With 75% of cloud leaders looking to default to cloud computing, technologists need to double-down on their cloud skills. And since 62% of technologists prefer hands-on learning tools, our cloud experts developed and launched a new custom cloud sandbox environment for our ACG Business users to bridge the gap between what leaders expect from their teams and what those teams can reasonably accomplish.
Hands-on cloud training matters for the cloud
Leaders and technologists alike identified cloud security as the number one skills gap and the number one roadblock to cloud maturity. So how do you build cloud security skills without breaking the budget? With cloud sandboxes.
These sandbox environments have existed for years. Each of the major cloud service providers—AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud—have their own sandbox environments for technologists to learn their platforms and prepare for cloud certifications. Since April 2022, the A Cloud Guru team has built hands-on learning tools to better equip technologists for cloud certifications and long-term cloud success.
With the added complexities of cloud computing, it’s no surprise technologists like to get their hands dirty before they play with real data. And these sandbox environments let technologists practice in a real-world scenario without the risk of breaking existing code bases, features, or ongoing development. It allows “free play” and exploration of cloud computing services without risk to the integrity of your cloud infrastructure.
Most leaders already understand the value these sandbox environments bring to cloud security practices, with over 60% of businesses already providing a sandbox environment for their technologists. But the true value is in customization.
Introducing custom cloud sandbox environments
A Cloud Guru’s latest feature launch for ACG Business Plus users, Custom Cloud Sandboxes, gives you a safe, risk-free way to experiment with new cloud computing services or practice cloud configuration in a sandbox environment customized to your cloud infrastructure. With more than 500 services supported across AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), custom sandbox environments provide real-world cloud training without the fear of breaking something in your live production environment.
This new hands-on skill development experience allows basic and theoretical cloud literacy skills to be transformed into hands-on-expertise. This is the type of practical cloud training that helps organizations mitigate technical errors and risks to their cloud environment.
This new sandbox environment builds upon ACG’s existing Cloud Playground functionality. It enhances your user experience by giving you a completely pre-configured cloud sandbox environment—with services and configurations you choose—to safely and quickly practice new skills. Additionally, the time limit for all active sandbox environments is now up to eight hours per session for all ACG Business users, twice as long as the previous four-hour limit for Cloud Playgrounds. Whether you use AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, or a combination of all three, it’s easy to build experiences unique to your organization.
Benefits of custom cloud sandbox environments
Sandbox environments give technologists a chance to experience a real-world cloud computing environment while leaders can sit back and relax because their cloud infrastructure is safe from any errant keystrokes. It’s a win-win.
Custom sandbox environments sweeten the deal even more. It’s one thing for a technologist to learn what a cloud computing environment looks and feels like, but playing in a mock environment exactly like the one they’ll work in everyday is a completely different ball game. It’s the difference between reading a book about football and joining an intramural team. Custom sandbox environments provide missing context and real-world experience.
For technologists: Access a cloud sandbox that looks just like your live environment
As a technologist, custom sandbox environments save you time. Instead of starting from scratch with an empty default sandbox environment, you can jump right into a pre-configured environment that automatically loads your company’s cloud services and resources.
This pre-configured environment allows you to quickly spin up custom sandbox environments that build confidence and skills specific to your job role—skills you’ll need before hopping into your company’s live production environment.
You can use Custom Cloud Sandboxes in a secure, controlled environment to safely troubleshoot your live environment, practice in the same cloud environment you’ll be working in, and experiment with the latest cloud services to see how well they integrate into your production environment.
For leaders: Close the cloud computing skills gap faster
As a manager, you can assign custom sandbox environments to individuals, teams, or your entire organization to let them safely and quickly practice new skills needed for on-the-job success.
You can use this new hands-on experience to:
- Create learning experiences tailored to your org that upskill staff to new cloud services
- Efficiently onboard new hires on your existing tech stack
- Save money from not having company-owned or managed sandboxes
- Protect your actual production environment from risk
What customers are saying
We asked Nordcloud, an IBM company and one of our beta testers, to share their experience.
“My training programs at Nordcloud place an emphasis on creating consultants who are highly skilled in the cloud hyperscalers,” said Alexander Arts, a Launchpad Cloud Architect/Azure Technical Trainer at Nordcloud. “With ACG’s Custom Cloud Sandboxes, we will be able to provide learning that is focused and intentional. One very important aspect is the level of customization. Custom Cloud Sandboxes reflect our organization’s specific services and configurations that will prepare our consultants with the capabilities to ensure customer success.”
To sum it all up, custom sandbox environments help you mitigate human error, sharpen cloud skills in a risk-free environment, and reduce ramp time for new hires or existing staff.