Watchpoints for consideration when utilising a VDI network to teach Archicad BIM software within an educational programme

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McGarrigle, Malachy
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Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Mount Albert (Auckland, N.Z.)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
architecture education
Unitec, Te Pūkenga courses
virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
Archicad (modelling software)
BIM education
educational technology
New Zealand Diploma in Architectural Technology
McGarrigle, M. (2023). Watchpoints for consideration when utilising a VDI network to teach Archicad BIM software within an educational programme (Unitec ePress Occasional and Discussion Paper Series 2023/2).1-28, Unitec ePress, Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. ISSN 2324-3635.
This research identifies factors to be considered in the adoption of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) accommodating the software needs of a tertiary institution. The study discusses the potential advantages and disadvantages of VDI, focusing specifically on the performance of the architectural software Archicad when used virtually. The findings will be relevant to similar programmes, such as Revit, and software used in other disciplines, especially where processing power is important. Aims discussed include reducing high-specification computers rarely used to capacity, assessing user experience, and feasibility of VDI remote access. Primarily a case study, this project centres around delivery of papers in the New Zealand Diploma of Architectural Technology programme at Unitec | Te Pūkenga that employ Archicad. Software efficiency and performance was monitored throughout teaching across numerous semesters. Incidents were logged and VDI operation tracked, especially during complex tasks such as image rendering. Load testing was also carried out to assess the implications of large user numbers simultaneously performing such complex tasks. Project findings indicate that Archicad performance depends on the design and specification of the virtual platform. Factors such as processing power, RAM allocation and ratio of users to virtual machines (VM)s proved crucial. Tasks executed by the software and how software itself uses hardware are other considerations. This research is important, as its findings could influence the information technology strategies of both academic institutions and industry in coming years. Virtual computing provides many benefits, and this project could provide the confidence for stakeholders to adopt new strategies using VDI instead of the traditional approach of computers with locally installed software applications.
ePress, Unitec | Te Pūkenga
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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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