Get started with Learning Center training portals

This topic describes how you configure and use a TrainingPortal, which deploys a set of workshops for attendees.

Working with multiple workshops

The quickest way to deploy a set of workshops to use in a training session is to deploy a TrainingPortal. This deploys a set of workshops with one instance of each workshop for each attendee. A web-based portal is provided for registering attendees and allocating them to workshops.

The TrainingPortal custom resource provides a high-level mechanism for creating a set of workshop environments and populating it with workshop instances. When the Learning Center operator processes this custom resource, it creates other custom resources to trigger the creation of the workshop environment and the workshop instances. If you want more control, you can use these latter custom resources directly instead.

Loading the workshop definition

A custom resource of type Workshop describes each workshop. Before you can create a workshop environment, you must load the definition of the workshop.

Here is an example Workshop custom resource:

kind: Workshop
  name: lab-k8s-fundamentals
  title: Kubernetes Fundamentals
  description: Workshop on getting started with Kubernetes
  url: {YOUR-GIT-REPO-URL}/lab-k8s-fundamentals
  - Graham Dumpleton
  difficulty: intermediate
  duration: 1h
  - kubernetes
      budget: medium
        enabled: true
        layout: split
        enabled: true
        enabled: true

To load the definition of the workshop, run:

kubectl apply -f {YOUR-GIT-REPO-URL}/lab-k8s-fundamentals/main/resources/workshop.yaml

The custom resource created is cluster-scoped. The command must be run as a cluster admin or other appropriate user with permission to create the resource.

If successfully loaded, the command outputs: created

To list the workshop definitions that have been loaded and that can be deployed, run:

kubectl get workshops

For this workshop, this outputs:

NAME                  IMAGE                                            FILES  URL
lab-k8s-fundamentals  {YOUR-REGISTRY-URL}/lab-k8s-fundamentals:main         {YOUR-GIT-REPO-URL}/lab-k8s-fundamentals

The added fields in this case give:

  • The name of the custom workshop container image deployed for the workshop.
  • A URL for more information about the workshop.

The definition of a workshop is loaded as a step of its own, rather than referring to a remotely hosted definition. This allows a cluster admin to audit the workshop definition to ensure it isn’t doing something the cluster admin doesn’t want to allow. After the cluster admin approves the workshop definition, it can be used to create instances of the workshop.

Creating the workshop training portal

To deploy a workshop for one or more users, use the TrainingPortal custom resource. This custom resource specifies a set of workshops to be deployed and the number of people taking the workshops.

The TrainingPortal custom resource we use in this example is:

kind: TrainingPortal
  name: lab-k8s-fundamentals
  - name: lab-k8s-fundamentals
    capacity: 3
    reserved: 1
    expires: 1h
    orphaned: 5m

To create the custom resource, run:

kubectl apply -f {YOUR-GIT-REPO-URL}/lab-k8s-fundamentals/main/resources/training-portal.yaml

The custom resource created is cluster-scoped. The command must be run as a cluster admin or other appropriate user with permission to create the resource.

This results in the output: created

There is actually much more going on than this. To see all the resources created, run:

kubectl get learningcenter-training -o name

You should see:

In addition to the original Workshop custom resource providing the definition of the workshop, and the TrainingPortal custom resource you just created, you’ve also created the WorkshopEnvironment and WorkshopSession custom resources.

The WorkshopEnvironment custom resource sets up the environment for a workshop, including deploying any application services that must exist and are shared by all workshop instances.

The WorkshopSession custom resource results in the creation of a single workshop instance.

To see a list of the workshop instances created and their details, run:

kubectl get workshopsessions

This yields output similar to:

NAME                            URL                                         USERNAME   PASSWORD
lab-k8s-fundamentals-w01-s001   http://lab-k8s-fundamentals-w01-s001.test

Only one workshop instance is created. Though the maximum capacity is set to three, the reserved number of instances (hot spares) is defined as one. Additional workshops instances are only created as workshop sessions are allocated to users. One reserved instance is always maintained until capacity is reached.

If you need a different number of workshop instances, set the portal.capacity field of the TrainingPortal custom resource YAML input file before creating the resource. Changing the values after the resource is created has no effect.

In this case, only one workshop is listed to be hosted by the training portal. You can deploy more than one workshop at the same time by adding the names of other workshops to workshops.

The first time you deploy the workshop, it can take a few moments to pull down the workshop image and start.

To access the workshops, attendees of a training session need to visit the web-based portal for the training session. Find the URL for the web portal by running:

kubectl get trainingportals

This should yield output similar to:

NAME                  URL                                   ADMINUSERNAME  ADMINPASSWORD
lab-k8s-fundamentals  https://lab-k8s-fundamentals-ui.test  learningcenter         mGI2C1TkHEBoFgKiZetxMnwAldRU80aN

Attendees should only be given the URL. The password listed is only for use by the instructor of the training session if required.

Accessing workshops via the web portal

Attendees can access workshops through the web portal by following two steps:

  1. The attendee visits the web-based portal for the training session and is presented with a login page. However, before logging in, the attendee must register for an account. The attendee clicks the link to the registration page and fills it in.

    Screenshot of the Learning Center Create an account page, with fields to fill in and a Register button.

    Registration is required so if the attendee’s web browser exits or the attendee needs to switch web browsers, the attendee can log in again and access the same workshop instance.

  2. Upon registering, the attendee is presented with a list of workshops available for the training session.

    • An orange dot beside a workshop means that no instance for that workshop has been allocated to the user as yet, but that some are available.
    • A red dot indicates there are no more workshop instances available.
    • A green dot indicates a workshop instance has already been reserved by the attendee.

    The attendee clicks the “Start workshop” button. This allocates a workshop instance if one hasn’t yet been reserved and redirects the attendee to that workshop instance.

    Screenshot of Learning Center dashboard with Terminal tab selected showing terminals 1 and 2.

Deleting the workshop training portal

The workshop training portal is intended for running workshops with a fixed time period where all workshop instances are deleted when complete.

To delete all workshop instances and the web-based portal, run:

kubectl delete trainingportal/lab-k8s-fundamentals
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