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Monthly Archives: September 2015

VMworld Hands-on Labs Guide

ready for any

To get you prepared for VMworld Europe in Barcelona, we put together a Hands-on Lab Guide and you can grab a copy for yourself here.  The guide not only lists all the labs that will be available, but shows the breakdown of content or modules in each lab.  It lists an estimated time to complete the module, whether it is for the beginner or advanced and if it showcases the features of a product or shows a use case.

For example, below is the entry for HOL-CHG-1695 – vSphere 6 Challenge Lab.  You can see it is made up of 5 modules, all of which take an estimated 30 minutes to complete.  There are modules for both the beginner and advanced attendee and all show Use Cases.  You can find a more detailed key to deciphering the lab modules in the Hands-on Lab Guide.

Guide Sample

The Self-paced Labs at VMworld do not need to be scheduled, just stop by when you have time to take a lab!  At VMworld, you are given 90 minutes per seating to complete your lab.   You are probably thinking, “Wait, there is 150 minutes of content in the lab.  How am I supposed to finish the lab in only 90 minutes?”

Fear not!  While you are only given 90 minutes per seating, the modules are independent of each other, meaning they do not rely on one another.  You don’t have to complete the lab sequentially and can take the modules in any order.  If you fancy yourself as an advanced vSphere troubleshooting expert, you can skip modules 1-3 and start your lab with module 4.

VLP Manual

To make it easier, you can use the Table of Contents to quickly jump to the topic you are interested in.  Once you have launched your lab and the manual is visible, click More Options and then Table of Contents.  A new box will appear and display the Table of Contents that will let you jump ahead to the content you want.

One last tip to make your Hands-on Labs experience better is the lab status indicator shown in the console.  It’s located in the bottom right-hand corner of the desktop.  Make sure the Lab Status show Ready before starting your lab.

lab status

I hope you find the Hands-on Lab Guide useful and we will see you in Barcelona in a few short weeks!

New Mobility Labs Released!

It’s time for another round of new labs and today is Mobility Day!

The labs we have for you today are focused on Horizon and AirWatch.  The Horizon focused labs cover great use cases with Horizon, using FELX for better desktop management, our Desktop as a Service offering, Horizon Air and how F5 integrates with our mobility solutions.  For AirWatch, we have the introduction lab that covers Mobile Device Management.

HOL-MBL-1652 Delivery and Management of the Transforming Desktop
HOL-MBL-1655 Introducing Flexible Desktop Management for the Mobile User with VMware Horizon FLEX
HOL-MBL-1656 Horizon Air – Explore and Manage
HOL-MBL-1657 AirWatch – Introduction to Basic MDM and Console Customization
HOL-MBL-1659 F5 Integration with VMware Mobility

That’s all for today.  Stay tuned as more labs are released!

New Advanced Hands-on Labs Released!

We have a new batch of labs for you today!  These labs are focused on advanced topics, like NSX, vRealize Automation, vSphere with Operations Management, Workspace, and Virtual Volumes and Virtual SAN.

These labs go a bit deeper into the product or solution and some even offer how Partners integrate their solutions into ours.

HOL-MBL-1653 Advanced Concepts of VMware Workspace Portal
HOL-SDC-1602 vSphere with Operations Management 6: Advanced Topics
HOL-SDC-1625 VMware NSX Advanced
HOL-SDC-1627 VVol, Virtual SAN & Storage Policy-Based Management
HOL-SDC-1632 vRealize Automation Advanced: Integration and Extensibility

That’s all for now.  Stay tuned as we release more goodness!

More VMworld 2015 Labs Released!

First, let me apologize to Doug.  I may have had something to do with releasing the labs not only the week after VMworld, but on a holiday weekend no less!  I just knew that all of you were so eager to get your hands on these new labs.

Below are the remaining labs that we released this week.  They include more 101-level labs, this time for Hybrid Cloud and Mobility.  We are also releasing one of my personal favorites and a new addition to the Challenge catalog, the vSphere 6 Challenge Lab.

HOL-CHG-1695 vSphere 6 Challenge Lab
HOL-HBD-1681 VMware vCloud Air – Jump Start for vSphere Admins
HOL-MBL-1651 Advanced Technical Concepts of Horizon 6 from A to Z
HOL-SDC-1605 Data Center Migration and Disaster Recovery with VMware Site Recovery Manager
HOL-SDC-1611 IT Cost Transparency with vRealize Business
HOL-SDC-1620 OpenStack with VMware vSphere and NSX

So that’s all for now.  Be sure to check back as we will be releasing more labs over the coming weeks!

VMworld 2015 Labs being released to public

I don’t know which of us crazy people thought it would be a good idea to begin releasing the Hands-on Labs from VMworld 2015 the week immediately following the conference, especially with Labor Day on Monday and several of us on the core team heading out to present at other events, but we have been on an accelerated schedule all year, but the project plan says we’re supposed to get rolling.

We will be releasing a new set of labs each week, accompanied by a post here that indicates which labs have been published. Note that some labs are being sent to the shop for polish and a few others are being updated for the VMworld event in Barcelona next month, so your favorite lab may not show up in the public portal until mid-October. Please be patient 🙂

The initial set includes some of our more popular, 101-level labs. For the most part, these labs replace the ones from VMworld 2014 that have the same significant bits. For example, HOL-SDC-1408 (VSAN) has been refreshed and replaced with HOL-SDC-1608 (VSAN).

We will keep the 1400-series labs around until December, but significantly reduce or eliminate the “prepops” we have on hand for those older labs in favor of the 1600-series labs. This just means that you may need to wait longer for the labs to deploy and “warm up” if you choose to use the older content.

Without further delay, I present the first group that will be released this week:

HOL-SDC-1601 Cloud Management with vRealize Operations Insight
HOL-SDC-1603 VMware NSX Introduction
HOL-SDC-1608 Virtual SAN 6 from A to Z
HOL-SDC-1610 Virtualization 101: vSphere with Operations Management 6
HOL-SDC-1621 vRealize Automation 101: Application and Infrastructure Delivery and DevOps with Code Stream
HOL-SDC-1628 VMware EVO:RAIL Introduction
HOL-SDC-1631 vSphere Optimization Assessment (service for partners)

If you don’t see these labs in the catalog today, check back later. They should be there by the end of the week. Preparing them for hosting on our public portal takes a bit of work and the compressed schedule between VMworld US and VMworld EMEA means that we may not get them all processed before that event.

Thank you for your patience, interest and support of the VMware Hands-on Labs!

Technical Women of the VMware Hands-on Labs

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Did you know that in each of the past 4 years the VMware’s Hands-on Labs (HOL) have doubled the number of women staff members from one year to the next? Impressive? Yes. Accidental? No.

The Hands-on Labs team is staffed by hundreds of VMware technical experts. These volunteers create lab content so that customers and partners can try any VMware product online 24×7, 365 days a year. Since Jan 2013 The Hands-on Labs Online portal has delivered over 400,000 labs to over 122,000 unique users from 4 data centers around the world. Customers and partners visit the labs at VMworld to connect with the expert staff who create the content.

Lab Captains are the backbone of the program. They author the lab content and commit to over 300 hours of development and support effort annually. In 2012 the HOL team recruited our first woman Captain: Kim Delgado. Kim is a Staff Solutions Engineer in MSBU R&D and has been at VMware for more than 5 years. She loves working in the labs as it has helped her to build a deep knowledge of VMware products and strong relationships across the company. Kim was motivated to become an engineer by her high school computer science teacher, as well as her father who bought her first computer in middle school. As the first woman Lab Captain, Kim wants to tell women “This is a great opportunity to meet other experts and network with VMware’s best and brightest!

In 2013 Rebecca Grider joined as a Captain. Rebecca is a Senior Member of Technical Staff within Performance R&D. The Hands-on Labs have provided Rebecca a fabulous learning opportunity to understand customers’ real world challenges and bring that knowledge back to engineering. She gained perspective from directly interacting with our customers, which makes her a better engineer, focused on ease of use and customers’ performance challenges. Rebecca pursued computer science because she wanted to solve real world problems, and loves the diversity and pace of change in technology. Rebecca wants to motivate more women engineers to join the HOL team so they can educate customers about their product.

The following year, in 2014, Mousumi Mullick, Judy Snow and Jodi Shely joined as Captains. Mousumi is a Senior Member of Technical Staff within Storage Engineering in R&D. She joined VMware 5 years ago, and loves engaging customers to discover their challenges. “I see customer pain points and share them with R&D folks to bring them new feature ideas.” Her interactions on the HOL team have given her significant insights for her QE role. Mousumi comes from a family of engineers who encouraged her, and thinks of herself as “inquisitive and kind of geeky”. Judy Snow, Staff Technical Program Manager for EVO:RAIL in R&D, was always good at math & science. As a teenager her dad inspired her by giving her a programmable computer. Judy loves to educate customers about her product, interact with them at VMworld to learn their pain points and bring improvements back to her team.

This year with the addition of Kelly Montgomery, Laurel Spadaro, Cindy Mazeika, Julie Roman & Melanie Spencer, we again doubled the number of women Captains! They are all passionate to deliver high quality lab content, and bring new ideas back to their teams.

The Hands-on Labs program is capably shepherded by our Program Manager, Tina Valle. Tina is a former Marine who came to the Hands-on Labs team in 2013. She works incredibly hard all year to make sure the team is fully prepared to deliver labs at VMworld. Tina was drawn to high tech as she loves gadgets and solving problems. Tina is well respected by the entire Hands-on Labs staff. The running joke is that Tina will make them do push-ups if they do not follow the processes established to run this large operation.

Chris Romano, Principal Systems Engineer, is an almost 15-year veteran at VMware and acts as staffing manager for the Hands-on Labs. He has always been very proud of the high number of women in leadership positions at VMware. Chris has a teenage daughter, and actively seeks to recruit women into this career enhancing role. Chris says “My vision for the future is to bring in more women from R&D as Captains. They bring a different type of creativity and perspective.

Chris broadened his net and connected newly recruited women with each other and other experienced staff members. The newbies are comfortable asking questions of those with more experience. In addition to Captains, this year Chris recruited more than ten woman Proctors! He found himself in a position to make a difference, and quietly and persistently he has increased the number of women serving in the labs.

We are proud of our talented technical women who have contributed significantly to the Hands-on Labs program. We look forward to more women joining us in the future as word gets out about this exciting opportunity. If you are interested in learning more about the labs please visit hol.vmware.com. Together the women of the Hands-on Labs are moving the needle and that is inspiring!