ApacheCon NA 2013

Portland, Oregon

February 26th – 28th, 2013

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Wednesday 2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

Desktop virtualization with Apache VCL

Aaron Coburn

Audience level:


This session will introduce the Apache community to the VCL project and how it implements a virtual desktop infrastructure. The presentation will show how users interact with the system while also delving into the details of how its provisioning architecture works with a variety of virtualized operating systems and underlying hypervisors.


The Apache VCL is a cloud computing platform used to provision and broker access to remote computing systems. The presentation will show how, using a web interface, users can request and then connect to remote computing environments that are dynamically provisioned by the VCL infrastructure. The session will go on to describe how the system supports various operating system environments, how they are captured and made available to users as well as how they are loaded onto different, potentially distributed, back-end hypervisors.

In addition, the session will touch on how the VCL handles some of the security, authentication and access control issues that arise when running this system. The session will also describe the VCL’s external API and show how it can be used to integrate the VCL with other, external systems – including Apache Libcloud.

Highlighting an existing production implementation, this talk will describe how a group of colleges are working together, using the VCL to manage their virtual desktop infrastructure. This system is allowing the institutions to push traditional computer lab environments into a shared community cloud. So now, by using the VCL, students, staff and faculty can access specialized computing environments at all hours and from any location.