What is NUworkspace?

NUworkspace offers users a Windows virtual desktop with a suite of software applications for University work. Its purpose is to provide eligible faculty, students, and staff with access to programs that may not be readily available on their current desktop/laptop computers. NUworkspace is generally intended for interactive, rather than scheduled or batch, workloads that do not require intense computation. Examples include prototyping, script testing, and running programs that offer quick results and feedback.

Several schools and administrative units established and jointly maintain NUworkspace, a desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) service environment, as a shared service for University-wide use. Roles and responsibilities have been defined for use and support.

Virtual desktops are available via a secure web interface, authenticating with NetID credentials. Once connected, a user can access files in his/her cloud-based storage (e.g. Box, Google Drive), process those files in the virtual desktop, and save the results back to the cloud-based storage location. The service saves only basic desktop configuration settings, and otherwise does not persist once the virtual desktop is closed.

SACA Technologies hosts the service, which is powered by Nimdesk cloud desktop software. SACA is responsible for maintaining the infrastructure and keeping virtual desktop images up to date based on Northwestern’s specifications. SACA also provides access to a license manager to enable concurrent use of a shared pool of software licenses for installed applications.

Google Chrome: Due to incompatibilities between the Citrix Receiver and Chrome, NUworkspace will not launch properly via Google Chrome. Use Firefox, Safari or IE instead. We will send a notification when the issues have been resolved.