What is a Virtual Training Lab?
Virtual training lab, virtual computer lab, cloud-based lab—there are many names for this solution that simplifies technical training. Utilizing cloud computing, a virtual lab allows training organizations to set up one or more virtual machines that can be accessed by their learners on any computer with an internet connection.
Why Do Organizations Need Virtual Training Labs?
Traditionally, technical training is conducted in a physical computer lab or classroom. This model led to impressive training results but could be cumbersome and expensive, with the need to purchase, setup and maintain computer hardware and infrastructure—requiring significant IT time and resources.
As more training organizations faced the need to train a geographically dispersed learning base, the physical computer lab model also proved difficult to implement on a global scale.
New training technologies including self-paced eLearning solutions have made inroads and provide alternative training modalities that can be more convenient than traditional computer labs, but in many cases, these can fall short of the learner experience and training outcomes of traditional hands-on training.
In recent years, virtual training labs have changed the face of technical training by offering a flexible, cost-effective alternative to the physical computer lab.
In a cloud-based lab, one or more virtual machines are set up in the cloud with the necessary operating system(s) and software for the training. These virtual machines can then be accessed by learners anywhere in the world via a reliable internet connection and a secure URL.
Simplified Virtual Training
With virtual labs, highly complex lab setup is easy. Each learner can simply access the training lab through a secure internet connection. Because the labs are cloud-based, they allow users to train on virtually any software—regardless of the operating system or computer hardware of their workstation.
Additionally, the virtual training environment makes it possible for learners to access multiple virtual machines in order to train on multiple operating systems and hardware configurations—providing the ability to train on complex systems without significant setup time.
FREE CHECKLIST: How To Choose A Virtual Training Lab Provider
Virtual Labs for Remote or Classroom Training
Cloud-based labs can benefit training organizations who are providing instructor-led classroom training, remote training or hybrid learning. Remote learners can access the lab from anywhere in the world.
For classroom training, the virtual training environment allows for simplified classroom setup and maintenance. Rather than having to individually set up each workstation with the necessary software and files for training, the lab is set up once in the cloud, and then easily accessed by learners.
Virtual training labs simplify hybrid learning by simultaneously providing the same lab environment for in-class and remote learners.
Uses of Virtual Training Labs
There are many applications for the virtual training environment including:
- Customer and partner training
- Employee training
- Product demos
- High-security environments