Cloud labs

Tags: Skills

This article covers Pluralsight-created Cloud Labs. For information on self-paced Google Cloud labs powered by Qwiklabs, please check this article.

Who can use this?

 StndPremStrtProEnt
Learners:  ++(✓)
Managers:     
Admins:     
+ Available as a plan add-on
(✓) Included for 5% of users on plan; add'l licenses available as a plan add-on


What are cloud labs?

Cloud labs enable hands-on practice in a provided cloud environment. Each lab includes challenges with step-by-step instructions and access to pre-configured and live cloud environments.

Additonally, cloud labs:

  • Are a secure, temporary, and Pluralsight-provided sandbox environment supporting step-by-step, hands-on practice with various technologies in the provider's instance.
  • Are cost effective. Pluralsight provides the credentials and environments.
  • Are composed of written guided instruction helping you through various skills, such as setting up and managing cloud infrastructure.
  • Self-guided. We do not check your work in a lab.
  • Timed. Each lab environment is a timed instance for using a providers' credentials.
  • Are short. Time to complete a lab varies, but typically takes between 30-90 minutes with options to extend that time.

Check the quick start guide below, or for more details, check the How do cloud labs work? section below.

Cloud labs quick start guide

  1. Select a Pluralsight-built cloud lab and click Start lab. Each cloud lab is a timed instance with options to extend that time.
  2. Click on the Open [cloud provider] console button found on the Lab info panel on the right. Clicking this opens the lab provider's site in a new tab.
  3. Copy the provided credentials found in the Lab info panel and paste them in the cloud provider page.
  4. Follow the challenge and task instructions found within the lab.
  5. Click Next in the Pluralsight lab after completing each challenge until you finish the lab.

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How do cloud labs fit into my learning?

Use cloud labs to practice and apply what you've learned from the courses you've taken within Skills.

For example, say you're learning about Amazon Web Services (AWS). You've watched multiple courses, taken a Skill IQ, and are ready to apply what you've learned. Cloud labs serve to fill that hands-on need to practice and apply in a real-world environment.

Cloud labs are a great way to connect prior skills and knowledge to newly learned skills and knowledge. Find cloud labs paired with associated content in select cloud certification preparation paths.

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Where can I find cloud labs?

Find cloud labs in the following areas on Skills:

  • From the labs index page.
  • On the Browse flyout menu under Spotlight.
  • Using the search feature.
  • From within certain path page where a lab exists, for example, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) certification paths.
  • If you've started a lab, find those on your Home page within your Continue learning carousel.

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How do cloud labs work?

Important: Prior to starting a cloud lab, we highly recommend setting your browser to incognito/private mode. This helps prevent issues related to autofilling credentials and browser extensions.

Let's take a look at the main components and features making up a cloud lab. Please use the screenshot below as reference.

A. Labs timer and progress bar

The timer found in the top left corner of every cloud lab indicates how long your temporary environment is valid. Cloud labs cannot be paused. The timer will count down even if you leave a lab. If the timer expires, your environment will reset and you will need to start over from the beginning.

Don't worry though! If you run out of time, we'll prompt you to extend the time at 5 minutes remaining giving you the option to add 10 minutes. This can be done up to 3 times, totaling 30 extra minutes.

The progress bar tracks your path through the cloud lab and indicates how much further you have to completion.

Important: Once you've completed a cloud lab or the timer runs out, nothing you've done is saved. We wipe all work done in the lab and cycle each lab instance. There is nothing you need to do on your end.

B. Challenges and tasks

Each cloud lab is made up of a series of challenges. In the example above, our lab is "Collect inventory with Systems Manager" and one of our challenges is to "Launch EC2 instances for your organization".

Tasks are the numbered instructions under each challenge. These help you through the challenges and serve to guide your navigation through the cloud-provider environment.

C. Labs info panel

Every lab takes you to a live environment. 

Click the Open [cloud provider] console button to open the the provider's environment in a separate tab. Copy the credentials we provide in the Lab info panel, and paste them into the cloud providers environment.

Important: Please always use the Pluralsight-provided credentials to log in to the provided environment.

There's also a table of content displayed to help you understand and navigate to the various challenges.

Additional features

In addition to the main components of the cloud lab, we also provide the following:

  • A toggle for light and dark mode.
  • Closing and opening of labs info panel on the right.
  • A feedback submission form.

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Troubleshooting cloud labs issues

Hey, sometimes things happen. We're happy to help you through it!

Please use the guide below for troubleshooting common cloud labs issues.

IssueReason you may see this issueTry this
The lab environment is not loading or really slow to load.Pluralsight is setting up the cloud lab environment which can sometimes take a bit of time to load.If prompted, click Retry. Sometimes, waiting a bit is necessary for a lab to load the environment. This can take a few seconds to around 1 minute. Alternatively, trying a different browser may help resolve the issue.
Credentials for the cloud provider keep auto-fillingThis could be an issue with your password manager or saved logins.Try the lab using your browser's incognito/private mode. We use specific credentials for each lab, so please always copy/paste the credentials listed in the lab.
I'm running into issues, errors, or problems on the cloud provider's site.There could be any number of issues happening on the cloud provider's instance.Visit the cloud provider's site documentation and/or reach out to their support team.

For additional assistance while you are in the cloud provider's site, please reference that provider's documentation or reach out to their support team.

If you come across issues on the AWS site, please contact AWS support.

If you come across issues on the Azure site, please contact Azure support.

Pluralsight support cannot provide assistance for issues concerning a cloud provider's environment or instance.

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If you need help, please email support@pluralsight.com for 24/7 assistance.