About Mosaic

Key Features

Mosaic offers our users a “Roaming Profile”.  This simply means that you can log in from any Mosaic PC in any building/lab and have access to the same files, applications and settings.  However, in order to obtain this feature, we lock down our PC’s so that you cannot install any applications to it.  This ensures that whenever you log into a Mosaic PC, you receive a secure, reliable and consistent computing environment consisting of over 150 applications.
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An advantage to using a Roaming Profile is that if a PC fails to perform, since they all have the same applications, you can simply move to another Mosaic PC and continue to have access to all your files and settings. 

Additionally, Mosaic offers an added level of convenience that we call Mosaic Anywhere.  If you are not able to sit in one of our labs to work, all you need is a reliable Internet connection to access this feature.  As with any of our systems, when you log into Mosaic Anywhere, you have access to all your files and settings. Very seldom do we see issues with a Mosaic system caused by viruses, adware, spyware, or improperly installed products.

Mosaic Architecture

The Mosaic architecture is based on the following characteristics:

  • The local system drive is locked down so users cannot install software on it. This ensures that user installed software does not damage the integrity of the system. Our ideal is that when a user logs off of a machine, the machine is left in a pristine state, completely isolating the following user from the effects of the previous user. This greatly reduces the risk of a virus infection or other malicious software on the system.
  • Users retain full rights over their personal network file space. If an application is written so that it does not require access to protected system files it may be possible for the user to install the program in their personal space. The local drive is not used for long-term storage. All files on the Mosaic file system are backed up nightly and the previous day’s snapshot is available to the user with no interaction needed from Mosaic. This isolates the end user from data loss in the event of machine failure. No more worrying about lost data.

This does not mean the user is unable to utilize the C: drive for temporary storage, but the user must remember to copy the files he or she wishes to save to their Mosaic Distributed File System (DFS) space. The W:, H: and U: drives map to the user’s Mosaic account space in DFS (i.e. My Documents folder, Desktop, etc.). Anything you put on the local C: drive is not backed up, while files in the aforementioned drives are backed up several times a day and can be restored if needed. In order to fully isolate a user’s impact on another, any temporary files located on the C: drive will be removed when a new user is logged in or when the machine is rebooted or updated.  In this regard, Mosaic users are able to focus on utilizing engineering computing rather than maintaining and debugging a computing environment. This aspect of architecture has lended to a high level of stability, flexibility and reliability of service to the users of the College of Engineering.