Learn on Demand Systems has a long history of developing hands-on labs that are instructional, compelling and creative. We have a full staff of lab developers, editors and testers who create cloud and software-based labs on a variety of platforms.

Many of our customers have found that their lab developers can be more efficient while creating labs if our team edits and tests the labs, freeing them to do what they do best. We also optimize labs so that their use of resources balances performance and cost.

We have also built web services that automate the management of hybrid environments, freeing our customers to focus on what matters most: Deploying quality labs to learners in need.

The Challenge

Our customers range from organizations that have their own full-time lab developers to those who would like to add labs to their training programs but lack professional lab development, editing or testing talent.

Hands-on lab deployment can also become quite technically challenging depending on the environment to be emulated in the lab.

An example of this is a hybrid cloud environment. The popularity of the cloud created challenging situations for customers as their labs likely exist in a hybrid environment with services spanning on-premise and the cloud. The challenge with this setup in labs is that the on-premises service must interact with the cloud-based service in a lab environment, replicated many times over, for each lab user. When one service talks to the other, systems need to be in place for communications between on-premises and the cloud, which becomes difficult to emulate for thousands of lab users.

The Solution

To solve this challenge, Learn on Demand Systems built a web service that lab users go to and enter the Internet IP address of their lab environment. The service then returns a domain name and registers the IP address as a name server in DNS. The lab user uses the provided domain name in their lab and configures their local DNS with the IP addresses needed by the service.

During the lab, when the cloud service needs to connect with the on-premises service, the cloud service resolves the domain name. To do so it queries DNS and is returned the name server IP address for that domain from the web service. The cloud service then queries the returned name server IP address, which is a DNS server in the lab user’s environment and is returned the IP addresses configured by the lab user. The cloud service can then communicate with the on-premises service and vice versa.

This cloud service, used by Microsoft for hands-on labs, has issued more than 60,000 domain names and registered associated IP addresses over the past several years. It has enabled thousands of users to be trained in how to successfully configure and maintain hybrid environments, thereby ensuring successful and happy customers.

Next Steps

Whether building labs from scratch or applying professional editing, testing and optimization services to an existing team, Learn on Demand Systems is ready to assist you in solving complex problems and creating an instructional, compelling and efficient hands-on learning experience.

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