Frequently Asked Questions

MIMIC Virtual Lab Cloud Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated Mon Sep 27 15:03:35 EDT 2010

Table of Contents



Q. What is a "gambit"?

A. A "gambit" is a term from the game of chess, a risky opening move with high potential return. Also see Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Main Entry: gam·bit
Pronunciation: 'gam-b&t
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian gambetto, literally, act of tripping someone, from gamba
leg, from Late Latin gamba, camba, from Greek kampE bend; probably akin to
Gothic hamfs maimed, Lithuanian kampas corner Date: 1656
1 : a chess opening in which a player risks one or more minor pieces to
  gain an advantage in position
2 a (1) : a remark intended to start a conversation or make a telling point
    (2) : TOPIC
  b : a calculated move : STRATAGEM

Q. What is the difference between the Cloud product and the desktop product?

A. The MIMIC Virtual Lab Cloud product is an online, SaaS (Software as a Service) offering. You rent and access your lab over the internet through any of the standard web browsers. The lab actually runs on one of our servers. Since no software needs to be installed, you can access your lab in under one minute.

The MIMIC Virtual Lab desktop products have to be installed on your PC. You can access the lab whether connected to the internet or not. This allows you to practice even if you are offline, eg. on a plane.

The Cloud product runs on any recent version of the most popular web browsers on any platform (PC, MAC, Unix, for details see next section). The desktop product runs only on Windows and Linux.

The desktop products have a few more features that the Cloud product does not:

  • no network delay or connectivity problems
  • no time limitations
  • complete control over your lab
  • ability to rearrange the lab connections
  • guided, interactive exercises
  • TFTP file transfer

Q. What is the difference between the free DEMO and the rental pod?

A. The free DEMO pod times out after a short period (currently 30 minutes), after which the pod is reset. You have a limited number of times that you can login to the DEMO. It has the exact same IOS features as the rental and allows access to 4 tutorial exercises. It is meant to give you an idea of the usefulness of the product to practice for your CCNA exam.

The rental lasts for 7, 30 or 90 days. In addition, it allows access to many more tutorial exercises, and does not show any advertising. During the rental you can access your pod from any internet-connected web browser (but from only one location simultaneously, see details below).

The DEMO pod has an advertising frame at the upper right, whereas there is no advertising in the rental pod.

Q. What web browsers are supported?

A. The MIMIC Virtual Lab Cloud GUI supports recent versions of the most popular web browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 7.0 and newer
  • Firefox 3 and newer
  • Safari
  • Chrome
  • Opera 10.10 and newer

On certain browsers, the default configuration is too restrictive to allow advanced features of the Cloud GUI. Once you access your lab, the welcome screen alerts you to any changes you have to make for your browser.

The GUI uses a Java applet by default to Telnet into the devices in the pod. Normally your browser has the Java plugin already installed. You may have to install it if you want to use the Telnet applet. Otherwise you can use any Telnet client you wish.

In addition, we have released a free Apple iPhone/iPod/iPad app on the AppStore.

Q. What availability guarantees do I have about my reserved lab?

The MIMIC Virtual Lab Cloud is designed to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7), and to have an uptime of 99.95% (during the trailing 12-month period). There are some factors outside of our control impacting availability of the MIMIC Virtual Lab Cloud, including

  • network between your system and our servers is down
  • malfunctions in your system (both hardware and software)

which are not covered by this guarantee.

If at any time a rented pod that you reserved is not accessible due to downtime of the MIMIC Virtual Lab Cloud for any part of a day, we will extend your reservation by a full day. To be sure to get credit, you have to send an e-mail to at the time that the problem occurs with the access URL of your pod. That will allow us to diagnose your problem.

We will automatically extend your reservation due to scheduled maintenance outages, which we will post with sufficient notice.

Q. Can I zoom into the lab?

A. If the font or pictures appear too small on your browser, then you can zoom into it.

On most browsers this is done with Ctrl + (simultaneously press the Ctrl and + keys). You can zoom in until you are comfortable. You can then zoom out with Ctrl -. You can restore the default view with Crtl 0. This has been tested to work with Internet Explorer and Firefox, and other browsers may have different ways of zooming.

On the iPhone, you use the zoom gesture.

Q. How many computers can I access the lab from?

A. You can access the MIMIC Virtual Lab Cloud from any computer through the internet. But, a pod can only be accessed from one computer. Thus, you can use your pod first from your home computer, then from your iPhone on the way to school or your laptop at any Wifi station, and then from your school computer. You can even let your friends access your pod, but while they are using it, you will not be able to.

In order to do that, you just need to bookmark the URL you received in your rental confirmation e-mail. After that, you can access your pod through that URL from any computer. Any access that was done previously from other computers will be terminated.

Q. How can I submit a screen capture from my iPhone?

If iCCNAlab does not work correctly on your Apple iPhone / iPod / iPad, you can take a screen capture by pressing the Home and Power buttons simultaneously. The screen shot will be stored in your Photos, which you can then attach in an email to our support team.

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