Class types overview - Azure Lab Services

Azure Lab Services enables you to quickly set up classroom lab environments in the cloud. Articles in this section provide guidance on how to set up several types of classroom labs using Azure Lab Services.

Big data analytics

You can set up a GPU lab to teach a big data analytics class. With this type of class, students learn how to handle large volumes of data, and apply machine and statistical learning algorithms to derive data insights. A key objective for students is to learn to use data analytics tools, such as Apache Hadoop's open-source software package which provides tools for storing, managing, and processing big data.

For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Set up a lab for big data analytics using Docker deployment of HortonWorks Data Platform.

Database management

Databases concepts are one of the introductory courses taught in most of the Computer Science departments in college. You can set up a lab for a basic databases management class in Azure Lab Services. For example, you can set up a virtual machine template in a lab with a MySQL Database Server or a SQL Server 2019 server.

For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Set up a lab to teach database management for relational databases.

Deep learning in natural language processing

You can set up a lab focused on deep learning in natural language processing (NLP) using Azure Lab Services. Natural language processing (NLP) is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables computers with translation, speech recognition, and other language understanding capabilities. Students taking an NLP class get a Linux virtual machine (VM) to learn how to apply neural network algorithms to develop deep learning models that are used for analyzing written human language.

For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Set up a lab focused on deep learning in natural language processing using Azure Lab Services.

Ethical hacking

You can set up a lab for a class that focuses on forensics side of ethical hacking. Penetration testing, a practice used by the ethical hacking community, occurs when someone attempts to gain access to the system or network to demonstrate vulnerabilities that a malicious attacker may exploit.

In an ethical hacking class, students can learn modern techniques for defending against vulnerabilities. Each student gets a Windows Server host virtual machine that has two nested virtual machines – one virtual machine with Metasploitable3 image and another machine with Kali Linux image. The Metasploitable virtual machine is used for exploiting purposes. The Kali Linux virtual machine provides access to the tools needed to execute forensic tasks.

For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Set up a lab to teach ethical hacking class.

MATLAB

MATLAB, which stands for Matrix laboratory, is programming platform from MathWorks. It combines computational power and visualization making it popular tool in the fields of math, engineering, physics, and chemistry.

For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Setup a lab to teach MATLAB.

Project Lead the Way (PLTW)

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a nonprofit organization that provides PreK-12 curriculum across the United States in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. In each PLTW class, students use a variety of software applications as part of their hands-on learning experience.

For detailed information on how to set up these types of labs, see Set up labs for Project Lead the Way classes.

Python and Jupyter notebooks

You can set up a template machine in Azure Lab Services with the tools needed to teach students how to use Jupyter Notebooks. Jupyter Notebooks is an open-source project that lets you easily combine rich text and executable Python source code on a single canvas called a notebook. Running a notebook results in a linear record of inputs and outputs. Those outputs can include text, tables of information, scatter plots, and more.

For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Set up a lab to teach data science with Python and Jupyter Notebooks.

Shell scripting on Linux

You can set up a lab to teach shell scripting on Linux. Scripting is a useful part of system administration that allows administrators to avoid repetitive tasks. In this sample scenario, the class covers traditional bash scripts and enhanced scripts. Enhanced scripts are scripts that combine bash commands and Ruby. This approach allows Ruby to pass data around and bash commands to interact with the shell.

Students taking these scripting classes get a Linux virtual machine to learn the basics of Linux, and also get familiar with the bash shell scripting. The Linux virtual machine comes with remote desktop access enabled and with gedit and Visual Studio Code text editors installed.

For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Shell scripting on Linux.

SolidWorks computer-aided design (CAD)

You can set up a GPU lab that gives engineering students access to SolidWorks. SolidWorks provides a 3D CAD environment for modeling solid objects. With SolidWorks, engineers can easily create, visualize, simulate and document their designs.

For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Set up a lab for engineering classes using SolidWorks

Next steps

See the following articles: