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Last of the 2017 Hands-on Labs Released!

It’s the final day of releasing labs the 2017 catalog and we have some rather unique labs for you.  We are releasing the VxRail, VMware Learning Platform and vCloud Director for Service Providers Hands-on Labs today.


The first lab, VxRail, covers the installation and management of the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance (HCIA).  You will see how the appliance is initially configured, then walk through the features, management and monitoring and also see how to expand and extend the appliance.

The next lab covering the VMware Learning Platform is another of my favorites.  This lab gives you an inside look at how we deliver the Hands-on Labs to you.  If you are interested in how we host the labs or are interested in how to deliver lab content to your users, this is the lab for you!


Finally, if you are a vCloud Air Network partner and need to come up to speed on vCloud Director, you will want to take a look at the VMware vCloud Director for Service Providers lab.  It will walk you through building out your Infrastructure as a Service platform.  If you are a customer that utilizes vCloud Air or services from one of our vCloud Air Network partners, there is a section in this lab that covers consumption of vCloud Director resources.

That’s it!  The Lab SKU link below will take you directly to the lab entry where you can start taking the lab.  Also, you can download any of the lab manuals from the Hands-on Labs Document site.

Lab SKU Description Archived 2016 Lab
HOL-1728-SDC-1 VxRail Introduction HOL-SDC-1628
HOL-1785-HBD-1 VMware Learning Platform: How You Can Deliver Your Own Hands-On Labs HOL-HBD-1685
HOL-1787-USE-1 VMware vCloud Director for Service Providers: Build IaaS Platforms N/A

That’s all for now!  A big thank you to the volunteers who created this content and the most amazing catalog I think we’ve ever had.  Stay tuned as we will be providing an update for our global users and localized Hands-on Labs manuals shortly!


New Horizon and Challenge Labs Released!

Today is one of my favorite release days!  We are releasing the remainder of our Horizon and Challenge labs for the 2017 Hands-on Labs catalog.

There is some great new content we are releasing in the Mobility catalog for Horizon.  These labs focus on Identity Manager and application management and delivery with App Volumes and ThinApp.  We also have updated the F5 and Horizon integration lab.


What I am really excited to release are the new Challenge labs and yes, I am a bit biased towards them!  Last year, we tested the waters with the vSphere 6 Challenge lab.  We were not sure how it would be received, but it did end up being one of the top three labs and we received phenomenal feedback from those that took it.

So today I am pleased to present three new Challenge labs covering Horizon, vRealize Automation and vSphere.  These are in addition to the two we have already released for vRealize Operations and Virtual SAN.  If you are not familiar with Challenge labs, we work with our friends in Global Support Services to understand the most common issues customers contact them about.  We then replicate those in the Hands-on Labs.  So while these labs are a great way to test your skills, they may also save you a call to VMware Support in the future.


And finally, just for Mark Achtemichuk, we are releasing the vSphere 6 Performance and Optimization lab.  This is another one of my favorites.  If you are curious about optimizing your environment or how to troubleshoot performance issue, this is the lab for you!  For this lab, we worked with Mark and our friends in the VMware Performance group to help create this one.

Here are the links to the new labs for today.  If you don’t see your favorite lab listed, well, check back tomorrow!  We will have everything in the 2017 catalog released.  You can click on the lab SKU link to be taken directly to the lab entry and start taking the lab.  Also, you can download any of the lab manuals from the Hands-on Labs Document site!

Lab SKU Description Archived 2016 Lab
HOL-1704-SDC-1 vSphere 6: Performance Optimization HOL-SDC-1604
HOL-1704-CHG-2 vSphere 6: Challenge Lab HOL-CHG-1695
HOL-1753-MBL-1 VMware Identity Manager 2.6: Application Management and Delivery HOL-MBL-1653, HOL-MBL-1654
HOL-1753-MBL-2 User Applications: Delivery and Lifecycle Management HOL-MBL-1653, HOL-MBL-1654
HOL-1759-MBL-1 F5 Integration with VMware Horizon Suite HOL-MBL-1659
HOL-1759-USE-3 Horizon 7: Load Balancing HOL-MBL-1659
HOL-1759-USE-4 Identity Manager, App Volumes and Mirage: Load Balancing HOL-MBL-1659
HOL-1790-CHG-1 vRealize Automation: Challenge Lab N/A
HOL-1791-CHG-1 Horizon 7: Challenge Lab N/A


Be sure to check back tomorrow as we will be releasing the last few labs in the 2017 catalog!

New Networking and Cloud Native Apps Hands-on Labs Released!

Today we are releasing the reaming network and Cloud Native Apps labs in 2017 Hands-on Labs catalog.  While we have already released the HOL-1703 and HOL-1725 series of NSX based content, today’s labs focus on VMware Integrated OpenStack and Partner solutions from Check Point and Trend Micro.


These also contain our first vertical solutions for Healthcare and the Teclo industry.  HOL-1741-USE-1 shows a use case on how Horizon, NSX and Trend Micro can help secure and protect the healthcare environment, but in practice, these solutions can be applied to any industry.

The VMware Network Functions Virtualization lab (HOL-1786-HBD-1) covers how communication service providers can virtualize network service functions to reduce CapEx and OpEx, while improving service agility.


As an added bonus, we are releasing the much anticipated Cloud Native Apps labs today.  These where slated to be released later this week, but with the announcement at VMworld Europe of updates to the Photon Platform, we have received a number of requests for their release!  Along with the Photon Platform lab, we are also releasing the vSphere Integrated Containers lab.

Here are the links to the labs we have for you today.  You can click on the Lab SKU link to be taken directly to the lab entry and start taking the lab.  Also, you can download any of the lab manuals from the Hands-on Labs Document site.

Lab SKU Description Archived 2016 Lab
HOL-1720-SDC-1 VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) with vSphere and NSX HOL-SDC-1620
HOL-1724-SDC-1 Advanced SDDC Security with Check Point vSEC and NSX N/A
HOL-1730-USE-1 vSphere Integrated Containers HOL-SDC-1630
HOL-1730-USE-2 Cloud Native Apps With Photon Platform HOL-SDC-1630
HOL-1741-USE-1 Horizon and NSX/Trend Micro: Use Cases to Secure and Protect Healthcare HOL-MBL-1661
HOL-1786-USE-1 vCloud Network Functions Virtualization N/A

If you attended VMworld, you may have noticed some Hands-on Labs staff wearing the Yellow (banana) shirts.  They were focused on assisting attendees with NSX and networking questions and are also affectionately known as “Tina’s Minions”!  Hi Keith!


Stay tuned as we continue to release new labs this week!

Final Round of 2017 Hands-on Labs to be Released!

The wait is finally over!  We are back from VMworld Europe and will be releasing the remaining labs in the 2017 Hands-on Labs catalog over the coming days.  Today’s release will focus on the Top 10 series labs.  These are labs that proved to be popular at VMworld and have yet to be released.


As a reminder, when we add a new 2017 lab, the corresponding 2016 lab will retired to the HOL Archives catalog, where it will eventually be decommissioned on December 1st, 2016.  Keep in mind that we are significantly reducing the “pre-pops” for the older 1600 series labs that are in the Archive catalog to make room for the new content.  If you do choose to take a lab from the Archive catalog, you may wait a bit longer for the Lab Status indicator to display “Ready”.

You can review my previous post to see which lab(s) will be retired when a new a lab is made available, where to find the older lab and what to watch out for.


Without further delay, here are the new labs available for you!  If you don’t see your favorite lab listed, keep checking back throughout the week.  You can click on the lab SKU link to be taken directly to the lab entry and start taking the lab.  Also, you can download any of the lab manuals from the Hands-on Labs Document site!

Lab SKU Description Archived 2016 Lab
HOL-1705-SDC-1 Site Recovery Manager: Data Center Migration and Disaster Recovery HOL-SDC-1605
HOL-1721-USE-1 vRealize Automation 7 Basics HOL-SDC-1621, HOL-SDC-1633
HOL-1721-USE-2 vRealize Automation 7 Advanced HOL-SDC-1632
HOL-1721-USE-3 vRealize Automation Advanced Extensibility HOL-SDC-1632
HOL-1721-USE-4 DevOps with vRealize Code Stream HOL-SDC-1621
HOL-1721-SDC-5 Introduction to vRealize Orchestrator HOL-SDC-1632
HOL-1721-SDC-6 vSphere Automation with PowerCLI HOL-SDC-1607
HOL-1781-HBD-1 VMware vCloud Air – Jump Start for vSphere Admins HOL-HBD-1681
HOL-1783-HBD-1 VMware vCloud Air – Manage Your Cloud HOL-HBD-1683
HOL-1784-HBD-1 VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery HOL-HBD-1684

Thank you for your continued support of the Hands-on Labs and to the volunteers that make all of this possible!14

New 2017 VMware Hands-on Labs Released!

Today we are releasing labs from the VMware Hands-on Labs 2017 Catalog.  These labs were first released at VMworld US in Las Vegas and are now available to you!


While we won’t be releasing all the labs in the catalog just yet, we did need to release some of them for upcoming events, like SociaLabs.  If you haven’t heard of or attended a SociaLab, you are missing out on a great opportunity to connect with experts outside of the Hands-on Labs at VMworld.  Visit the SociaLab page to find event near you! Continue reading

Transitioning to the 2017 Hands-on Labs

As we prepare to get the latest labs out to you after VMworld, we want to make sure you are prepared for what’s to come. The process is similar to what we have done in year’s past and we will start rolling out a few labs after VMworld in Las Vegas, with the majority coming after VMworld in Barcelona. Continue reading

New Hands-on Labs at VMworld 2016


VMworld US 2016 is less than a week away. The Hands-on Labs team cannot wait to connect with everyone in Las Vegas as we unveil our new 2017 content catalog. VMworld attendees are the first to experience the labs that are deployed online throughout the following calendar year. This year is no exception, with over 70 lab topics covering vSphere tech preview material, integration with VMware partner solutions, updated NSX content, new Virtual SAN labs, Airwatch, Horizon and vCloud Air. The VMware Hands-on Labs showcase the power of VMware products and solutions in real time. Be sure to visit the Hands-on Labs, Sunday through Thursday, at VMworld US 2016 in Las Vegas.

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New link for the vCloud Air Hands-on Labs

New Link for VMware vCloud Air Hands-on LabsFriends,

Just a quick update we have moved the vCloud Air Hands-on Labs to a new site. Please note you will need to use your myvmware login to access the labs.

The new link: http://vcloud.vmware.com/explore-vcloud-air/try-cloud-computing-hol

Thanks much and enjoy your labs !

Continuing our efforts in raising awareness for Women in Technology – VMware Hands-on Labs


VMware Hands-on Labs team supporting local She ++ event in Mt. View CA


Just wanted to call out one of the things we strongly believe in is raising awareness around women in technology, and more importantly, helping those who are just getting started in their college and work careers.

Recently, an opportunity to make an impact on supporting women in technology came up with she++ Gala event held at the Computer History Musuem in Mountain View, CA. The she++ event encouraged “all ages and level of experience or aspiration in technology” to attend. Some of the event highlights were she++ high school fellows’ and college ambassadors’ projects featured, eight companies demonstrating their technology and the opportunity to mingle with industry mentors and students.

Our VMware Hands-on Labs team jumped at the chance to volunteer building awareness around VMware’s technology and the VMwomen Initiative. During the event we showcased the Hands-on Labs and explained how easy it is to learn about our products and the problems we solve. Tina W, Anita K , Pablo R and Joey D spoke with folks new to the industry to provide a sense of what VMware does and the problems we solve for the planet, such as reducing datacenter footprint and accelerate business utilizing our Cloud solutions.

So our message for women thinking about going into a technology field, Consider and Explore. You may find a rewarding career in solving real problems with technology and better yet, work with smart, inspirational people.

Additionally, a Big Thanks goes out to Chris Romano who started the awareness effort and special thanks to Tina Walsworth, Anita Kapadia and Kristen Taylor for helping us design and execute on the she ++ Event.

Explore VMware Products – Take a Hands-on Lab – and join the High Technology Industry.

VMware Hands-on Labs Team

Hands-on Labs Spring Release and vForum Online Spring 2016

How we put our Software Defined Data Center through its paces (and terrified our Architects)

On April 19, 2016, our team hosted Hands-on Labs at the VMware Americas vForum Online Event. This event had over 17,000 registered attendees and featured some of the new and newly-updated labs that are part of our 2016 spring release. With an attendee base nearly the size of a VMworld event, this was a nontrivial undertaking.

We wanted to share with you an peek into how we provided and released the latest Hands-on Labs at this massive online event. If you work in a datacenter and appreciate the challenges of capacity management, this may be particularly interesting to you. At the end of the post, I will highlight the new labs we have released. I think we have some new content that is exciting enough to release outside of our typical release cycle.

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