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 and enter your credentials. 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. Select New lab.

    Create a classroom lab

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

    1. Specify a name for your lab.

    2. Select the size of the virtual machines you need for the class. For the list of sizes available, see the VM Sizes section.

    3. Select the virtual machine image that you want to use for the classroom 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. Review the total price per hour displayed on the page.

    5. Select Save.

      New lab window

  5. On the Virtual machine 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.

      New lab window

      Important

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

    4. Then, select Next on the Virtual machine credentials page.

  6. On the Lab policies page, enter the number of hours allotted for each user (quota for each user) outside the scheduled time for the lab, and then select Finish.

    Quota for each user

  7. You should see the following screen that shows the status of the template VM creation. The creation of the template in the lab takes up to 20 minutes.

    Status of the template VM creation

  8. On the Template page, do the following steps: These steps are optional for the tutorial.

    1. 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).
    2. Select Reset password to reset the password for the VM.
    3. Install and configure software on your template VM.
    4. Stop the VM.
    5. Enter a description for the template
  9. On Template page, select Publish on the toolbar.

    Publish template button

    Warning

    Once you publish, you can't unpublish.

  10. On the Publish template page, enter the number of virtual machines you want to create in the lab, and then select Publish.

    Publish template - number of VMs

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

    Publish template - progress

  12. Switch to the Virtual machines pool page by selecting Virtual machines on the left menu or by selecting Virtual machines tile. 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

    You do the following tasks on this page (don't do these steps for the tutorial. These steps are for your information only.):

    1. To change the lab capacity (number of VMs in the lab), select Lab capacity on the toolbar.
    2. To start all the VMs at once, select Start all on the toolbar.
    3. To start a specific VM, select the down arrow in the Status, and then select Start. You can also start a VM by selecting a VM in the first column, and then by selecting Start on the toolbar.

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 needs 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
Small GPU (Visualization) 6 56 GB This size is best suited for remote visualization, streaming, gaming, encoding using frameworks such as OpenGL and DirectX.
Small GPU (Compute) 6 56 GB This size is best suited for compute-intensive and network-intensive applications like artificial intelligence and deep learning applications.
Medium GPU (Visualization) 12 112 GB This size is best suited for remote visualization, streaming, gaming, encoding using frameworks such as OpenGL and DirectX.

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. On the lab's tile, you see the number of virtual machines in the lab and the quota for each user (outside the scheduled time).

    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, and then select Delete.

    Delete button

  2. On the Delete lab dialog box, select Delete to continue with the deletion.

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

You can also create a new lab using the New lab in this drop-down list.

Next steps

See the following articles: