Manage classroom labs in Azure Lab Services

This article describes how to create and delete a classroom lab. It also shows you how to view all the classroom labs in a lab account.

Prerequisites

To set up a classroom lab in a lab account, you must be a member of the Lab Creator role in the lab account. The account you used to create a lab account is automatically added to this role. A lab owner can add other users to the Lab Creator role by using steps in the following article: Add a user to the Lab Creator role.

Create a classroom lab

  1. Navigate to Azure Lab Services website. Note that Internet Explorer 11 is not supported yet.

  2. Select Sign in. Select or enter a user ID that is a member of the Lab Creator role in the lab account, and enter password. Azure Lab Services supports organizational accounts and Microsoft accounts.

  3. In the New Lab window, do the following actions:

    1. Specify a name for your lab.

    2. Specify the maximum number of virtual machines in the lab. You can increase or decrease the number of virtual machines in the lab later.

    3. Select Save.

      Create a classroom lab

  4. On the Select virtual machine specifications page, do the following steps:

    1. Select a size for virtual machines (VMs) created in the lab. Currently, small, medium, medium (virtualization), large, and GPU sizes are allowed. For details, see the VM sizes section.

    2. Select the region in which you want the VMs to be created.

    3. Select the VM image to be used to create VMs in the lab. If you select a Linux image, you see an option to enable remote desktop connection for it. For details, see Enable remote desktop connection for Linux.

    4. Select Next.

      Specify VM specifications

  5. On the Set credentials page, specify default credentials for all VMs in the lab.

    1. Specify the name of the user for all VMs in the lab.

    2. Specify the password for the user.

      Important

      Make a note of user name and password. They won't be shown again.

    3. Disable Use same password for all virtual machines option if you want students to set their own passwords. This step is optional.

      A teacher can choose to use the same password for all the VMs in the lab, or allow students to set passwords for their VMs. By default, this setting is enabled for all Windows and Linux images except for Ubuntu. When you select Ubuntu VM, this setting is disabled, so the students will be prompted to set a password when they sign in for the first time.

    4. Select Create.

      Set credentials

  6. On the Configure template page, you see the status of lab creation process. The creation of the template in the lab takes up to 20 minutes. A template in a lab is a base virtual machine image from which all users’ virtual machines are created. Set up the template virtual machine so that it is configured with exactly what you want to provide to the lab users.

    Configure template

  7. After the configuration of the template is complete, you see the following page:

    Configure template page after it's done

  8. The following steps are optional steps in this tutorial: 2. Connect to the template VM by selecting Connect. If it's a Linux template VM, you choose whether you want to connect using SSH or RDP (if RDP is enabled).

    1. Select Reset password to reset the password for the VM.
    2. Install and configure software on your template VM.
    3. Stop the VM.
    4. Enter a description for the template
  9. Select Next on the template page.

  10. On Publish the template page, do the following actions.

    1. To publish the template immediately, select the checkbox for I understand I can't modify the template after publishing. This process can only be done once and can take up to an hour, and select Publish. Publish the template to make instances of the template VM available to your lab users.

      Warning

      Once you publish, you can't unpublish.

    2. To publish later, select Save for later. You can publish the template VM after the wizard completes. For details on how to configure and publish after the wizard completes, see For details on how to configure and publish after the wizard completes, see Publish the template section in the How to manage classroom labs article.

      Publish template

  11. You see the progress of publishing the template. This process can take up to an hour.

    Publish template - progress

  12. You see the following page when the template is published successfully. Select Done.

    Publish template - success

  13. You see the dashboard for the lab.

    Classroom lab dashboard

  14. Switch to the Virtual machines page, and confirm that you see virtual machines that are in Unassigned state. These VMs are not assigned to students yet. They should be in Stopped state. You can start a student VM, connect to the VM, stop the VM, and delete the VM on this page. You can start them in this page or let your students start the VMs.

    Virtual machines in stopped state

VM sizes

Size Cores RAM Description
Small 2 3.5 GB This size is best suited for command line, opening web browser, low traffic web servers, small to medium databases.
Medium 4 7 GB This size is best suited for relational databases, in-memory caching, and analytics
Medium (Nested virtualization) 4 16 GB This size is best suited for relational databases, in-memory caching, and analytics. This size also supports nested virtualization.

This size can be used in scenarios where each student need multiple VMs. Teachers can use nested virtualization to set up a few small size nested virtual machines inside the virtual machine.

Large 8 32 GB This size is best suited for applications that need faster CPUs, better local disk performance, large databases, large memory caches. This size also supports nested virtualization
GPU 12 112 GB This size is best suited for compute-intensive, graphics-intensive, and visualization workloads

View all classroom labs

  1. Navigate to Azure Lab Services portal.

  2. Select Sign in. Select or enter a user ID that is a member of the Lab Creator role in the lab account, and enter password. Azure Lab Services supports organizational accounts and Microsoft accounts.

  3. Confirm that you see all the labs in the selected lab account.

    All labs

  4. Use the drop-down list at the top to select a different lab account. You see labs in the selected lab account.

Delete a classroom lab

  1. On the tile for the lab, select three dots (...) in the corner.

    Select the lab

  2. Select Delete.

    Delete button

  3. On the Delete lab dialog box, select Delete.

    Delete dialog box

Switch to another classroom lab

To switch to another classroom lab from the current, select the drop-down list of labs in the lab account at the top.

Select the lab from drop-down list at the top

Next steps

See the following articles: