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Remote Desktop Access Dashboard FAQ

The LabStats Remote Desktop Access Dashboard is a dashboard that can be used by students to find an available computer on campus. It also provides them with a mechanism to remotely log into that computer without any special knowledge needed.

When will it be available?

The LabStats Remote Access Dashboard is available now, at no additional cost to LabStats users. Dozens of universities are already using it to connect students to campus resources remotely.

How much does it cost?

The Remote Access Dashboard is available at no additional cost to LabStats users. If you already have LabStats installed on-campus computers, schedule a tutorial with your account manager to get set up.

If you do not have LabStats yet, schedule a walkthrough, and see how the Remote Access Dashboard works. Our team is waiving installation fees for 30 days to help you get started quickly and get your students connected with the resources they need.

Is it available for LabStats Cloud and On-Premise users?

If you’re using LabStats in the cloud, you can get started with the Remote Access Dashboard right away.

The Dashboard is available for On-Prem customers, however, there is an important note: you’ll either need to have your students remote into your network with a VPN and host this Dashboard within your network, or you’ll have to ensure your LabStats Portal is publicly accessible over the internet so that the dashboard can get the availability information.

How will I get updates?

Our team is actively working on new features and improved functionality to better serve colleges and universities during this critical time. All updates will be pushed out automatically, so you can rest assured that you always have the most updated version.

 

Can I embed the Remote Access Dashboard in an existing webpage?

Yes, you can embed this Dashboard in another webpage (using an “iframe”), or you can link directly to it.

What prevents the student from skipping going to the website and just connecting via the published IP?

Because of the way RDP connections work, it is possible for a student to use the dashboard once, and then skip the Dashboard and connect straight to the IP. However, the dashboard is the only way to ensure the computer you’re trying to connect to is not already in use, so we anticipate students returning to the dashboard every time they need to connect to a computer.

Can I try this with a couple of groups and then later add more?

Yes, you can do this two ways.

  1. In the initial set up, request to display all groups. New groups will appear automatically as you create new ones.
  2. In the initial set up, provide a list of filtered groups. If you want to add more groups later, you can contact us to make that change..

Does this authenticate users by the school’s domain name?

No. This dashboard does not authenticate. The authentication happens in the Remote Desktop connection itself using school/university systems, as well as with the VPN connection (if applicable).

This dashboard surfaces the available computers (spreading the load across the computers while doing that), and creates an RDP file pre-filled with connection information to simplify the process for the student.

At that point RDP on school/university computers takes over and requires whatever authentication was set up on their end. In this way, LabStats facilitates getting students into the school/university computer systems, but it leaves authentication up to the school for maximum flexibility.

What is the best way for schools to show students what applications are available in a specific lab?

Currently, organizing stations by lab will help students find appropriate software. If they normally access statistics software in the Mathematics or Engineering Lab, they should expect to find it on the computers in that group. You can also add a note or a link to a software list in the custom header.

Does this require VPN access for the remote users?

No, it does not. A VPN is not necessary, but it is a possibility.

Instead, you could use a remote desktop gateway or you could make your computers available directly through the internet by adding firewall exceptions for RDP access and by using static IP addresses. Both of these options reduce the amount of additional traffic that would be sent through your network and potentially reduce the risk of direct network access.

RD Gateway

According to Microsoft, “end users can connect to internal network resources securely from outside the corporate firewall through RD Gateway.” To learn more about RD Gateways and why Microsoft recommends using them, read Remote Desktop Services – Access from Anywhere.

How to Set Up an RD Gateway

Follow Microsoft’s set up guide: Deploy Your Remote Desktop Environment.

Will this show stations that are not assigned to groups?

It will only display stations in groups. If you need to temporarily assign stations to a group, please do so.

Will students be able to connect to VDI machines remotely?

Yes, VDI machines should behave the same way as a physical machine.

What about the LabStats API?

If your team is looking for a custom solution, check out our powerful API. You can use the LabStats API to securely connect LabStats data to a wide range of in-house solutions.

LabStats API Documentation and Testing Sandbox 

https://api.labstats.com/index.html

LabStats Support Documentation on the API 

API

Is it possible to add or remove computers from this dashboard?

You can choose which groups are displayed (groups generally reflect the computer labs you have on campus). There are two ways to manage the computers that appear on your dashboard:

If you need to change which computers show up within a specific group, you can make that change directly in the LabStats Portal. The dashboard will display computers that are assigned to the group, so if you want to change what appears, you can add or remove them from the group. Consider creating a temporary “holding group” if you don’t want the change to be permanent.

If you’d like to add or remove groupsemail us and we’ll update it for you.

Ongoing Support

If you have any other questions, we’re happy to discuss and test new solutions with you. Contact your account manager or our support team at support@labstats.com.

We’re committed to partnering with you to find the best solutions for your unique environment, to ensure the success of your students wherever they may be.

View a recorded demo of the Remote Access Dashboard

Updated on June 16, 2020

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