If you are a first-time user, we suggest that you read the web page below. It contains a step-by-step explanation (with screen shots) of what you’ll see when you log in, and how to use our environment.
What is CloudShare?
CloudShare's SaaS platform is a quick and easy way to share copies of your complex IT environments, online, so you can collaborate with customers, partners, and colleagues – for development and testing, demos, proofs of concept, training, and other use cases – without wasting time copying gigabytes of software or shipping machines and people.
Going beyond basic webinar or “virtual lab” offerings, CloudShare's solutions enable users’ extended interaction in dedicated “hands on” production-grade replicas of their existing IT infrastructure, delivered as cloud-based SaaS – while centrally monitoring and managing it all.
VMware, Cisco, SAP and others have adopted CloudShare as their vendor of choice to extend access to their virtual infrastructure from the Enterprise to the Cloud.
Step 1: Registration (a one-time process)
When you’re first approved as a user of CloudShare, and provided with an access URL in your emailed invitation, you’ll be asked to register. Registration enables CloudShare to save your preferences for future visits, across vendors.
Registration is a one-time process wherein you’ll choose your own username and password, and on submission, immediately be logged in to the system.
On future visits, to return to your environments, you can proceed directly to http://use.cloudshare.com.
Step 2: Overview of the Dashboard
When you first log in to the system, you’ll be presented with the blank “CloudShare Dashboard”. This management console is the heart of the CloudShare Enterprise solution.
Note: There are three user levels in the CloudShare Dashboard. Team Member – the most basic user level, with the most elemental dashboard, enables you only to issue environments to yourself and to other users, and customize each on an individual basis.
If you are a Team Manager or Campaign Manager, you will be able to build new environments (eg, add servers, storage, and networks), change environments or customize them, and add or view other Sales Engineers or Channel Partners and their staff usage – at which point your dashboard will be more complex, as shown here.
The Team Member level user tabs are defined as follows:
- Environments: Environments consist of machines, storage, networking, and preinstalled software, of which you and your invited users will each get an independent copy.
- Users: The end-users you invite to receive a copy of an environment. You’ll be able to track their acceptance and usage of the environments.
- Invitations: Emailed invitations issued by you to end users. When an end-user accepts an invitation, they’ll be granted a complete, fresh copy of an environment, based on what you assigned them.
- Usage: You can track usage of all of your issued environments.
For more information about the advanced functions, wherein the environments are built and other SEs or partners added (with associated analytics), accessed through tabs “Prototypes”, “Packages”, “Partners”, and “Usage”, please visit our forum.
Step 3: Start an IT Environment
Starting at the “Environments” tab, “My Environments” subtab, click on the “New Environment” button.
A new dialog box will appear, enabling you to specify some basic details about your environment.
These details include:
- Campaign: With which company initiative will this environment be associated? This information is useful in tracking and billing, and can be used in CRM systems – such as through CloudShare's Salesforce.com connector.
- Prototype: As a basic Team Member user, you can only choose from the set of environments (machine / network / storage / software configurations) that your campaign manager has pre-arranged for you.
- Package: Defines the amount of time the end-users to whom you email invitations will have use of the environment.
When you’ve selected your parameters, click “Create”. You’ll be returned to the main Environments” tab, “My Environments” sub-tab, and your environment will show as “Preparing”.
Your environment will usually be ready in less than 30 seconds.
Step 4: Explore Your Environment
When you have a running environment, you can begin to explore.
The simplest way to access your environment is via a web browser. (Please contact us for instructions on how to access the environment via dedicated RDP or other remote client, or how to link in your local enterprise servers and data via VPN).
To access the environment via a browser, click on any “View” link in the “Environments” tab, “My Environments” subtab.
What you’ll now see is exactly what any end-user you invite will see.
A new browser window will open, and you’ll see a mini website, branded as your company – the company you chose to demonstrate in Step 2, when you chose a Prototype.
The website contains your marketing materials, flash animation, “look and feel”, and most interestingly, a system layout diagram.
Click on the system layout tab.
Each server you see in the system layout is a machine you can access by clicking on it.
Go ahead and try! You’ll see an access window open, and present the relevant screen for that server.
Try changing that machine configuration, or installing (or uninstalling) software, then closing your browser window and logging in to CloudShare again. You’ll see that the changes you made are persistent in the environment.
Now, try issuing some environments to other people… and go back to the CloudShare dashboard to see who’s doing what.
Step 5: Issue Environments to Others
Let’s issue some environments to people. Every end-user you invite gets a completely fresh copy of the base “prototype” environment set up by your campaign manager, so you and your end-users can alter or customize each environment post-creation without fear of interfering with other environments.
To issue environments, click on the “New Invitation” button in the “Invitations” tab.
A new dialog box will appear, enabling you to specify some basic details about your invited user.
When you’ve selected your parameters, click “Create”. You’ll be returned to the main “Invitations” tab, and your invitation’s status will be shown.
Step 6: Explore basic analytics
After creating a few environments and having a few other people accept your invitations and try environments you issued, explore the Users and Usage tabs.
Next Steps: Advanced Features
Once you’ve exhausted the possibilities of your basic Sales Engineer-level environment, consider learning more about our advanced features, which include:
- Environment building (machine / network / storage / software configurations)
- VM Upload
- Scheduling training classes
- Salesforce.com integration
- SSD API integration
- Advanced Analytics
- Partner Management
- Advanced analytics
We’re eager to assist you. If you require additional help, please feel free to contact us.