Tenant administrators can create labs, which are a collection of metadata, a single VMware Learning Platform template, and an instructional manual.

Procedure

  1. From the Admin UI navigation panel, select Lab Management > Labs to open the Labs page.
  2. Click Create Lab.

    The Create lab form opens with the Create tab current.

  3. Enter details about the lab you want to create.

    Option

    Description

    SKU

    A short string used to identify the lab; it must be unique in the system. This string appears in the vApp name of all your deployed vApps in VMware vCloud Director.

    Name

    A descriptive name for the lab.

    Deployment Pool

    Click Deployment Pool Empty and select a deployment pool from the list. The lab’s virtual machine metadata, which is primarily the user name, password, notes, and a flag for each virtual machine, is based on the vApp templates included in the deployment pool you select.

    Valid Period

    The time period for which a user has an entitlement for a lab. A user can access the lab at any time during this period and use it for the length of the time specified with the Time Allotted value.

    Time Allotted

    Amount of time, in hours, the user gets to do the lab. For example, if you want to give a student three hours to finish a lab, you set Time allotted to three hours.

    Manual

    Click the list view and select a manual from the List View page. If you do not select a manual, then the Manual window in the lab is blank. Selecting a manual makes available all the language versions of it that have been published.

    If you are using a lab manual in PDF format, leave this text box blank. You specify PDF manuals with the Resources setting on the Update Content page.

    Note:

    You make manuals available to labs by importing them using the Content Engine (Content > Content Engine).

    Short Description

    A short description of your lab.

    Thumbnail

    Click the list view and select a thumbnail image to display for your lab. If you do not select an image, then VMware Learning Platform uses the default lab thumbnail image.

    Note:

    You must have already imported a thumbnail image by using Lab Management > Thumbnails.

    Catalog

    Click the list view and select one or more catalogs from the List View page for your lab.

  4. Click Create Lab. The lab is created and a quick launch URL is generated.
  5. On the Update Settings page, configure your lab settings.
    Option Description

    General Settings

    Enabled

    Enables or disables the lab.

    Public Visible

    Controls whether the lab is publicly visible. Labs have a public-visible property as do tenants. If you configure a tenant to allow public browsing and make your lab publicly visible, then an end user can browse the Catalog page on the end-user UI without being logged in.

    New Lab

    Adds the VMware Learning Platform New banner to the lab description. The banner is displayed in the top-right corner of the course description. An end user can click the banner to display a listing of labs with the same label.

    End-User Interface Settings

    End Allowed

    If enabled, once an end-user "ends" a lab, then that user cannot return to the lab again. If deselect, the End button in the end-user UI is hidden.

    Exit Allowed

    If enabled, an Exit button is shown on the end user console. When a user exits a lab, the lab is temporarily halted and the user can return to the lab later. If not selected, the Exit button is hidden from the user.

    Reset Allowed

    If enabled, then the lab console includes a Reset option. If a lab user resets a lab, then all its virtual machines (VMs) are restored to their original state. The lab user is not able to recover any work done.

    Remote Control Mode

    Disables user control of the manual and requires an admin-accessible API call to advance manual pages.

    Show Notes

    If enabled, then the Notes button is included on the lab console. If the end user clicks Notes, then the console displays metadata such as notes, user name, and password for each VM.

    Select Use this lab's value to display locally specified notes.

    Select the Use Value from Tenant Option check box to use the tenant-wide default. You (the tenant admin) can use the Update VM Metadata tab to specify such metadata. The Edit Tenant page also includes this option as a tenant-wide default. You can enable or disable the tenant-wide default using the Use Value from Tenant Option check box.

    Open notes on lab start

    If enabled, then the lab console, by default, displays metadata (notes, user name, and password for each VM) for this lab once an end user starts it. The Edit Tenant page also includes this option as a tenant-wide default. You can enable or disable the tenant-wide default using the Use Value from Tenant Option check box.

    Chat Settings

    Use Chat From Tenant settings

    Use the chat options set by the tenant option.

    Note:

    Clear this check box if you want to use a live chat URL.

    Live Chat URL

    Specify a URL to use for custom live chat.

    Grading Settings

    Require Grading

    Enables grading. You can use the Entitlement List to enter grading information and provide a means for the end user to review that information. If you enable the Require Grading setting, then the following options are displayed:

    • Power Off for Grading

    • Time Period for Grading

    Power Off for Grading

    If this setting is not enabled, then the vApp keeps running.

    The Power Off for Grading setting saves resources by powering off the vApp when it is not being used.

    Time Period for Grading

    Specifies a time period during which the lab can be graded. During this time period, the system retains the entitlement (and retains the vApp). An end user can take the lab and the entitlement remains active until either the lab has received a grade, or the grading period has passed. The time period is in Days/Hours/Minutes format.

    Note:

    If you set the Time Period for Grading to zero (0), then the system retains the entitlement (and vApp) indefinitely.

    Time Settings

    Time Allotted Override

    Enable it to override the default lab time settings. The override can be done using API.

    If this is unchecked, the API override will not happen.

    Time Allotted: Amount of time, in hours, the user gets to work on the lab. This is different from the Valid Period option. For example, if a user is allotted 30 hours to complete a lab within a 30-day period, the time limit is the 30-hours setting. Valid Period: Amount of time the lab stays active. This is different from the Time Allotted option. For example, if a user is allotted 30 hours to complete a lab within a 30-day period, the valid period is the 30-day setting. You can include hours and minutes in this setting.

    Callback Settings

    Entitlement Callbacks

    Select an entitlement callback. If no entitlement callback exists, then you can add one by clicking No Selected Entitlement Callbacks. See the section Working with Entitlement Callbacks for more information.

    Callback Metadata

    Metadata the system includes in the callback you selected in the Callbacks text box. For example, if you enter the text test callback metadata and the callback you selected has an email return method, then the callback returns an email similar to the following example:

    { "entitlementKey":"NEE-97385361_1_07500" "account": “jsmith@project.com”, "sku":"shortlab", "tenant": "NEE", "eventTime":"01-07-2016 18:11:25 UTC", "event": "enroll", "firstName": "John", "lastName": "Smith", "metadata": "test callback metadata" } 

    Completion Settings

    Minimum time spent for lab to be completed

    Sets the amount of time an end user must work on a lab before it can be marked as completed. If the value is zero, the lab can never be marked as completed. The time period is in Days/Hours/Minutes format.

    Percentage of steps visited for lab to be completed

    The minimum number of steps the end user must complete before a lab can be marked as completed.

    Other Settings

    Prepop Enabled

    If enabled, deploys one or more prepopulated instances of the vApp to the cloud ahead of a user request. When an end user selects the lab, the user is then linked to a prepop. This process reduces the amount of time it takes for VMware Learning Platform to build a lab. However, Prepop uses cloud resources that might incur costs to your organization.

    Note:

    The system derives prepop values from the deployment pool you selected for this lab. You can edit those values by editing the deployment pool.

    Power Operation

    Sets the power operation functionality for a vAPP in a lab.

    • vApp Exit Power Off. If enabled, when an end user exits lab, the system powers down the vApp. If not enabled, the vApp remains powered on (using cloud resources) after the user exits. This allows for faster resumes when the user returns.

    • vApp Exit Shutdown and Power Off. If enabled, each virtual machine within the vApp attempts to shut down gracefully before powering off.

    • vApp Exit Suspend. If enabled, suspends the vApp upon exit from the lab. Suspend writes memory to disk and the guest OS enters a hibernate/sleep state. Using this feature saves compute costs.

    • None. VApps continue to run until the entitlement is not completed or ended.

    Delay before exit power operation

    Time in minutes to wait before the exit power operation is started.

    Undeploy After

    If you enter a value greater than zero, then the tenant allows automatic undeployment of an inactive lab in the cloud. If you make this setting active, then users returning to their lab must wait for it to be deployed again before they can use it. You can limit your resource use by enabling this setting. The disadvantage is that deploying a lab can take time.

    Concurrent Usage Limit

    Limits the number of concurrent users that can start this lab. The system performs a check on the limit versus the number of users currently running the lab. A value of 0 means that there is no set limit.

    Note:

    The system’s concurrency check is independent of running vApps for the lab and does not consider any deployed prepops. Powered-down vApps due to an exited lab, powered-down labs due to being idle and redeployed vApps due to reset vApps are all not considered in the system’s concurrency check.

  6. Click Next to open the Update Lab Content page. Configure the following lab settings.

    Option

    Description

    Short Description

    Provide a short description of the lab. This short description appears within the Lab List (Admin UI) and also within the lab console’s Labs tab.

    Description

    Enter a complete description of the lab. This description appears within the lab console’s Labs tab if the end user clicks Read more.

    Network Topology

    Select an image showing the network topology of the virtual machines used by the lab. If you do not select a topology image, then VMware Learning Platform hides the Network Topology button in the lab console for this lab.

    Survey

    Click the list view and select a survey from the list. The system assigns the survey you select to the lab. When an end user ends the lab, the system prompts the user to complete the survey you selected.

    Screenshot

    Uploads the image you select. It appears in the lab console user interface when the end user clicks Lab Details. You can browse to any screenshot that meets the display limits.

    Note:

    On the Screenshot field of the Edit Content and Metadata tab, you can click the X to delete an existing screenshot.

    Badges

    Click the list view and select a badge from the list. Badges are images that VMware Learning Platform displays in the lab console. An end user taking a lab can click a badge to display a list of labs associated with that badge.VMware Learning Platform includes a set of commonly used badges or you can create a badge. You import badges for use with your tenant from Lab Management > Badges.

    Resources

    Click the list view and select a resource from the list. Resource files supply supporting information for the lab, such as additional reading, a syllabus, and so on.

    You can also use this setting to select a lab manual formatted in PDF. PDF manuals appear in a standard PDF viewer in the lab.

    To use a PDF document as a lab manual, leave the Manual text box on the first page of the Create Lab form empty. Select the PDF file to use as a lab manual as the first PDF resource here.

    Products

    Click the list view and select a product to associate with the lab. Labs are often categorized by product. For example, a lab might be about the VMware product Horizon.

    Note:

    You must have already created a product entry using the Lab Management > Products option.

    Tags

    Tag a lab with a text string. The text string appears on the lab console. An end user can click the tag to display other labs with the same tag.

    Note:

    You must have already created a tag using the Lab Management > Tags option.

    Authors

    Select an author for the lab. An end user can click an author name to display the author’s public profile.

    Related Labs

    Allows you to relate to the lab you are creating to another. VMware Learning Platform displays these related labs when an end user clicks Lab Details on the lab console user interface. For example, if you are creating an introductory lab about VMware vCloud Director, you can select related labs such as Advanced VMware vCloud Director or Using Log Insight with VMware vCloud Director.

  7. Click Next to save your changes.
  8. Click Update VM MetaData and configure the VM Metadata settings for your lab.
    Option Description

    Use from Deployment Pool

    If enabled, the lab defaults to the initial console as defined in the vApp of the deployment pool you selected.

    Initial Console

    If enabled, the lab uses this virtual machine as its initial console instead of the one from the deployment pool.

    >

    Click the greater than icon (>) to edit the metadata of an initial console.

    Note:

    You can enable the Use value from Deployment Pool setting to use the configuration contained in the deployment pool to which the lab is associated.

    Visible

    If enabled, then the virtual machine is visible in the lab. (If not enabled, then VMware Learning Platform does not have a console connection.) For example, consider a lab with 12 virtual machines. You can use the Visible option to give the lab's end users access to only a single virtual machine.

    Note:

    If you select only one virtual machine to be visible to the end user, then VMware Learning Platform hides the console chooser that is normally on the left side of the console screen of the lab console.

    Power on VM when lab starts

    Specifies that the VM in the vApp must be powered on when the entitlement starts. If enabled, then the system can more efficiently determine the power state of the VM and then reduce the time it takes to start the lab. Note the following:

    • If all the VMs in a deployment pool or lab are marked as being powered on, then the system starts the vApp instead of the individual VMs which delegates the powering-on operation to the cloud. This delegation means the VMs in the vApp are powered on as configured for the template in the cloud. So the system observes any configured power on order, pauses, or other tasks as configured in the cloud.

    • If the VM marked as the initial console is not marked to be powered on at start (and other VMs are marked for power-on), then the system displays a warning in the Lab List.

    Allow Console Resize

    If enabled, then a lab user can manually resize the lab console.

    Automatic Console Resize

    If enabled, then the system automatically scales a lab console so that it fits the available space.

    Note:

    If both Allow ConsoleResize and Automatic ConsoleResize are enabled, then the system initially sizes the lab console but the lab user can still resize it manually.

    Username

    You can specify a user name specific to the virtual machine.

    Password

    You can specify a password specific to the virtual machine.

    Notes

    If enabled, then the lab console, by default, displays metadata (notes, user name, and password for each VM) for this lab once an end user starts it.

    Use individual VM power on settings

    If enabled, then VMware Learning Platform controls the powering on of VMs according to the setting of the Power On VM When Lab Startsoption. If not enabled, then the cloud controls the powering of VMs. Cloud powering settings are determined outside VMware Learning Platform.

    Note:

    In Create a Lab, the Use individual VM power on settings option sends the VM power on operations either to the cloud or to VMware Learning Platform. Prepop deployment option always sends power on operations to the cloud.

  9. Click Finish.

    The lab is created. The Labs list displays the lab that you created.