Labs labs labs
There are different projects with "Labs" in their name. Depending on the context, people may be referring to one of these three. To avoid further confusion, use their proper name.
- Wikimedia Labs, a cloud computing infrastructure (maintained by Wikimedia Operations).
- Tool Labs, a platform for web services and bots run by volunteers (maintained by Wikimedia Operations).
- Beta Cluster, a small wiki farm running the latest alpha version of MediaWiki. Sometimes improperly called "Beta labs" (maintained by Wikimedia Release Engineering)
Wikimedia Labs (or Labs for short) provides cloud computing infrastructure for people doing Wikimedia-related work. The virtual machines are powered by the OpenStack software, administered through Horizon (and historically through special pages on this wiki). The environment also provides auxiliary services, such as shared NFS storage, and access to live replica databases of Wikimedia Foundation wikis.
Tool Labs and Beta Cluster are just two of many projects run on virtual machines hosted in Wikimedia Labs.
See this list of other projects, for other examples.
More information at https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Labs.
Tool Labs (or Tools) is a platform for volunteers to easily run web services, bots and other applications. Users deploy applications directly onto a shared Grid Engine, and use other shared services (such as Redis). Users have the comfort of not needing to become system administrators of any (virtual) servers or hardware, instead the platform is entirely provided by Wikimedia Operations.
The Tool Labs platform is powered by Wikimedia Labs, but this aspect is not relevant to its users.
More information at Help:Tool Labs.
The Beta Cluster is a small wiki farm used to test code changes that affect Wikimedia wikis. It runs the latest alpha version of the MediaWiki software and closely matches the configuration of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia sites.
It should also not be confused with the following.
- Beta Features, a MediaWiki extension deployed both on live sites and the Beta Cluster for incubating new features.
- Mobile Beta features
This is why one should avoid referring to Beta Cluster as merely "Beta".
The project housing the virtual machines of the Beta Cluster in Wikimedia Labs is still named "deployment-prep". Unfortunately, renaming that project is not possible at the moment.
More information at Beta Cluster.
Other usage of the term labs
- The database of Wikitech (this wiki) is named "labswiki" and "labswiki" is sometimes used when refering to Wikitech.
- The main portal of the Beta Cluster, deployment.wikimedia.beta.wmflabs.org ("deploymentwiki") was formerly known as "labswiki". 
- Wikitech was formerly called "labsconsole".