Creating class lab environments
Build a golden template for your student lab environment
Preconfigure the student lab environment and then save it as a golden template. Each time you schedule a class, you can create student lab environments from this golden template.
Step 1: Create and customize the sample lab environment
Create a Skytap environment that is ready for student use.
If all of the student VMs are in a shared environment
- Create a Skytap environment from a public template or by importing your VMs into Skytap. Include a single copy of the student VM, along with any shared resource VMs (for example, Active Directory servers, shared databases, etc.).
- Build and customize the VMs. For example, configure the VM operating system, install any required applications, prepare any class files, and add VM credentials. For tips, see Best practices for preparing student VMs.
Next, create multiple copies of the configured student VM. For instructions, see How to add VMs to an environment.
By default, the VMs are all added to the same network. To keep the VMs isolated from one another, you can create separate networks and attach each VM to its own network. For instructions about creating multiple networks, see Using multiple networks in an environment.
If each student has a dedicated environment
- Create a Skytap environment from a public template or by importing your VMs into Skytap.
- Build and customize the student VMs in that environment. For example, configure the VM operating system, install any required applications, prepare any class files, and add VM credentials. For tips, see Best practices for preparing student VMs.
- (Optional) Create and configure a separate environment that contains any shared resources (for example, Active Directory servers, shared databases, etc.). Create a network connection between the student environment and the shared resource environment.
Step 2: Add sharing portals to the environment
Create sharing portals to set up student access to the environment.
- If all of the student VMs are in a shared environment, create a sharing portal set. This creates a set of sharing portals that provide individual access to single VMs. Each VM has its own URL. Optionally, create a second sharing portal URL for the instructor that provides access to all student VMs.
- If each student has a dedicated environment, create a single sharing portal set. This provides access to all VMs in the environment through a single URL.
Customize the sharing portals to add custom content, customize the support button, or restrict access as needed. For more information, see Overview of sharing portal options.
Step 3: Add usage labels to the environment
Add usage labels to help track usage associated with this environment. For example, it may be helpful to add labels indicating the class name, application name, or customer name.
For more information, see Using labels for in-depth usage reporting.
Step 4: Save the environment as a template
Schedule lab environment creation and cleanup
Use Skytap schedules to automatically create lab environments from the golden template based on the class start date. Include scheduled actions to automatically run and delete the environments, if needed. For more information, see Automating actions with schedules.
After the environments are created, you may need to customize them with labels, environment names, or sharing portal settings that are unique to that instance of the class. For example, you may want to rename the environment with the student’s name.