On-demand labs overview
Use the Course Manager on-demand labs workflow to simplify the process of requesting labs on a self-serve basis while maintaining control over lab access and Skytap resource consumption.
On-demand lab use cases
The on-demand labs workflow can be used any time lab environments must be requested on a self-serve basis from a known state. Use cases include:
- On-demand training – Students, customers, or partners can use on-demand labs to complete training at their own pace.
- Sales demos – Software sales teams can use on-demand labs to demo a product as part of a sales opportunity. Optionally, Course Manager can be integrated with a customer relationship management system such as Salesforce to track Skytap usage for each sales opportunity.
- Proof of concept – Following a sales demo, prospective customers can use on-demand labs to explore a product in a sandbox environment.
- Dev-test and quality assurance – Software engineers and QA teams can use on-demand labs for product testing.
- Self-service infrastructure – Corporate IT teams can use on-demand labs to allow end users to provision virtual infrastructure.
- Support – Support teams can use on-demand labs to reproduce and resolve customer issues.
What is a course?
A course is a blueprint for creating on-demand labs in Course Manager. The course is defined once and then reused by multiple labs requested from that course. Each course is mapped to at least one Skytap template, as well as any learning content and customized settings added to the course, including consumption control measures.
You can use templates in multiple Skytap regions to make the course globally available, or create templates that represent different “states” of the course.
How are labs requested?
Course Manager provides various on-demand lab request workflows, depending on your specific needs. Lab end users can request labs directly in an external system through Course Manager’s LTI-compliant LMS integration, one-click workflow, or a custom integration. Lab end users can request labs using the Course Manager interface through the request portal or subscriber workflow. Course Manager Admin and Staff users can request labs for end users through the concierge workflow. For more information about on-demand lab request workflows, see On-demand lab request workflows.
When a lab is requested, Course Manager uses the lab settings, course settings, and lab template to create a lab environment for the end user. Lab environments are automatically provisioned, started, stopped, and cleaned up according to the lab request workflow, Course Manager settings, and any tags on the lab. Course Manager provides a Learning Console which allows lab end users to view their Skytap lab environment alongside a Content Pane that contains learning materials, interactive tools, and lab resources.
After on-demand labs have been requested, Admin and Staff users can manage all labs in their Course Manager account, and request portal users can manage labs that they request through the portal. For more information, see Managing labs and Using the request portal.
Depending on your organization, the process for creating and managing on-demand labs may involve multiple people, or just you!
The basic steps and roles are outlined below. Click on a step for more detailed instructions.
A technical Subject Matter Expert (SME) prepares one or more Skytap templates and adds them to the Course Manager Templates project. The templates serve as blueprints for lab environments.
If the templates already exist, skip to Set consumption control measures.
The administrator puts consumption control measures in place at the Course Manager account, course, or lab level.
If consumption control measures are already configured, skip to Create a course.
The instructional designer uses Course Manager to create a course, which is mapped to templates and optional learning content. The course serves as a blueprint for on-demand labs.
If the course already exists, skip to Request a lab.