Typically when we see slow performance in a classroom environment, there are two possible contributing factors to consider. (We'll use US-Central for this example, but please use whichever region is applicable.)
Latency or Bandwidth?
The first possible source of slowness is latency, which is a measurement of how long it takes for information to travel between two points - in this case, this will be the connection between your local classroom and the US-Central Skytap data center. High latency can be caused by a few different sources, including the configuration of the network you are on, unusually high internet usage along the route of your connection, configuration of your local computer, geographic distance, or faulty/congested routing systems on the connection path.
The second possible source of slowness is bandwidth, which is how much traffic the network can support. In past instances where our customers have seen bandwidth issues, sometimes it's a combination of a number of students simultaneously using Skytap, plus everyone connected to a shared WebEx, and then someone else at the facility using data intensive apps or running OS updates. While testing with just the students was fine, adding the other data streams that happen during a live class would leave insufficient bandwidth for Skytap.
Testing your connection
Test your latency
You can test your latency by running the Connectivity Checker against the US-Central data center: https://cloud.skytap.com/connectivity
Test your bandwidth
You can test your bandwidth by running the Skytap Speed Test against the US-Central data center: http://speedtest.skytap.com/
It's not always easy to run these when the problems are at their worst, but we'll learn the most from them if you're able to do so. Please be sure to run them while connected to the network at the training center.
We recommend a latency of 150 ms or less. For bandwidth, we recommend that you have 1.2 Mb/sec download speed for each VM client connection.
Suggestions for improving latency
If you're seeing problems with latency, you may see improved performance if you're able to connect via a LAN rather than a wireless network; and if you disconnect from any VPNs you may be using.
We would also recommend using the Chrome browser, and updating it to the latest version, as Chrome utilizes the WebP image format which will improve performance in high latency or slow network conditions.
You may also wish to have your students change the VM display quality settings, To adjust the display, click Display Quality Button (Network Quality Indicator) in the toolbar and adjust the display quality. You can learn more about this at our Support Help page: https://help.skytap.com/improving-browser-client-performance.html
Suggestions for improving bandwidth
If you're seeing problems with bandwidth, we would recommend engaging with whoever is managing the network at your training facility. Let them know that you're seeing issues connecting to the following destination: srdc-uscentral.skytap.com (184.108.40.206). They may be able to help improve performance. It's possible that they have some kind of filtering or bandwidth limitations in place. We'd be happy to work with them if they would like to contact us directly.
You can find the domain name and IP address that carries client browser traffic at https://help.skytap.com/IP_Addresses_and_Port_Ranges.html#Remote
That page contains IP ranges for all of our regions, and for many different connection types. You're just looking for one - your region's Browser Access to VM Desktops entry.
- Connectivity checker: https://cloud.skytap.com/connectivity
- Skytap Speedtest: http://speedtest.skytap.com/
- Improving browser client performance: http://help.skytap.com/improving-browser-client-performance.html
- What IP addresses and port ranges does Skytap use: https://help.skytap.com/IP_Addresses_and_Port_Ranges.html