Most training companies are experiencing ever-growing need to deliver software and technical training to trainees, but are under increased budget pressure to cut per-seat training costs. Additionally, training attendees are under pressure to continue their regular work roles and often do not have the comfort to block out entire days on their schedule to attend training. To address these pressures, we’ve seen many training providers delivering online learning, and new self-paced education delivery methods to solve cost, location and personnel constraints.
However, implementing effective distance learning and reducing costs is not easy. Matching a complex software application typically requires building out a training environment with multiple servers and perhaps machines or VMs for users, pre-configured with numerous components.
In addition, making a classroom environment remotely available over the Web requires specialized virtualization software and complex IT infrastructure. Administration and maintenance of remote classroom equipment require full-time, skilled technical staff that is too costly for most organizations.
Most importantly, many of these online training providers are not able to provide the hands-on experience. After going through concepts of the course trainees are not able to practice on real scenarios in the virtual environment. Technical training without the hands-on lab component too easily becomes a passive experience similar to watching television. Introducing the virtual lab training changes this equation and helps instructor and trainee snatch on the missing components.
What exactly is Virtual Training Lab?
Virtual training lab is the creation of a virtual instance of a physical environment, either on premise or on a cloud, to enable anyone to access a virtual equivalent of any environment anywhere, on-demand without the need to wait for a physical machine setup or additional hardware.
An instructor can create a classroom to suit his or her specific course needs and power the virtual machines on in a matter of minutes. By simply logging into the web client, a classroom environment can be assembled using server and machine templates. These virtual training labscater to the participants training needs in a virtual environment where they can actively learn, engage, and gain useful knowledge. Moreover, they also present to them the ease to go back and visit the scenarios as per their needs so that they can learn on-the-go from these online trainings.
“To be or not to be, is the question” that runs through your decision-making mindset when it comes to moving away from your old infrastructure towards adoption of cloud based labs. The answer is simple, think about ROI, flexibility and training throughput. Let’s look at each of these there primary decision drivers and weigh your traditional infrastructure to what would be with virtual labs.
It’s a truth traditional training methods are very costly, purchasing computers for training labs, renting or purchasing the space to house it and additionally trainees have to travel to participate in training, all of this makes it an expensive proposition. With cloud based training labs, all of these costs are eliminated.
Cloud-based labs reduce training expenses, allowing instructors to remotely monitor the progress of all students, and enable students to use the facilities both before the course begins and after it’s completed.
Cloud-based training environments are web-based platforms that require no software installation on your organizations hardware system. The infrastructure is managed for you by your online training provider, removing added infrastructure distractions, installation requirements, and maintenance. It results in substantial savings on the capital expenditures as well as implementation and operational expenses.
Greater Ease and Flexibility
A traditional course offers fixed start times and end times. Often, conducting lab training for the entire batch can be costly, time consuming and difficult to manage. Virtual cloud based labs allow trainees to work on courses that can be accessed almost anywhere, anytime providing trainees a much needed flexibility. Compared to conventional training, where trainees would have to schedule a set time to be in the lab for training, online labs offers trainees the opportunity to login at any time to complete their training.
Trying to schedule a time that works for everyone can be a nightmare, but with cloud based labs, students can remotely access their classes at a time that is convenient for them. Using these labs trainees are able to complete technical training virtually.
Additionally, it helps training institutes save on valuable resources such as space and capital. Instructors have access to a large, shared pool of virtual machines that can be accessed whenever and wherever they are required. Using cloud based labs instructors can set up and tear down environments in minutes instead of manually configuring labs. It’s a win-win situation for both trainers and trainees.
Conventional computer labs function in two main ways. Many use different applications set up on individual computers. Besides being costly and time consuming, these applications are more likely to be tampered and misconfigured by the user. Alternatively, some computer labs use clones of a real application, but these copies do not provide the full functionality of the original.
Cloud based virtual training is a fresh and popular training method. Cloud-based virtual IT labs offer the benefits of both the above methods, without the potential downsides. They allow trainees to work on a real,full-functioning application, but since it does not sit physically on the user’s computer, it cannot be damaged. If students make an error, they can simply return back to the original training environment.
These labs provide compelling benefits for any training organization with a hands-on lab component in their classes. Hands-on training in virtual cloud based labs is far more realistic and effective than traditional methods, because the labs can imitate real software environments that students will use hands-on, rather than walking through rote exercises.
Taking technical training online without sacrificing the quality of the learning experience is a challenge organization continue to struggle with. Many training organizations are yet to explore outside the use of web conferencing tools or conventional computer labs training. Virtual cloud based labs provide trainees with an immersive training experience that can happen at anytime, anywhere they have access to the internet.
The expensive and time-consuming tasks of buying or upgrading equipment, and manually configuring and installing software and class data can be handled by cloud based labs. These labs can help training organizations transform the training delivery model into one that is cost-effective, serves far more customers, and offers hands-on experience, with overall high quality experience.
The technology that can ease online learning has moved forward swiftly in recent years, vital to this trend is the recent invention of Cloud-based virtual labs. It’s no wonder that more and more training providers are moving towards the Cloud-based virtual labs revolution.