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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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

The New VMware Hands-on Labs Dashboard

Keep track of our progress


We had a few moments in between our releases and wanted to share with you a little dashboard we put together to help us keep track of how things are going.

Loads of exciting items to track (I think this might apply mostly to HOL geeks like ourselves but just in case you are interested) Left to Right.

  1. Number of Active users – this refers to users who have created an account and actually have taken a lab.
  2. Total Labs Deployed – this is mostly a testament of the infrastructure the teams have put together. We are past 1/2 million labs deployed, or 6 million Virtual Machines since Jan 2013.
  3. Active Concurrent Users – This is as it implies – number of users actively taking a lab. What I really love about this gauge is that it is active all day long – to us this means our users from around the globe are using our service
  4. HOL in a Box Events – This is from our HOL in a Box request calendar that shows events coming up. If you are not aware you too can request capacity for your small training event. http://vmware.com/go/holinabox
  5. Top Trending Labs – Active Users – This is a real time feed of the popular labs at the moment, the number to the right indicates the number of users taking that lab.
  6. Current Visitor Map – Its nice to see users around the globe taking our labs

We hope you like our Dashboard – Please do send us any feedback.


VMware Hands-on Labs Team

Call for Partner Hands-on Labs Ideas


Do you have a brilliant idea that would showcase a Partner solution alongside a VMware product or Solution?

This week we kicked off our Partner submission process for the next round of Hands-on Labs for delivery at VMworld US 2016. You can review the Frequently Asked Questions about this year’s program here.  We are accepting submissions for Partner content that complements a VMware Solution and would be a good fit to show in a lab. Typically, we get a good response from our Technology Alliance Partners and OEMs, but the process is open to everyone.

In this upcoming development cycle, one change in the Hands-on Lab program is that all Partner related content will be shown alongside the VMware solution it relates to.  This approach offers better exposure to our Partners and allows Customers to find Partner solutions they may have been unaware of in the past.  It also allows the Hands-on Labs to offer a broader range of Partner related content relevant to VMware solutions.

To get started, you will want to fill out the Lab Module Proposal form here.  If you would like to review some good examples of submissions, you can find them here and here.  Once you have completed the Lab Module Proposal, you will need to submit it by Friday, February 19th  to the Hands-on Labs Idea Registry for consideration in this upcoming development cycle.  Once the idea is submitted, it will be reviewed and presented to the appropriate VMware Business Unit for consideration.

Another change in this year’s cycle is that the development work will be done by VMware employees that are experienced in developing and building these labs.  If your idea is selected, you will act as what we call in the Hands-on Labs, a Content Lead.  You will help guide the Partner related content to be delivered in the lab, but will not have to be responsible for developing it.  Partners can still guide the direction of their content, but won’t have to struggle to come up to speed on our development process and tools.  Given the tight schedule for delivery of these labs at VMworld, we see this as a huge gain for Partners.

You can find the replay of the Partner Townhall meeting here along with the slides presented.  If you are a Partner with access to PartnerLink, you can find more information and ask questions in our group, Partner Hands-on Labs Community.

We will be finalizing the Hands-on Labs catalog for 2016 on February 29th and will be notifying Partners that have been selected.

Best of luck!

VMware Hands-on Labs Releases and Naming

Hello and welcome to 2016! We have seen quite a few questions from people having trouble finding our older labs, so I wanted to take a few minutes and explain the VMware Hands-on Labs release and naming conventions.

Our major release of labs occurs annually at the VMworld conferences, but, depending on product release schedules and resource availability, some labs will be refreshed in the April/May timeframe. Continue reading

Please, Sir, I Want Some More (Time)

OliverIf you have taken one of our labs at a large event like a VMworld, vForum, or VMUG, you may recall that we provide 90-minute lab sessions so that everyone has a chance to experience the labs. If nobody is waiting in line, users may continue their sessions by requesting a time extension from the lab staff before their lab session expires.

When we publish these labs via our online portal, we configure longer session times based on lab popularity, demand and the capacity we have available, but there is no lab staff constantly monitoring the online labs to handle realtime extension requests.

As I have outlined in other posts, our labs are designed to be consumed in small chunks, and most users spend less than an hour in the lab at a time. However, we receive a good deal of feedback from users who would prefer to sit for several hours at a time and work their way through an entire lab manual. We understand that different people work in different ways, so we are piloting a new self-service model for lab time extensions to address this request.

This feature enables our users to self-extend their lab time in 1 hour increments to continue working within the same lab environment for an extended period.

How Do I Use It?

Prior to running out of time in your lab, click on the Extend button under the lab title and the system will request an additional hour to be added to your lab session.

HOL-ExtendThat’s it!

Try it out and let us know what you think by joining the Time Extension thread in the HOL section of the VMware Communities.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your labs.