If you’re getting to the point where the training capacity in your datacenter is insufficient, or on the contrary – you find that there is severe under-utilization of hardware that’s just lying there – you might consider a different option: migrating virtual training environments from VMware to AWS. By doing so you will increase your training infrastructure efficiency, you will not waste capacity, and you will gain other benefits – like geographical flexibility, fast environment provisioning, cloud economics, and more.
A productive training process is key to the success of new products (from internal training to channel partners and customers). Since ILT also involves a substantial investment, it isn’t surprising that more and more training organizations are seeking to understand instructor led training best practices – essentially – what they can do to maximize the effectiveness of their training sessions. At Ravello we believe that the essentials are: easily provisioned and deployed isolated full-featured product environments for each student anywhere and anytime, where the instructor and student can collaborate.
Virtual training infrastructure is essential for ISVs, for training providers and for enterprises. It is key that this infrastructure will support the nature of the training use case – hands on labs for each student should be easily configured, identical and isolated instances; you should have the ability to spin them up in any geography, and then quickly and easily tear them down. This post demonstrates how three different companies are using Ravello as their virtual training infrastructure to run ILT classes, self-paced trainings and more.
There is a funny analogy between TV and self paced learning. How many of you are still watching only regular cable – without any DVR, without any on-demand content? Very very few, I bet. And I’m sure most of us have wondered- is this the future of TV? Everything on-demand?
To make the set-up, administration and delivery of classroom training, instructor-led training and self-paced training sessions, Ravello created an easily configurable training portal. The training portal is the hub for setting up and administering as many courses and specific instances of these courses as required, by accessing pre-created application blueprints, and providing each student an isolated environment of the relevant applications. In this post I will quickly go through the steps for creating and delivering training using Ravello.
In a world of customized and tailored training solutions, you might wonder what is the benefit of the notion of standardized training environments. However, central training organizations are well aware of the frustrations, challenges and resource requirements that can be avoided by controlling templates, updating them in a centralized way, and provisioning high-quality “blueprints” that trainers can deliver throughout enterprises. In this blog I will show how this quality through standardization can be achieved, without losing the customizability that is indeed sometimes necessary, using Ravello’s virtual training smart lab features for your software training platform.
The curious case of cloud-based sales demo labs – dramatically decreasing cost and increasing utilization
For software vendors running smooth and top quality sales demos is essential for successful business. Thus, the sales demo lab is critical for these enterprises. However, the economics around demo environments are problematic:
- Varied demand in lulls and peaks of the new release cycles leads to a requirement for specific but quickly adaptable capacity for the lab.
- The limited business operation hours, almost by definition, mean severe under-utilization of datacenter-based sales demo environments.
Running the software demo lab in the public cloud helps ISVs overcome these challenges.
Once upon a time – not too long ago – setting up repeatable application environments with complex networking, multiple VMs took days or even weeks and capacity planning was a nightmare. Today, you can automatically spin up complex environments in leading public clouds and run any VMs – including existing VMware/KVM virtual machines, and virtual appliances such as Cisco, Brocade, Juniper, F5, Check Point, Infoblox and any networking – including static IPs, multiple subnets, broadcast and multicast. This is achieved by creating Smart Labs for your complex application environments.
The curious case of cloud-based virtual training – increasing utilization and decreasing cost per training environment
Most major independent software vendors (ISVs) and other enterprises that develop and produce software, security appliances, networking appliances etc. provide their corporate customers trainings on their products, on new releases, specific features, etc.. These enterprises often hold classroom trainings, or instructor led training sessions, where a fixed number of pre-provisioned environments in the datacenter can be used to train up to that number of students in each training session. This post shows how training managers can overcome under-utilization in slow times, excess demand in peaks and avoid provisioning each and every environment for each session. Training managers can in fact reach maximum utilization and provide as many training environments as required to meet the variable demand for training by using Ravello to run training environments in AWS or Google, while only provisioning the environment once.
3 key questions to ask cloud vendors: Hosting Your Virtual or Self-Paced Trainings and Hands-on-Labs in the Cloud
If your software training lab requires a custom multi-VM environment with networking elements, you already know that moving to a cloud based model will give you a lot more flexibility. We are seeing a slew of software vendors, particularly networking, security and multi-tier application vendors choose the public cloud as a vehicle to provide on-demand hands-on-labs to their customers for virtual training or even hosted trials/sandboxes that can be accessed online.
Virtual Training Labs in The Cloud – “Automatic Automation” for Software Trainings And Certifications
Training classes for complex applications are a challenge to manage and operate. They are typically ad-hoc in nature – the class schedule, number of students, venue (on premises or online), and geography of the class varies. This schedule is often driven by short-term business needs and can be difficult to predict. Automating all this typically requires mastery in IT and scripting. Instead, Ravello gives you built-in end-to-end automation for training and classrooms that require provisioning complex applications — or as we fondly call it “automatic automation”.