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  • June 8, 2015

Software training portal: creating courses, classes and student labs using Ravello

To make the set-up, administration and delivery of classroom training, instructor-led training and self-paced training sessions, Ravello created an easily configurable training portal. The training portal is the hub for setting up and administering as many courses and specific instances of these courses as required, by accessing pre-created application blueprints, and providing each student an isolated environment of the relevant applications. In this post I will quickly go through the steps for creating and delivering training using Ravello.

Accessing the training portal

The training portal is a VM running in Ravello. Currently users who want to use it can let Ravello’s support know that they require it via a support ticket and the VM is then copied to the user’s library. Very soon the training portal VM will be made available publicly without needing a support ticket.

To set up your own portal - drag and drop the training portal VM onto the canvas and publish it. You will need the this VM to run for the duration of any class that is running using the portal.

Once the portal VM (application is published you can browse to it, by using the URL that is provided for it in the summary tab of the VM.

Giving a trainer access

The next step is to create a trainer entity (you can have several of those). Using the admin credentials that are defined on the training portal VM (and are communicated in the description of the VM in the UI). For the trainer’s Ravello credentials you will need to use an existing Ravello user account.

Creating a course

The next step is creating a course. Using the trainer’s credentials you will set up the flow of a training, the set of blueprints that will be available to students. In this step, it is this set of blueprints that is used as the basis for creating the different labs in the course. For example, you can use several pre-configured blueprints of the environment in different stages to create the sections of the full flow of a course.

Creating classes (instances of the course)

Finally it’s time to create a class. A class is the set of students who will go through the course. That means that if we have a course, say NetScaler VPX 101, we can create as many classes around it as we’d like. For example: NetScaler Channel Partners June 2015, VPX End Users July 2015, and so on. Each class is defined by the students that are a part of it. When you create the class with the student entities in it, you can also configure the permissions each student will have for each of the blueprints included. When it’s time for the training session itself - you will need to start the relevant student applications.

Running student labs

Now that a class is defined with all relevant students, the students can log in and spin up the first section of the class using the relevant pre-configured blueprint that is available to them through the training portal.

Use cases

Ravello users utilize the training portal for two main use cases. The first is the classic (virtual) training class, or the instructor led training (ILT). Another important use case is user conferences and channel partner trainings, where software and virtual appliance vendors run hands on sessions for their channel partners, end users, sales engineer trainings and more.

If you need help creating your first course and class - drop us a line, and we'll get you started.

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