Virtual IT Labs: What Are They? | Appsembler
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Virtual IT Labs: What Are They?

Discover the power of virtual IT labs in revolutionizing IT training. In this article, we delve into the concept of virtual IT labs, exploring their advantages, applications, and tips for maximizing the learning experience. Learn how these labs address the challenges of traditional software training and provide professionals with practical, hands-on experience in a virtual environment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Traditional software training methods are ineffective in engaging modern learners, leading to the need for virtual IT labs.
  • Virtual IT labs offer enhanced accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and real-world simulations.
  • These labs find applications in certification exam preparation, product training, and continuous skill development.
  • Maximizing the virtual IT lab experience involves setting clear learning goals, engaging in collaborative learning, and embracing experimentation.
  • A case study highlights how InterSystems leveraged virtual IT labs for immersive training and accelerated product adoption.

Table of Contents

  1. The Challenges of Traditional Software Training
  2. What are Virtual IT Labs?
  3. Advantages of Virtual IT Labs
  4. Applications of Virtual IT Labs
  5. Tips for Maximizing Virtual IT Lab Experience
  6. Case Study: InterSystems
  7. Conclusion

The Challenges of Traditional Software Training

Modern learners are bombarded by a constant stream of information. They are always connected, online and have the latest and greatest technological innovations at their fingertips. With increasing limited attention spans, delivering software and technical training that engages learner enough to make them put their devices down and concentrate on your course material is a challenge.

Traditional methods of software training that ask learners to sit in a classroom, listen to an instructor, and consume an overwhelming amount of information is no longer effective. They are also time-consuming, expensive and complicated to mange. Instructor-led, classroom based training also neglects the basic need to learn by doing. Learners do not retain information or understand how a product works just by reading datasheets, watching videos or simulations, or listening to instructors walk through PowerPoints.

Delivering this training to users spread across the globe, in different departments, for different use cases puts a strain on increasingly tight training budgets.

That’s where implementing a Labs solutions can help by delivering real-world, engaging training in a scalable, fast and personalized way across the globe.

What are Virtual IT Labs?

Provides learners with immersive, hands-on training in a lab environment using the same software and scenarios that they will have access to in their day-to-day roles. A lab environment is a group of physical and/or virtual computers that have been set up to test or develop applications.

Instructors can set up sandbox environments for learners, allowing them to play around as much as necessary without worrying that they will pose a risk to the company’s production IT infrastructure.

With cloud-based labs, there is no need to install software on a computer, and learners can complete training from any device, anytime, wherever they are. All they need is a browser and an internet connection.

There are no technological constraints, and instructors don’t have to spend valuable training time ensuring learners are able to use the software, or troubleshooting any issues regarding permissions or different hardware and software requirements.

Find more in-depth information by downloading Appsembler’s ‘The Complete Guide to Virtual Training Labs’

Advantages of Virtual IT Labs

Enhanced Accessibility:

Eliminate geographical limitations, enabling learners from anywhere in the world to access the same training resources. This accessibility factor opens up opportunities for remote learning, global collaboration, and inclusive training programs.


Traditional IT training often involves the expense of setting up physical labs with the necessary hardware and software. Labs significantly reduce these costs by providing a cloud-based infrastructure, eliminating the need for expensive equipment and maintenance.

Real-World Simulations:

Creates a realistic environment where learners can gain hands-on experience without the fear of damaging actual systems. By simulating real-world scenarios, learners can develop critical problem-solving skills, test their knowledge, and experiment with different configurations in a risk-free setting.

Applications of Virtual IT Labs

Certification Exam Preparation:

Offers an excellent platform for IT professionals to prepare for certification exams. Learners can practice specific tasks and scenarios required for certification, increasing their chances of success.

Product Training and Onboarding:

Train employees on new software, applications, or systems. This approach ensures that employees are familiar with the technology before implementing it in their day-to-day work, reducing the learning curve and improving productivity.

Continuous Learning and Skill Development:

Enables professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends by providing a platform for continuous learning. Learners can explore new tools, experiment with different configurations, and develop new skills to advance their careers.

Tips for Maximizing Virtual IT Lab Experience

Set Clear Learning Goals:

Before accessing virtual IT labs, it’s essential to establish specific learning objectives. Having clear goals helps learners focus their efforts and maximize the benefits of hands-on training.

Engage in Collaborative Learning:

Offers features that promote collaboration, such as chat forums and shared workspaces. Engaging with fellow learners and experts in the field can enhance the learning experience and foster knowledge sharing.

Experiment and Explore:

Provides a safe environment for experimentation. Take advantage of this opportunity to explore different scenarios, configurations, and troubleshooting techniques. Embrace a curious mindset and use the labs as a playground to develop problem-solving skills.

Case Study

Big data company InterSystems uses Virtual IT Labs software to let prospects try out the software before they buy it. It also redesigned its internal training program using Open edX and virtual IT labs platform to provide immersive, individualized, and online lab environments.

According to Doug Foster, Manager, Online Learning at Intersystems, using labs has actually made their own product better. “Because we use it so much with our learners, that feedback goes back into our own product and makes it run better,” he said.  

Case Study: How InterSystems Augmented Training and Accelerated Product Adoption with Virtual Labs


Virtual IT labs software has revolutionized the way professionals acquire practical experience in the IT industry. By offering accessible, cost-effective, and realistic training environments, these labs have become an invaluable resource for individuals and organizations seeking to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. Embrace the power of labs and unlock the potential for continuous learning and skill development.

If you’d like to understand more about the benefits of using Appsembler Virtual Labs for your online training environment, get in touch to schedule a demo.