Create Digital Environments With Azure Lab Providers


Have you ever ever questioned how might you create infrastructure wanted to your staff, clients, or college students to carry out their actions? This text demonstrates how Azure Lab Providers can create a lab of preconfigured digital machines for sure use instances that might be mentioned on the applicable time.

This text is a part of the Azure Introduction Calendar the place consultants from completely different communities share their information by means of their very own contributions in numerous codecs, the commonest being publications in their very own blogs, though they may also be movies, webinars, and so forth. Learn extra about it.


To make use of Azure Lab Providers you’ll need an Azure Subscription, you may get one right here, or in case you are a pupil you possibly can create one with Azure for college students.


Generally, it’s possible you’ll wish to create particular environments to carry out completely different duties. Beforehand, this was dealt with by creating digital machines by yourself (both on-premises or within the cloud) and putting in the software program individuals wanted for a sure process. Nevertheless, this method has its disadvantages. With the Cloud, managing infrastructure is now not a “main” concern for the reason that Cloud Service Supplier (CSP) can try this for us. Relying on the supply, your tasks could possibly be completely different than those you might be having along with your current answer.

Microsoft has developed Azure Lab Providers which handles virtually all the things for you, from spinning up Digital Machines (VMs) to dealing with errors and scaling infrastructure.

Use instances

First and most typical for this cloud service can be Courses {and professional} educating. Think about you might be educating .NET to N variety of college students. More than likely, you want to present N Digital Machines (one for every pupil) with NET SDK, NET Runtime and Visual Studio or VSCode put in in each digital machine and provides every pupil a number of hours to finish their homework.

Second one and a cool one, Hackathons and hands-on labs. Generally, time is just not sufficient in a hackathon. Why don’t you present the instruments that builders in all probability must suggest options to your challenges.

Third, Buyer trials and demos. These days software program is all the time launched earlier than it’s really completed, to check and combine suggestions. Prospects join and get entry to beta releases or register themselves in a waitlist. This could possibly be a option to show your prerelease software program to particular individuals.

Lastly, Innovate and experiment. You possibly can check your proof-of-concept concepts.

Azure Lab Providers Roles

Azure Lab Providers was designed with three roles in thoughts:

Determine 1

Regardless of the title of the roles, as talked about within the earlier part, the service can be utilized for different situations completely different than lecture rooms. The concept behind the names is to elucidate in a less complicated method.

IT Admin: Creates a lab plan utilizing the Azure Portal or Azure CLI and supplies the entry to the educators.

Educator: Configures lab digital machines with the appropriate content material and invitations college students to affix the classroom.

Pupil: Makes use of the pre-configured digital machine with fast entry to the content material.

Determine 2 exhibits a diagram of Azure Lab Providers workflow.

Create Virtual Environments with Azure Lab Services

Determine 2

Case situation

Allow us to recapitulate the .NET instance from the use instances. You could have N college students.

Allow us to say there are Four college students (represented in Determine 3), every one in every of them will want a pc with a minimal of {hardware} necessities to run the software program.

Create Virtual Environments with Azure Lab Services

Determine 3

As proven in Determine 4. Jane Doe and John Smith didn’t meet the necessities to run the instruments for the category (both by a {hardware} or a software program difficulty)

Create Virtual Environments with Azure Lab Services

Determine 4

A potential answer can be to purchase new {hardware} (as proven in Determine 5), nonetheless, the expenditure can be excessive, and nothing guarantee the brand new tools will work for the specified process.

Create Virtual Environments with Azure Lab Services

Determine 5

One other answer can be to run a Digital Machine (both native or within the cloud, Determine 6) however as talked about within the Overview part this answer could be laborious to handle by yourself.

Create Virtual Environments with Azure Lab Services

Determine 6

Due to this fact, utilizing Azure Lab Providers can be a fantastic match for this case, and regardless of John Doe and Judy Doe machines have been working completely, anyway they’re linked to avoid wasting pupil’s time configuring the atmosphere as represented in Determine 7.

Create Virtual Environments with Azure Lab Services

Determine 7

Allow us to think about that the Educator decides that the Working System might be Home windows 11. In Azure Lab Providers the Educator activates the template VM and connects by means of RDP (Determine 8). Then, the Educator customizes the VM putting in NET SDK, NET Runtime and VSCode.

Create Virtual Environments with Azure Lab Services

Determine 8

Later, the Educator invitations all customers by means of an e-mail with a registration hyperlink to affix the lab and they’re assigned to a VM mechanically after they have accepted the invitation.

Create Virtual Environments with Azure Lab Services

Determine 9

The scholars will have the ability to use the VM throughout a scheduled occasion (the time frame throughout which the category takes place) and a few further time for homework. Check out Determine 9. Judy Doe has already used 0.2 hours exterior of a scheduled occasion (the category) to do the homework.

When the Pupil activates his/her VM, VSCode, NET SDK and NET Runtime might be already put in for the reason that Educator downloaded them within the template VM.

VM desktop with VSCode

Determine 10

Due to this fact all College students have been capable of take the .NET class with none {hardware} or software program difficulty. As well as, the educator saved their time by putting in all the things they want for the category.


To cope with infrastructure administration whereas having an identical environments throughout a number of VMs, Microsoft has created a service referred to as Azure Lab Providers that enables to create, handle, present and destroy digital environments simple and quick. It may be utilized in completely different situations, akin to courses {and professional} educating, hackathons and hands-on labs, buyer trials and demos, proofs of idea concepts, and so forth.

Within the subsequent article, a step-by-step information to make use of Azure Lab Providers might be launched with an instance from the mentioned use instances.

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