What are Virtual IT Labs?
We have been overly using the word virtual for the past two years since the pandemic started. Both students and teachers are the common people who use this word a lot. This is not so different when we talk about virtual IT labs. A Virtual IT Lab is an interactive and digital simulation of different tasks that are commonly being done in a tangible laboratory setting – in a school setting, this could be their computer lab or classroom where they can perform their hands-on tasks.
Virtual IT labs on the other hand are on-screen simulator that allow the learner to test, run or deploy their IT tasks. Let’s talk about installing and operating as an example. In a physical computer lab, learners will be needing their own computer or a test computer to install an OS. This could potentially result in erasing all of their personal computer important contents or data. It would also revolve around the fact that since it is a tangible or physical IT asset, it may or may not have the proper specifications needed or cannot be customized. Virtual IT Labs are using advanced cloud technology that can perform series of experiments and therefore will give the learners their authentic outputs. In the given example above of installing an Operating System or a server, virtual IT Labs will allow the learner to do it without affecting their personal or local files and settings. They can redo or repeat their tasks multiple times faster and more efficiently.
What are the benefits of using Virtual IT Labs?
- Learn on your own pace. – With the use of Virtual IT Labs, learners are able to create their own learning space. Given the fact that this is similar to a physical computer lab, learners will be able to run their test deployment, practice or experimental tasks as many times as they want without destroying or messing up a physical device. And since this allows the learner to practice many times, they will be able to master the task and yield a more accurate output with their time being well-managed.
- Use of latest technology. – Working in virtual IT labs allows the Virtual Machines to use the latest cloud technology. Physical hardware assets are usually procured in a time-bounded process, which could result in using stagnant or outdated technology.
- Time Savings. – Virtual labs save a lot of time for the students as they no longer need to go to a classroom where they can be allowed to work on these IT tasks. Working in a physical classroom will create a lot of time constraints such as waiting for the availability of the room or the instructor. These are all eliminated when working with virtual labs.
How do you get started with Virtual IT Labs?
This depends on whether you want to host the IT lab on your home computer or if you want to use a cloud hosted IT labs like what we offer at Server Academy.
Building your own physical IT lab
If you want to run your own lab, you need to either already own or purchase a computer with the minimum specifications below:
- 8GB of RAM
- 10GB of disk storage per VM you plan to create
- Modern processor that supports virtualization
Running Server Academy’s cloud hosted IT labs
If you want to use cloud hosted labs, you simply need a modern web browser like Chrome running on a personal computer or a hand-held supported device. Primarily what you will be using to access the Virtual IT Lab is a supported modern browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari).
Virtual IT Labs are commonly hosted in a cloud server provider, which gives the learners the freedom to work in a sandbox environment setup by the Virtual IT Labs provider such as your school or an online learning facility such as Server Academy. Given that it is setup and preconfigured for the learners, there is no need for you to install any kind of software on your computer or device to complete the simulation or training. Thus, giving you the flexibility to work anytime and anywhere.
With the effect of the global pandemic, a lot of industries and companies are shifting to the hybrid setup. Most companies are looking for IT professionals that can help them set up these plans for their employees to coexist both working at home and in the office. What they need are experienced IT professionals that will work on their servers, set up their virtual networks, and manage their identity providers such as Active Directory. If you are an aspiring IT professional in this field, you will need a lot of practice.
With the amount of practice that you will need, you also need to make sure that you can work on the same technologies, devices or setups of networks in the real world. Virtual IT labs are the perfect option that will give you the ample amount of practice that you need, using the same exact technologies that you will be using and without the worries of hampering the actual production environment. You can always replicate the production environment setup on the virtual IT labs, therefore being able to achieve the same goals you will need to implement or propose in these production environments.
Virtual IT labs primarily revolve around virtualization and if you are interested in testing how Virtual IT Labs are working or being set up, you can set it up on your personal computer by visiting this link, although please note that the experience you will have in pre-built, in-browser virtual IT Labs is very different. This is because your device may have limitations that are addressed properly through virtual IT Labs.
How can Server Academy help you work in Virtual IT Labs?
Server Academy is your step-by-step guide to becoming a Windows Server expert. Our courses are extremely hands-on and focus on the practical approach to learning. The best way to become a System Admin expert is by actually performing tasks while you’re learning. And that’s where our virtual IT labs come in. Our platform gives you access to relevant virtual IT labs that will let you practice your skills.
On top of this, learning Windows Server through Server Academy also gives you the ability to go through evaluated IT Labs designed to help you get certified. If you’re interested in learning Windows Server through hands-on practice, click here to give our platform a try.
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