Virtual Desktop (VDI) Change Control Policy

This policy outlines the process to request, and make changes to the VDI environment. Generally, it applies to any activity that would trigger a “Recompose” of one or more desktop pools. User entitlement changes, and other general access changes are not subject to this policy.

Unlike traditional desktops, Virtual Desktops (VDI) are rooted in a singular “Gold” copy of a system, which spawns the user desktops. These desktops are clones of the gold image and any changes to the gold image, will impact all others.

When a change is made to the Gold image, all the client desktops will need to be “recomposed” to reflect the changes. The recompose process is destructive, and will take any desktops in the pool off-line, and they will be unavailable for use during this time. (a recompose action can take several hours, and should be scheduled for overnight hours unless it in an emergency measure)

Because the recompose action affects all users, and not just the “target” users, a more rigorous change control policy must be enacted to ensure availability, and manage the expectations of availability for all user constituent groups. Therefore, we will be placing minimum action timelines, as well as requirements for stakeholder approvals and user community notifications.

  • Change Requests.  All requests to change the VDI system should be made through the Helpdesk. Please include a description of the requested change, the proposed date of the change and any anticipated impacts with the change.
  • Approval Process. Once requested, an approval request will be sent to the Director of Academic Technology AND the Director of Technology. This request will contain the proposed changes, as well as potential impacts to other applications or pools within the system, and proposed recompose date/time.   CHANGES TO THE PRODUCTION SYSTEM WILL NOT BE MADE UNTIL APPROVAL HAS BEEN RECEIVED FROM EITHER APPROVING PARTY.
  • Approval/Denial. Once approved or denied, the helpdesk will notify the requestor of the response and change activities will proceed as negotiated.
  • User Notifications. Because the VDI system is used by multiple constituent groups throughout the school (including Students, Faculty and Staff) a change control notification will be sent to all impacted constituency groups no less than 48 hours before the planned downtime.
  • Change Control Window. Because even minor changes to installed applications, and system settings can have far reaching impacts to all areas of the VDI system, proper care must be taken to evaluate and potentially test the proposed changes. Therefore, we require at least 10 days notice to perform any changes to the VDI system that would require a “recompose activity. This will give all parties time to process the approvals, testing and communications that are required to maintain the expected level of availability to the system.


  • Note: HARDWARE changes have a SIGNIFICANT impact on the system and should only be planned to occur during breaks. Hardware change request timelines will need to be managed individually, and will require the approval of BOTH authorizing parties.

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