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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Backstage Pass with VMware Hands-on Labs Session #2

Join Doug and Bill as they describe how we operate our Hands-on Labs Service

Join Doug and Bill as they describe how we operate our Hands-on Labs Service

In this Session Bill Call and Doug Baer will walk you through an overview of the Hands-on Labs infrastructure, design considerations when creating our vApps (vPods) and how we move them across multiple datacenters around the world.

This technical session is for architects, and administrators running datacenters. The content level is intermediate to advanced. Please plan to attend and be prepared to ask questions at the end of the talk.  We also encourage you to start thinking about joining us for VMworld 2014 in San Francisco or Barcelona and visiting us in the Hands-on Labs room. 30 minute talk /presentation with plenty of room for questions and answers.

PDF and MP3 Recording

Announcing VMware Hands-on Labs BackStage Pass Webinars

Webinar Series VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass

Join our Webinar Series VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass

Friends,

We are announcing the VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass Webinars Series.  These sessions are for Administrators, Architects and IT Managers running VMware environments of any size. Our talks are easygoing , focus on technology and provide tips and tricks to help make your life easier.

The VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass Webinars Series will run the first Wednesday of the month 9:00 AM PDT. All sessions will be recorded and posted on our Hands-on Labs blog if you cannot attend session. Please join us as these are a great opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback and learn how we use our products to run the VMware Hands-on Labs service.

VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass – Webinar Schedule / Abstracts

March 25, 2014

Session #1  VMware vSphere Operations Management 101 – Online Workshop
In our vSphere with Operations Management 101 online workshop, you will learn first-hand how vCenter Operations Manager can help you manage your vSphere environments. We will walk you through the steps to access the live vCenter Operations labs.  Using the Hands-on Labs online portal you will be able try vCenter Operations Manager and chat with our VMware experts who use this product to monitor the Hands-on Labs infrastructure. Attend this online workshop to see how vCenter Operations Manager provides comprehensive visibility into the health and performance of your vSphere environments, helps you improve the efficiency of your virtual infrastructure, increase your consolidation ratios, and how it provides capacity management with “what if” planning capabilities.

This online workshop is targeted at customers who are running vSphere and who are new to vSphere with Operations Management. Registration is closed thanks for your interest.

April 2, 2014

Session #2Backstage with VMware Hands-on Labs – vPod and Data Sync

In this Session Bill Call and Doug Baer will walk you through an overview of the Hands-on Labs infrastructure, design considerations when creating our vApps (vPods) and how we move them across multiple datacenters around the world.

This technical session is for architects, and administrators running datacenters. The content level is intermediate to advanced. Please plan to attend and be prepared to ask questions at the end of the talk.  We also encourage you to start thinking about joining us for VMworld 2014 in San Francisco or Barcelona and visiting us in the Hands-on Labs room. 30 minute talk /presentation with plenty of room for questions and answers.

Backstage with Bill Call and Doug “Trevor”

PDF and MP3 Recording

May 7th 2014

Session #3Backstage with VMware Hands-on Labs Performance Testing Tuning Hands-on Labs Architecture with @jpschnee and Joeyd.

This session will discuss how we tested and tuned our Datacenters for optimal performance. Josh will discuss the tools he used to test our multiple clouds and Joey will go into details on the infrastructure we have deployed and our planning for VMworld. This is a great session for folks getting ready to roll out their Clouds and a great opportunity to ask questions.

Recording and PDF

Session #4 Backstage with VMware Hands-on Labs Project NEE & OneCloud – Delivering Hand-On Labs at Cloud Scale
Wednesday June 4th 2014
Time: 9:00 AM PDT
Length: 60 minutes
We have had tons of requests for more information on Project NEE and more details on how we run and operation our Hands-on Labs Infrastructure. In this session we will have the guys from the ProjectNEE team and OneCloud walk us through the architecture and go into details on how we manage our infrastructure.
The first part of this session we will cover details on Project NEE. The second part of the session will go into OneCloud – our internal Cloud infrastructure service. The OneCloud team will discuss how they use the vCloud Suite – vCenter Operations Manager, vCenter Log Insight and various tools.  This is a great session for folks interested in learning how we run and operated our infrastructure.
Agenda
– What is ProjectNee
– What is OneCloud
– Solving the Delivery Problem
– Operating Cloud at Scale
– Questions and answers
This meeting will be recording for folks that cannot attend.

Upcoming Maintenance window – March 19th 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM PST

Hands-on Labs - Maintenance Window
Folks,
Just wanted to make you aware of the planned Maintenance window coming up next week on March 19th.
We will be adding some fixes and updates to Project NEE.
During this time access to Hands-on Labs will be up and down
Please do not schedule any critical meetings, workshops for this time period.
Date: Wednesday March 19th
Time: 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM PST
What: NEE Portal will be going through updates / fixes you may experience HOLs going up and down.

Regards

VMware Hands-on Labs Team

Hands-on Labs: Exporting vPods

This is the third post in my series on Hands-on Labs behind the scenes. You can find the previous post on comparing cloud catalogs here.

To date, my biggest problem with synchronizing data between vCD instances has been the time required to export vApp templates from one cloud and import them into another. If you want to preserve vApp structure and (most) metadata, there is really only one way into or out of a vCD cloud. Simply having the VMDKs and VMX file from the backend vSphere is not enough. For those who have had to deal with these mechanisms on a regular basis, you know what I mean.

A vPod containing our base infrastructure for VMworld 2013 development looked something like the following. Most of our final vPods are quite a bit larger than this, but this is a pretty standard starting point.

Single Site Base vPod
VM Name vCPU vRAM (GB) Disk (GB)
controlcenter 1 2 20
esx-01a 2 4 2
esx-02a 2 4 2
stgb-l-01a 1 2 68
vc-l-01a 2 4 33
vpodrouter 1 0.25 0.25

Continue reading

Click Go -> Take the VSAN Hands-on Lab !

Folks

Huge congratulations to the teams for launching VSAN !

You can now explore a fully provisioned version of VSAN at your finger tips. No special hardware, or licenses needed to run a lab and the best part is you can explore VSAN at your leisure using most modern browsers…

Important Links for VSAN Hands-on Labs:

Take your VSAN Lab – http://vmware.com/go/vsanlab

Lab Manuals in HTML / PDF – http://docs.hol.vmware.com/HOL-2013/HOL-SDC-1308_html_en

 

Synchronizing Cloud Catalogs

This post is part 2 in a series on the backend processes we use to manage the Hands-on Labs. The first part is available here.
CatalogSync-Clouds
Before I get into the guts of handling export, replication and import, I think it is important to understand how to identify which templates we need to work with. Sure, starting from scratch is simple: you have a bunch of templates in cloud A that you need to replicate to cloud B. Typically, that is going to take quite a bit of time. The problems involved with initial transfer to the cloud are similar to those encountered when standing up a new DR facility. Namely, how do you “seed” the DR site with the data from production. Shipping a box of tapes and performing a restore is often the least expensive option, but may not provide what you expect if your data change rate is high. That discussion is beyond the scope of this post, but I can come back around to it if there is enough interest.

“Version Control”

Back to the topic at hand. Once we have a set of clouds that host our content, we need to ensure that the templates available in each cloud are the same. As we revise our content, we check in new versions with new names. Each of our labs have a “Lab Code” or “SKU” that we use to identify them internally. For example, our wildly popular NSX lab has a SKU of “HOL-SDC-1303,” which is easier to track than the full name, “VMware NSX Network Virtualization Platform.” The first template for this lab might be called HOL-SDC-1303-v1. When we make a change to that lab, we check it in as HOL-SDC-1303-v2, then HOL-SDC-1303-v3, and so on. This is a rather simplistic practice, but it serves its purpose. Continue reading