Virtual lab automation solutions like VMLogix LabManager are used to manage internal/private clouds in the enterprise. The figure below demonstrates a typical deployment of VMLogix LabManager and the private cloud that is managed by it.
Users (e.g., developers, testers, support staff, pre-sales, demo, training etc.) connect to the LabManager server using a web browser. The LabManager server manages a set of virtualization hosts. The virtualization hosts are connected to shared storage; and the shared storage is used to retain the VM templates, VMs, clones and other lab artifacts such as user scripts and licenses.
Users can self-serve their lab infrastructure requirements through LabManager. For e.g., a user testing software can request or create a n-tier configuration which can then be deployed on any of the virtual hosts.
On the other hand, LabManager administrators maintain overall policies and administration control over the deployment. VMLogix LabManager in addition handles the license compliance on the deployed VMs and the sharing of VMs between the multiple users. In addition users can use LabManager to IP Zone (network fence) the configurations. Storage use is optimized through the use of delta-disk technology (linked clones) and administrators can maintain overall user quotas.
These capabilities enable lab administrators to deploy a lab self service framework, where lab users can access and create the required infrastructure (for testing, demo, training etc.) with minimal or no administrator intervention required.
Here is a brief demo of a self service environment enabled by a virtual lab automation solution: