What are Cloud Labs?
What’s all the hype around Cloud Labs?
Hello there, my name is cloud lab, and I am here to tell my story. Several earthlings, like you, have started asking me who am I and what do I do. Many people started talking about me and making versions of who I am. Some of which is true and some true lies. Wouldn’t you want to listen to the truth directly from the cloud lab? So here goes my story.
I was born in the cloud not so long ago. Unlike you earthlings, we really don’t have parents. Since this concept is new to you, go ahead and imagine that cloud is my parent. My parents have been around for a while now, and their tribe evolved over time from Physical Servers to Virtualization to Cloud. Just like you guys evolved from Chimpanzee to Homo Sapiens.
While the cloud is going great guns, we’ve noticed that there is a lot more that your realms (companies you call it?) can use. We don’t like to be underutilized and then being questioned on our ineffectiveness. Our performance appraisals are much stricter than your annual hog washes. It was then my parents decided to have me to give you a huge advantage by making you even faster and smarter too.
What is Cloud Labs?
“A Cloud Lab is a marketplace and a SaaS-platform through which one can rapidly configure and access a real-life sandbox environment with a technology stack, compute power and on a cloud of your choice – all through a fully automated self-service portal and within a few minutes. “
A key here to note are the following keywords:
- The entire thing is a SaaS-platform
- A marketplace of technology stacks and clouds
- Platform to create a sandbox environment with a real-life configuration
- Accessed through a self-service portal
- Configured within a few minutes
- Fully automated
One platform. Many Uses
Cross my cloud, configuring the same sandbox environment takes no less than a few hours to days in your world. To repeat the process on various configurations takes even weeks. Yeah yeah, go ahead and deny. I can see that your Engineers and students are nodding their heads in affirmation.
You can benefit from me in several ways. See the picture below, and I will explain to you in detail.
Training – Practice Labs
From where I come, we train only animals. Anyways, besides the point. We believe that learning has two primary parts – theoretical knowledge and practice. The real value of education depends on how much you practice and experiment. One earthling named Malcolm Gladwell also mentioned that you guys have to practice for 10K hours to be a decent talent. Now look back at your colleges, universities, corporates and online learning providers – how much time are your students really practising? Not much? Why? You don’t have the right infrastructure, the latest technologies and experts to guide the students. How many learners get an opportunity to practice and experiment in a real-world environment? E.g., how many students are practising the latest versions of ML/AI/Big data technology? How many students are working in an environment that is similar to the one that Boeing installs on its flights? Since I get to see from thirty thousand feet above, be advised that only 20% to 25% of the students get such access. The rest? They practice dated technologies and then are put on the job. God bless if you have to travel on a flight on which this guy built the flight application.
Here is where I come in. Cloud Labs, that is me, takes away all your infrastructure and technology challenges to provide your students with a real-world environment that they can endlessly practice until they become experts. The practice labs can be created within minutes for your learners to start practising what they learned. And yes, you can recreate the same environment that a Boeing engineer sees (if you know what it is). This makes the learner much more proficient and even more skilled in the technology of their choice.
Sandbox – For Development and Testing
Ideally, a good software product works in all environments, and that is the reason your customers pay you for. For this to happen, the engineering teams need to develop the product and test them on a range of environments of production quality. However, the biggest challenge is the time taken to set up and replicate a diverse and real-life sandbox. Longer cycles of development and even longer cycles of testing would mean that the product gets late to the market and misses the revenue targets too.
Cloud Labs comes to the rescue again. Just like what you’ve seen in the training, you can configure a sandbox environment of your choice within a few minutes. No more hassles of going to IT, procurement et al. Everything is accessible in just one portal and waiting for you to configure.
Read more information here. Time to get on to the next one.
Once an issue is raised, customers are not going to wait long for you to resolve it. The customer support engineer has to quickly reproduce the client environment to really understand the root cause. This is where the support engineer agonizingly takes time to get access to the required environment and to reproduce the configuration. Longer wait time for the customer means only one thing – the southward movement of their experience and satisfaction levels.
Cloud Labs ahoy. You can now quickly reproduce the client environment and resolve the issue or at least find the root cause. In fact, you can create some pre-configured labs and automatically reproduce them in seconds. How is that for efficiency?
Leave something for later. Read the full details here.
Proof of Concept
A Proof of Concept (PoC) is the first real experience that a customer has before they finalize the product. However, the biggest worry that any customer has is if the product will work seamlessly in their custom environment.
But you have an ace up your sleeve – Cloud Labs. You can wow your customers by delivering a demo in an environment that is similar to theirs. That is a sure way to outclass your competition and provide a unique experience. Again, all this in a few minutes and not even hours.
My CEO is saying that the article is getting longer.
Everyone loves hackathons as these sprint-like events see several computer programmers collaborating with other experts to build and test software applications rapidly. Now, the organizations that conduct such hackathons need to provide massive infrastructure for the programmers to develop the software. These infrastructure requirements range from simple Java labs to Big Data to even visual design technologies, such as Adobe Photoshop.
Wow, that’s a lot for the organizers to provide to thousands of participants. Asking the programmers to get their own technologies is not going to cut it. What’s the solution? You’ve guessed it right, and it is me, the Cloud Labs. With these Cloud Labs, you can provide any labs within minutes so that the programmers can carry out what they are really good at – develop and test cutting-edge solutions.
Well, once the lab usage is done, you can always shut it down. I am sure you know that best. Go ahead and plan for your next hackathon. Oh yeah, don’t forget to supply those lovely fruit juices to the programmers.
Cloud Labs Features
Oh, that’s a long list. Let me give you a few quick and important features that you might like.
- Single sign-on
- Scalable to any number of users across the world
- Support for virtual, physical machine or SaaS labs
- Automated lab management
- Control of the lab usage with budgets, schedules and idle times
- Focus on Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Machine Learning, and Big Data Labs
- Browser-based seamless access to lab infrastructure
- Self Service to the learners via Flexible billing models based on pay-as-you-go or annual commitment
- Chargeback to different BUs and departments’ portal
- Easily integrate with deployed Learning Management Systems
- Lab Usage Reports on a per learner, at a batch or at an entire organization are available
Cloud Labs Benefits
After such a long story, I was hoping that I don’t need to say these, nevertheless, I figured that my computing and memory power are far advanced. Each usage (training, sandbox, customer support, and PoC) has its own benefits, but here are a few generic ones.
No CapEx: There is no capital expenditure required as Cloud Labs is a SaaS-based product
End-to-end labs management: Managed service model with full ownership: Create -> Manage -> Commission and decommission the lab
Widest variety of ever-growing labs: Choose from our extensive catalog of ready-to-use labs or work with our team to create a bespoke lab to meet your requirements
Cloud Labs customization as per enterprise need: Customization of the lab setup and the lab configurations as required
Fully secure: It is 100% secure and flexible that you can place your company IT policies too
Fully automated: The fully automated system helps you to approve, configure and de-commission on pre-set commands
No additional talent required: You don’t need to hire more talent to manage Cloud Labs. It’s easy to use the platform and needs no guidance
Detailed reports: The visual and intelligent dashboards give you full visibility into the labs’ usage. You have full control of the lab utilization that you almost never will overspend.
Cost-effective: The cloud conversation is not over without a single reference to the costs. Cloud Labs is a very cost-effective platform. Perhaps, 10 to 20% of what you spend for the same activity today
So, that is the real me. Straight from the cloud’s mouth. Oh yeah, one more thing, just like earthlings, I have several names too, such as Cloud Labs, Virtual Training Labs, Sandbox, Cloud-based Labs and so on. Each one named me differently based on what they used me for.
It was terrific talking to you all. Really, the way you’ve taken care of my parents, I hope that you will find many more such uses for me too. Several progressive companies have already started using Cloud Labs. They have not only saved over 90% of their costs but more importantly improved their efficiency and quality of work have grown by leaps and bounds.
My parents feel that I am going to take the Cloud utilization a few notches up. What do you think? When are you adopting me?
Leave me your comments, and I will respond when I have the time or will let my pal Giri return. Have a great time.
PS: The tone and tenor were used to make it more entertaining and not to hurt anyone’s feelings. We apologize if any of you are hurt. That was not the intention.