Taking the Hands on Labs Online Portal for a Test Drive……..


We are very excited about bringing online our Hands on Labs Portal and wanted to give our early users a quick tour and some helpful tips to make your experience much easier and most of all fun for you….

A little bit about the Hands on Lab Portal…

The Hands on Lab Portal is using the Project Nee Application developed by Mike D. and Curtis P. who have been part of the VMworld Hands on Labs Program for over 4 years. The Application is built for the web (HTML 5) and can run its workload from any vCloud resource (all you need to do is connect to a vCloud API and you are set) What I really like about the design in the portal is that it can serve many different use cases (think SalesForce model) – the first of which were the Education Environment and our VMware Hands on Labs. And if you are wondering about the name NEE – it is exactly what you think it is,,,

Our stack is built using the newly released vCloud Suite and runs out of our North America Data Center operated and hosted by VMware.

The front-end portal is all based on HTML 5 – highly customizable and ready for the web.

About the Labs….
We will be hosting all of the VMworld 2012 Labs over time but decided to start with a few just to get our feet wet. We are still integrating out lab manuals but you can take a look at the complete list on our Community Site http://vmware.com/go/hol See Resources









Some Helpful Tips….

You will get a notification from our admin team notifying you that your account has been created. Make sure you change your password and verify your account using the link provided in the email. The email will be from our projectnee domain – its us so you might want to remove it from your spam filter.

Log into the Portal – Please make sure you use the correct URL otherwise you will get very strange errors – the correct URL:

Labs Loading:
If you find yourself waiting for a lab to load longer than 5 minutes you might want to try to grab a beer / glass of wine and enjoy the moment. Once you have taken your first sip hit the refresh button this sometimes will clear up the connection and get you going again (this is bad practice but it is all we have for the moment) The guys are building a progress bar but this will not be in place for a while so for now all we ask is that you are patient with our Beta.

Advanced User Settings:
At the moment these are not enabled but shortly you will be able to set your language preferences for your browser.

Lab Manuals:
We plan to integrate all lab manuals shortly at the moment this is not the case. If you are interested in a Lab and the manual is not available use the lab manual on the website. http://hol-cme.cloudfoundry.com/index.html

Strange Behavior:
You might encounter some strange behavior while logging in from time to time – we find that if you clear your cache/refresh your browser the problem will go away and be fine. If this does not do it check our twitter, or blog posts for messages regarding out down times and user notifications.

Wacky Wednesday:
As our Beta is still in development we will need to have a day in the week when we will need to bounce the application to apply changes and do some general maintenance. As our engineers hardly sleep and work weekends we kind of agreed on using our Wed as a day to expect things to be down or bounce around a few times. So you have been warned – if things are a little crazy with our portal check the date on the calendar.

The famous CTRL + ALT + DELETE button:
I am a new MAC BOOK Pro user and this really stumped me when I logged in…. if you are like me take a deep breath and scroll down to the left hand side … here you will see the little button that will send the signal to the screen. BTW the passwords are in the bottom of the screen or posted on the manuals. These buttons take some getting use to and after a while they will work just fine (remember what I said about hitting the refresh button)

Browser Support
Well the guys have gotten latest versions of Safari, Chrome and FireFox to work, the Portal has a detecting mechanism to check to see if your browser will run – notice I left one out – we have not gotten the websockets to work with IE yet so for now its off the list and still working on it but it might be a good idea to get the latest version of the browsers mentioned.

Where to get help…

We created a VMTN community dedicated to the Hands on Labs and look forward to having you participate. Here you will find links to documentation, links to labs for you to comment. Our community is monitored by VMware R&D, and various Product Teams – join us http://vmware.com/go/hol

Help us improve our portal experience…

Please keep the feedback coming – we have built this portal for our community and need your feedback to help make it better…

Follow us on @VMwareHOL

Thanks for your support

Pablo Roesch –