Cloud desktops help training organizations to manage training more easily and flexibly.
Even in 2019 in many places, the preparation and follow-up of training courses will continue to be very shirt-sleeved. Especially when doing software training, the end devices have to be reloaded before each new training course. In the case of several training locations, local image servers often have to be maintained due to low bandwidths.
Often, a tour is made after the devices are reloaded to check if all computers are functioning as desired.
This effort pushes IT to its limits. If rooms are exchanged because the number of participants has changed at short notice, the chaos is perfect.
The increased desire for on-site training, i.e. at the customer’s premises, requires additional hardware in the form of notebooks and even much more administrative effort.
The scenario mentioned above is really still common practice, but in times of digitalization, in times when training organizations have to reinvent themselves, it is actually more than outdated.
What would the ideal training environment look like?
- All training courses could be displayed on any end device.
- Training courses can be held at any location
- The administration must be able to be managed centrally
- The number of participants per course can range from 1 to infinity
- For the preparation it doesn’t matter if 1 or 100 participants
Surely you have some more points on your list.
„This can be solved with e-learning“, I can already hear some people say. E-Learning is the topic that drives the industry. We have to rethink our learning methods of the last 20 years and that is a good thing.
But e-learning will not replace traditional forms of education. In addition, creating and maintaining e-learning content is expensive and time-consuming.
Is there no way out?
VDI would be a way out.
Virtual desktop infrastructures use centralized virtual desktops located in the organizations company’s data center instead of physical training computers. These virtual desktops can now be accessed flexibly from anywhere and with almost any end device. Since the computing power takes place in the data center, the requirements on the end devices are extremely low and almost independent of the training content.
Since VDI virtualization runs on the organization’s servers, scaling is unfortunately only possible to a limited extent. The costs for this are also incurred even if no training courses are held. Most problematic is that VDI image handling solutions do not offer the flexibility that training organizations need. VDI was initial developed for large enterprise companies with plenty of admins and no need to have every week completely new users and images.
So what’s the solution?
Cloud desktops are the way out.
Cloud desktops, also known as desktop-as-a-service (DaaS), are a further development of VDI. Here the virtualization runs in a provider’s data center. There they can be dynamically added and subtracted as required. As a rule, costs are only incurred when the desktops are in use.
Cloud desktops can also be accessed from anywhere and with any end device. The minimum requirement to access a cloud desktop is in most cases an up-to-date web browser. The training desktops can be accessed not only from the end devices in the training center, but also from the end devices at the customer’s site or even from the private end devices of the participants. In contrast to VDI solutions, cloud desktops in a classroom are automatically separated form desktops from another classroom.
The administration of the images and the creation of users can either be done by the IT of the training organization or even by the trainer himself. Many cloud desktops can also be completely controlled via API, i.e. a programming interface.
Cloud desktops can also be very well integrated into new training methods such as e-learning. Just think of blended learning with cloud desktops for the practical part, or a virtual classroom where participants can access them and the cloud desktops from anywhere.
Since in cloud desktops the provider is responsible for offering the hardware and virtualization, an environment can be set up very quickly and without much specialist knowledge. Because the provider has a server farm with enough resources available for virtualization, the issue of limited scalability is also off the table.
But with all positive aspects there are also disadvantages which should be paid attention too. Of course, there is a dependency between training organization and cloud provider. If the cloud service is not available, training courses must be cancelled, resulting in a loss of costs and image. A long contractual relationship can also deprive the customer of the necessary flexibility. As is so often the case here, „therefore check who binds himself (forever)“.
Virtual infrastructures can play their trump cards in training environments. Especially cloud based environments help training organizations to manage trainings easier and more flexible. By being accessible from anywhere, you also support the training organization in setting up new training concepts.
As a first step I recommend a POC environment. It’s quick to set up and shows you the benefits of cloud desktops.
Whether large process-oriented public cloud providers or smaller, more flexible cloud providers should be chosen depends on the requirements and expectations of the customer.