Best practices for preparing student VMs

This article contains tips and best practices for student VMs that will be saved as templates and used in classes.

  • Adjust VM CPU and RAM settings Make sure each VM has enough CPU and RAM to meet the minimum system requirements for the operating system and applications installed on it. As with physical machines, VMs perform poorly if they do not have enough resources; under-allocated VMs could result in slow performance or stuck VMs during the class.

  • Check network connectivity

    Verify that each VM has the network connectivity needed for the class. For example, if students need to access resources on the public Internet, verify that outbound internet access is enabled. Or, if VMs need to communicate within the environment, make sure they can ping one another.

  • Adjust VM operating system settings

    Sign into each VM and adjust the operating system settings, as needed:

    • Confirm that the operating system keyboard language settings match the student’s physical keyboard and the VM keyboard language settings
    • Disable the screensaver, or set the screensaver to a static image or solid color. If the Secure Remote Access (SRA) browser client is left open on an idle tab, screensavers with moving or changing images can unnecessarily consume bandwidth.
    • Confirm that the VM does not have any unwanted automatic sleep, hibernate, or shut down settings. Skytap honors the guest operating system settings, and will suspend the VM if it enters “sleep mode.” Similarly, Skytap powers off or shuts down the VM if the operating system hibernates or shuts down.
    • Use 16-bit display settings (instead of 32-bit display settings). This will also reduce the amount of bandwidth consumed during the browser client session.
  • Add VM credentials

    Include any user names and passwords that the student needs on the VM Credentials pages. This allows students to access the credentials during the training.

    For instructions, see Storing VM credentials.

    If you are storing VM credentials, verify that the credentials work as expected within the VM. For example, open the browser client and attempt to sign into the VM by inserting the VM credentials.

  • Consider file sharing requirements

    If students need access to course materials during the session, make sure those materials are accessible from the VM.

    The shared drive is one option for sharing course materials.

    Notes

    • The shared drive can be organized in typical hierarchical folder or directory structure.
    • Your Skytap customer account has a shared drive in each region. The shared drive can be accessed from any Skytap VM in the region.
    • Do not store sensitive files on the shared drive.