Azure Lab Services is a cloud based classroom enabling students and instructors to access virtual machines (VM's) for lab assignments within iSchool courses. If you are the Professor of Record for an iSchool (IST) course and are interested in having a VM provisioned for your courses, please contact iSchool's Technology Services team by emailing


Before a Professor of Record can access Azure Lab Services they must work with the iSchool's Technology Services team to have a lab environment created in Azure and a base virtual machine setup for the instructor to configure and serve as a starting template --to be duplicated and distributed to each student in their course.

  • VM Images

    • CentOS-based 8.3
    • Data Science Virtual Machine - Ubuntu 18.04
    • Data Science Virtual Machine - Windows Server 2019
    • SQL Server 2019 Standard on Windows Server 2019
    • Visual Studio 2019 Community (latest release) on Windows 10 Enterprise N (x64)
    • Windows 10 Pro N, version 2004
    • Windows 10 Pro, version 2004
    • Windows Server 2019 Datacenter
  • VM Sizes

    iSchool environment will be deployed with the Medium/Medium (nested virtualization) by default based on our operating budget.

    For special request, please email to discuss your use case.

    Listed below are the different VM sizes offered by the Azure Lab Services. More information/options can be found in the  (Lab Services Guide).

    SizesMinimum SpecsSuggested use
    • 2 cores
    • 3.5 gigabytes (GB) RAM
    Best suited for command line, opening web browser, low-traffic web servers, small to medium databases.
    • 4 cores
    • 7 GB RAM
    Best suited for relational databases, in-memory caching, and analytics.
    Medium (nested virtualization)
    • 4 cores
    • 16 GB RAM
    Best suited for relational databases, in-memory caching, and analytics. This size also supports nested virtualization.

Accessing Azure Lab Services

After Technology Services has created the lab environment, you should get an email notification. You can log into Azure Lab services by navigating to and providing your Syracuse University email address and password.

Configuring Your Lab Template

  • On the left side navigation pane, select Template. This tab should be all you need to configure your image.
  •  Start your template.

It will take a few minutes for your template to start up.
  • When your template has finished starting, and changed to 'running', click Connect to Template in the toolbar.

This will present you with a download screen, looking to save an RDP file.
  • On windows you can open with the native Remote Desktop Connection application.
  • Mac users will need to install the Microsoft Remote Desktop application from the Apple App store to use the RDP protocol.
  • After you connect to your lab template, configure this template machine for your course. Any changes you make within this machine  will be use as a base template for deployment to to --creating a base template image for your course.
  • After you have made your changes, stop your running template by selecting the 'stop template' button in the toolbar.

Export Your Lab Template

  • When your template has been configured and stopped, you can then export the template to the Shared Image Gallery. Exporting a template takes roughly 1 hour. This image will be use to deploy for all sections of a course.

  • Please email once your template has been exported. We will deploy it to all sections of a course.