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Changes to MCS for AY2019/20

The Managed Cluster Service (MCS) is earmarked for evolution as part of the future of managed desktops from UIS; we are currently planning to deliver a new Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering.

Once this year's software upgrades have been completed the MCS will go into 'maintenance mode' to allow us to focus our development resource on delivering the new Desktop as a Service.

The MCS will, of course, be patched and kept secured, but there are two important changes for IT managers and teaching staff to note:

1. Changes to enhancement requests

All requests for future enhancements to the current MCS service will now be considered on a case-by-case basis. 'Enhancement request' means any change to the existing system, such as:

  • app installs/upgrades
  • new sites
  • web browser start pages
  • desktop backgrounds.

How to make an enhancement request

To make an enhancement request, contact the Desktop & Systems Manager: 

All requests MUST include the following information:

  1. date needed
  2. teaching requirement
  3. who is funding any software licenses
  4. contact details.

You should expect a response within 7 working days.

2. Changes to new supported MCS hardware

       From now on, only PCs selected from the University Dell Premier page will be accepted on the MCS.

If you wish to upgrade MCS PCs during the 2019 summer vacation, the only allowable PCs will be:

  • Dell OptiPlex 7060
  • Dell OptiPlex 7460AIO
      Apple computers added to the MCS from academic year 19/20 onwards must be available in the University of Cambridge device enrolment programme (DEP) pool.

Please see the following pages for more details:

Software upgrades for AY2019/20

We will be implementing formally requested software upgrades for AY2019/20 during the Long Vacation as usual.

      All app requests fulfilled over the summer vac must be tested well in advance of being required for teaching.

This year's formally requested applications are:

MCS Windows

  • ArcGIS Pro (NEW app for Geography)
  • Paint.Net (NEW app for Archaeology)
  • PTC Creo (NEW app for Engineering)
  • Solidworks (NEW app for Engineering)
  • ChemOffice (upgrade for Chemistry)
  • Cambridge Engineering Selector (upgrade for Engineering)
  • CSDS (upgrade for Chemistry)
  • GDAL (upgrade for Archaeology)
  • GIMP (upgrade for Archaeology)
  • Inkscape (upgrade for Archaeology)
  • TeXlive (upgrade for Archaeology)
  • TeXStudio (upgrade for Archaeology)


  • GarageBand for Mac (NEW for Education)
  • GDAL (upgrade for Archaeology)
  • GIMP (upgrade for Archaeology)
  • TeXLive (upgrade for Archaeology)
  • TeXShop (upgrade for UIS)

MCS Linux

  • KDevelop (NEW app for Trinity College)
  • Pandas (NEW app for Physics)
  • GDAL (upgrade for Archaeology)
  • NumPy (upgrade for Physics)
  • Open JDK (upgrade for Computer Science and Technology)
  • SciPy (upgrade for Physics)
  • TeXLive (upgrade for Archaeology)

MCS support requests

General MCS support requests – i.e. anything that was working and has now stopped must be made via the UIS Service Desk:

| 01223 (3)32999

UIS Service Desk

  Phone padded  01223 332999

UIS Service Status

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