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Welcome to Virtual Lab

 Nishchal K. Verma

Virtualization is a ground-breaking technology that promises quantifiable benefits for advisors and trainees associated with academic institutions. Inculcating virtualization can help deploy labs faster; manual set-up work can be reduced significantly, while allocating resources greater flexibility can be achieved. However, adopting virtualization in a transient lab environment is quite a challenging task. Centralizing hardware labs, implementing a virtual lab automation solution, building a virtual image library and managing virtual machine sprawl can be too costly to warrant the investment that virtualization requires. Virtual Lab is a new generation of virtualization solution available as an on demand service over the Web. Because it’s a service, which enables academic institutions to scale down lab resources needed. Users gain immediate access to a full featured virtual lab management application that enables collaboration across globally distributed teams using a shared virtual infrastructure. Some of the key benefits of virtual lab includes, Virtually eliminating infrastructure resource constraints, Dramatically reducing the time to set up and tear down complex environments, Increase software quality by reproducing and resolving defects, Increase test coverage, Facilitate better collaboration across globally distributed team Shorter test cycles, Convert costly up-front capital lab expenditures into needs-based operational expenditures, Cut administrative overhead and server sprawl.

Virtual Lab Setup

The purpose of Instrumentation Lab is to learn about some of the basic experiments using modern test and measurement systems. Such systems comprise a mixture of analog electronic devices, like sensors and actuators, with digital data acquisition and control. An analog device is one that uses the level of an electrical signal (often the voltage) to represent the measured value of a physical quantity being observed (say displacement or temperature), or being applied by an actuator (say force or movement). A good example of such a device is a pressure transducer. The transducer has a diaphragm that moves when the pressure changes. The diaphragm is wired up as a part of an electrical circuit. When the circuit is supplied with power (voltage from an electrical power supply) the transducer provides an output voltage that is proportional to the pressure. Like the pressure transducer, all sensors and most actuators are analog devices. A digital device (usually a computer) is one in which the physical quantity is represented as a number. To make a modern measurement or control system work, we need devices that can convert the analog voltage signal produced by a transducer to a series of digital numbers, and that can convert a similar string of numbers back into the voltage signal needed by an actuator.