Virtual Training Smart Lab technology overview
Public clouds like AWS and Google are conceptually an ideal platform for software training. However, they suffer from one major drawback - they look nothing like an enterprise data center. Everything from the VMs, to the networking to the storage looks entirely different from an enterprise data center. Hence, if ISVs want to train enterprise users on how to use their products in the enterprise data center, AWS and Google, as they exist today, are not ideal. There are some boutique public clouds that are based on VMware, but these are typically very expensive and have limited geographic reach making them unsuitable for a scalable, global training program. Ravello’s software technology solves this problem.
Ravello is an overlay cloud service provider. Instead of operating its own data centers, Ravello has developed HVX, a unique virtual infrastructure that makes the public cloud look and feel like the enterprise data center. With HVX, Ravello sits on top of industry leading clouds like AWS and Google and leverages their scale, operational efficiency and geographic reach to provide a tier-1 cloud service that is ideal for software training. Enterprises and ISVs can spin up isolated environments for each student anywhere in the world and provide the best quality training experience with a simple, low cost, usage based model without any upfront commitment and without incurring and overage charges.
HVX: Nested virtualization engine
HVX is a high performance nested hypervisor. It is designed from the ground up to run inside a virtual machine, such as one from AWS or Google cloud. HVX exposes multiple platform types to the VMs that run on top of it, including a VMware platform, a KVM platform or a standard x86 hardware interface. As a result, ISVs can now run environments consisting of their software or virtual appliances without making any changes, and students can get the experience of deploying and configuring software as if it were running in their data center.
HVX: software defined networking
One of the biggest challenges of running enterprise software training environments in the public cloud is networking. Ravello overcomes traditional cloud networking challenges by exposing a clean overlay L2 network to the application environment running on top. Hence, ISVs can configure each student environment to have static IPs, DHCP, DNS, VLANs, L2 and L3 networking appliances, firewalls, load balancers and more. In addition, Ravello deploys each environment in its own isolated network. Hence, if students make a mistake, they do not disrupt the entire class.
Blueprint based automation - entire environments in one click
Another challenge that ISV training organizations face is around automation. Each class has a certain number of students that each need their own isolated environment. Automating the provisioning of these environments is challenging and the automation scripts themselves needs constant maintenance with new software releases, new features and functionality. Ravello solves this problem by allowing ISVs to build.