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Based on what we've learnt from customer scenarios within Azure Lab Services so far, we have put together a guide to help you set up all the necessary configurations for a set of popular courses using lab services. We call these 'class types'. Below are a set of classes/courses you can set up for your students by following the guide we prepared.
This article shows you how to set up a 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.
In this lab, students will use a popular commercial version of Hadoop provided by Cloudera, called Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). Specifically, students will use HDP Sandbox 3.0.1 which is a simplified, easy-to-use version of the platform that is free of cost and intended for learning and experimentation. Although this class may use either Windows or Linux virtual machines (VM) with HDP Sandbox deployed, this article will show how to use Windows.
Another interesting aspect of this lab, is that we will deploy HDP Sandbox on the lab VMs using Docker containers. Each Docker container provides its own isolated environment for software applications to run inside. Conceptually, Docker containers are like nested VMs and can be used to easily deploy and run a wide variety of software applications based on container images provided on Docker Hub. Cloudera's deployment script for HDP Sandbox automatically pulls the HDP Sandbox 3.0.1 Docker image from Docker Hub and runs two Docker containers:
For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Set up a lab to big data analytics using Docker deployment of HortonWorks Data Platform.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can set up a lab in Azure Lab Services to teach an introductory mobile application development class. This class focuses on Android mobile applications that can be published to the Google Play Store. Students learn how to use Android Studio to build applications. Visual Studio Emulator for Android is used to test the application locally.
For detailed information on how to set up this type of lab, see Set up a lab to teach mobile application development with Android Studio.
Do give them a read and let us know if you found them helpful or if you have any feedback.
We are also looking for feedback on what other class types could be helpful for you to get started with labs. Have a class type in mind? Type it in the comments section.
- Lab services team
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