The explosion in the capabilities of cloud infrastructures means we now have viable, cost-effective, easy solutions for hardware management, scaling and storage. Two other huge benefits are cost savings and new opportunities to develop, test or deploy solutions. It comes with a whole other layer for workflow and process automation.
The following are two ways to use cloud-based virtualization:
- You can treat Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), such as Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Compute Engine (GCE), as a virtual version of your on-premises infrastructure. You can focus on learning IaaS itself, then make the move and be done with it.
- You can take this as an opportunity to explore how your virtual machines (VMs) may run differently in the virtual environment, look at new capabilities and at what may not translate well when you move to the cloud.
Each of these two options poses its own challenges. Maybe you don’t need to know all about Azure, but you have a solution that requires running Linux in a VM.
Looking at this from the other direction, you may know Linux but would like to understand what you can really do with a Linux VM on Azure. Is it enough to know Oracle, and know Azure, but not know the issues specific to this configuration?
For both of these situations, it would be nice to have a short course that covers exactly what you need: e.g., Linux on Azure. We recently rolled out a pair of Linux on Azure courses that focus on IaaS. Linux on Azure: Up and Running focuses on the basics and Linux on Azure: Security, Scalability and Availability covers more advanced topics.
Each short course consists of three challenges, each of which takes about one to two hours to complete. These challenges are different than a traditional lab in that you are given tasks to complete rather than step-by-step instructions. When you are done, you can check your own work or have an expert check it for you. You can find out what you might have done better, or if it didn’t go the way you wanted, you can find out why.
We provide a lab environment where the student has several ways to learn including:
- Videos with industry experts showing you concepts, tips and tricks.
- Real-world challenges designed by experts to test what you know.
- Virtual lab environment. (Note that these are not do-this-then-that lab walkthroughs. You work out the problem yourself, with help.)
- Opportunities to check your own work, or submit it for personalized expert feedback. You won’t have to guess whether you got it right—we validate that you know what you are doing.
- A go-at-your-own-pace learning environment, where you can work through the challenges at a speed that works for you, and on your own schedule.
Linux on Azure: Up and Running and Linux on Azure: Security, Scalability and Availability are the first two courses that are designed around solutions. We will be able to create, and more importantly update, these courses quickly, so they will always be fresh.
We are excited about this, because now you can be certain that by the end of each course you have learned what you need to learn. Your proof of success will be in the challenges that you have completed.