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.

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.

Mosaic’s monolithic image also provides the user with an added level of convenience. If a user happens to be away from their primary machine, they can stop by any Mosaic Lab or even access all of what Mosaic has to offer via our Mosaic Anywhere service using a high speed Internet connection. 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 on the system 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 that someone can inject a virus infection or other malicious software on the system .
  • Users do 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 our end users to install the program into 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 AFS area . The W:, H: and U: drives map to the user’s AFS space as well as the My Documents folder. Anything you put on the local C: drive is not backed up, while files on AFS are backed up and can be restored if needed. In order to fully isolate user’s impact on one 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.

Mosaic users are able to focus on utilizing engineering computing rather than maintaining and debugging a computing environment. To achieve this level of reliability, flexibility, and service to the College of Engineering we architected and built the Mosaic system.