2023||June 29, 2023||COMPLETED|
|June 27, 2023||June 29, 2023||COMPLETED|
Cutover to new RamCloud Platform
(old Ramcloud decommissioned)
|July 3, 2023||July 3, 2023||COMPLETED|
|Faculty Training||July 2023||August 31, 2023||In Progress|
|Phase III||Start Date||End Date||Status|
|D2L Integration||June 2023||August 2023||COMPLETED|
|Virtual Classroom Features||June 2023||August 2023||COMPLETED|
Join us for one of the scheduled training sessions to learn how this virtual technology can benefit both you and your students!
Introduction to RamCloud Virtual Desktop Webinar
This course is geared toward faculty who use software such as SAS, SPSS, SolidWorks, R Studio, Matlab etc. in their curriculum. It will demonstrate how to give students access to a virtual desktop with the software they need in our RamCloud portal. Students will be able to access software titles to complete coursework from any device (Mac, PC, or mobile) anywhere, at any time, 24/7. This course will demonstrate how to integrate the virtual desktop to your D2L course as well as the following new features:
- Apps and Desktops launch directly in your browser. No need to download or install additional software
- Virtual Classroom features for faculty demonstration and student support
- Student use analytics
- Connect to your OneDrive/Google Drive cloud storage with Cloud Mounter from within your RamCloud virtual desktop.
- Simplified file transfer and upload/download directly from D2L
Click below to register for a scheduled training session. Or visit the Faculty and Staff Training website at https://wcupa.edu/FAST .
In addition to scheduled events, training for departments or programs can be requested via ServiceNow .
Support Articles & Tutorials
Knowledge Base Article: RamCloud: Faculty User Guide revised 2023
Vendor Provided Training
- Required Environment
- Accessing the App Store
- Using an App or Desktop
- Uploading and Downloading Files
- Using Shared Folders
- Mounting a Cloud Drive
- Copying and Pasting
- Printing a File
- Sharing Screens
- Using Messenger
- Viewing Analytics
- Using Multiple Monitors
- Turning Sound On and Off
- Saving and Restoring SnapShots
- Using a Persistent Virtual Machine
For additional support, please submit a ticket via ServiceNow or call the IS&T Helpdesk at 610-436-3350.
Please submit a request in Service Now HERE. Please allow 2 weeks for University approved and licensed software. Please allow 8-12 weeks for software that needs to be vetted or purchased.
The updated RamCloud environment is available at the same URL: https://ramcloud.wcupa.edu
RamCloud can be accessed on any computer with any web browser. It does not require any additional software or plug-ins be installed. It will work on Windows, MacOS, ChromeOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. The virtual desktop will open and run completely within a browser window.
Faculty should add a link to the RamCloud Desktop with the appropriate software for your course as an External Learning Tool in D2L. Instructions to do so can be found HERE. When students click the link through the External Learning Tool link in D2L, it will take them directly to the correct desktop and will pass their credentials and class information to RamCloud. This provides access to tools such as Virtual Classroom, Analytics, and Messenger.
Students can also go to https://ramcloud.wcupa.edu however, they will be required to login, select the correct desktop and the tools above will not be available.
Please refer to knowledge article Faculty User Guide revised 2023 for more information.
In any of the RamCloud desktops, you can use the Cloud Mounter tool to map a drive to your WCU Microsoft OneDrive files or your WCU Google Drive files. OneDrive files will mount to the (O:) drive and Google Drive files will mount to the (G:) drive. You will only need to authenticate to each of these services once.
Please refer to knowledge article Faculty User Guide revised 2023 for more information.
Yes. You can use the Upload File and Download File tools in the RamCloud desktop to move files from your local computer to the RamCloud desktops. Complete instructions can be found HERE
The easiest way to access files from D2L in RamCloud is to log into D2L from a browser in the RamCloud desktop. From there, you can download the files directly to the RamCloud desktop.
Files saved to your RamCloud profile in the Desktop, Downloads, or Documents directories will be retained through the entire semester. At this time, profiles will be deleted at the end of the semester, so please make sure you save any files needed to cloud storage before the end of the semester.
At this time, only virtual Windows desktops are available. However, it is a potential feature for future release. If this is something of interest, please contact IS&T to let us know.
Adobe Creative Cloud applications are not available virtually due to our licensing agreement with Adobe. However, many other options to access these applications are available to students, faculty, and staff. If you need access to Adobe Creative Cloud applications, please enter a request in Service Now HERE.