Managed Desktop is a service that offers IT staff an efficient, secure method for managing workstations.
The service is available for IT support organizations. If you are an end-user, contact your local IT support.
Cornell’s IT staff have managed workstations for many years, but have often done so manually or have operated their own desktop management software. The Managed Desktop service provides a less expensive but more secure and reliable user experience, and more effective integration with other support services such as the IT Service Desk.
Managed Desktop helps provide faster, more efficient IT support. Managed Desktop can install or reinstall operating systems and applications very quickly, can update software, enable important security practices (such as installing malware protection, who disk encryption, and applying security patches), help identify problems before they become obvious to the end-user, help protect workstations in the event of a widespread security issue, and help Cornell identify software that would be good candidates for bulk purchasing.
The Managed Desktop service stores inventory information about the hardware and installed software of the workstations, updated once per week. No user data is inventoried, and application usage information is not stored. The basic hardware and installed software information is at the heart of the functioning of the Managed Desktop as it makes it possible to “target” activities such as software installations and updates to appropriate computers.
System administrators (that is, those who manage the Managed Desktop service) have access to the servers where the inventory data is stored. IT directors and their direct designates can access campus-wide inventory information. Local IT support staff only see information about computers they support.
No. No information about user data is stored in the inventory database.
Local IT staff use the Managed Desktop service to manage your computer. They may do this directly by accessing the management tools or they may do it by making requests to the central Desktop Engineering team.
One of the advantages of a Managed Desktop is that it is a known, predictable environment, which allows for more complete, knowledgeable and efficient support. The Managed Desktop service includes a growing library of common software found around campus. If you have a need for specific software that is not available via the Managed Desktop, local IT support can work with users to find the best solution, either by installing the software or requesting it be added to the library of applications associated with Managed Desktop.
See our Managed Desktop Technical Requirements page for the list of currently supported models. Managed Desktop may work with other models, but CIT support will be limited.
In order to comply with university policy 5.10, which is aimed at creating and maintaining a secure work, teaching, research, and study environment, all systems that are used to conduct university business and/or are on the university networks must be patched at regular intervals.
Unpatched systems contain security holes that can be exploited by hackers. Once a hacker gains access to a system, it must be removed from the network and examined to determine the extent of any damage. This can be costly for the university and very disruptive to the user.