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Monthly Archives: September 2017

VMworld 2017 Challenge and vSphere Performance Labs Released!

Today is one of my favorite release days!  We are not only releasing the Challenge labs, but also the vSphere Performance Diagnostics and Benchmarking lab.

For those of you that unfamiliar with the Challenge lab series, we have worked on these labs alongside our Global Support Services team.  These are the people that provide awesome support for our products when you need it.  We gathered a list of potential pitfalls that they receive calls on most often and built scenarios around them in a lab.  It is then up to you to resolve that issue, almost a we break it, you fix it lab!  However, not all the challenge labs follow this model.  Some offer what we refer to as “Day 2” operations, meaning the product is installed, but there may be a need to build a dashboard for vRealize Operations, configure a virtual network in NSX or encrypt a virtual machine in vSAN.  These labs offer fun challenges, but also educate you on tasks you may need to perform or issues you may encounter in the future in your own environment.  With the Challenge labs, you will be prepared!

We have refreshed the challenge labs this year and have also added a new one for you all to try out!  Ever since we released the first Challenge lab for vSphere a couple of years ago, we have been asked when there would be one for NSX.  Your wish has been granted and I am happy to announce its release today!

The vSphere Performance Diagnostics and Benchmarking lab is also being released.  This is one of my favorite labs and has weathered the test of time.  It has always been a top lab since I’ve been involved in the Hands-on Labs the past 8 years and every year, it is refreshed with relevant content.  The lab still provides an overview of the basic concepts and how to troubleshoot CPU, Memory, Disk and Networking, but new this year is an overview of Weathervane, VMware’s performance benchmarking tool, right-sizing virtual machines for optimal performance and testing database performance.

There are only a few days left before we have released the entire catalog for this year.  Stay tuned, more great labs are on the way!

Lab SKU / Name Link to PDF/HTML Archived 2017 Lab
HOL-1804-01-SDC – vSphere 6.5 – Performance Diagnostics and Benchmarking PDF / HTML HOL-1704-SDC-1
HOL-1804-02-CHG – vSphere 6.5 – Challenge Lab PDF / HTML HOL-1704-CHG-2
HOL-1890-01-CHG – vRealize Automation – Challenge Lab PDF / HTML HOL-1790-CHG-1
HOL-1891-01-CHG – Horizon – Challenge Lab PDF / HTML HOL-1791-CHG-1
HOL-1892-01-CHG – VMware NSX – Challenge Lab PDF / HTML New!

VMworld 2017 Labs – VMware NSX Day!

It is hard to top yesterday when we released well over half the catalog of Hands-on Labs we presented at VMworld this year, but we will give it a go as we still have more awesome content for you!

Yesterday, we released the HOL-1803 series of labs.  The three labs in the series offer a great way to get started with NSX.  Today, we will focus on more advanced NSX and Network Virtualization labs.  The topics covered include integrating Site Recovery Manager or Horizon with NSX (and Trend Micro!), multi-site configurations and one around the newly announced AppDefense.  Finally, there are labs showing integration with VMware Integrated OpenStack and our first set of labs focusing on NSX-T.

That’s all for today, but be sure to check back tomorrow to see what new labs will be released!

Lab SKU / Name Link to PDF/HTML Archived 2017 Lab
HOL-1805-01-SDC – Site Recovery Manager – Data Center Migration and Disaster Recovery PDF / HTML HOL-1705-SDC-1
HOL-1820-01-EMT – VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1720-SDC-1
HOL-1825-01-NET – VMware NSX – Advanced Consumption PDF / HTML HOL-1725-SDC-1
HOL-1825-02-NET – VMWare NSX and SRM – Active-Standby Solution PDF / HTML HOL-1725-USE-2
HOL-1826-01-NET – VMware NSX-T – Getting Started PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1826-02-NET – VMware NSX-T with Kubernetes PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1841-01-NET – Secure Horizon with Trend Micro and NSX PDF / HTML HOL-1741-USE-1
HOL-1842-01-NET – VMware AppDefense – Secure Datacenter Endpoints PDF / HTML New!

Releasing the VMworld 2017 Hands-on Labs

It all starts today! We are pleased to announce we are releasing the VMworld 2017 Hands-on Labs. We will continue to release these on a daily basis until all 81 are available! If you don’t see your favorite lab, be sure to check back as all labs **should** be released by the end of next week.

Before we get started, just a couple of reminders. First, once we release a new lab, the current one will be placed in the HOL Archive catalog and will eventually be removed December 1st, 2017. For example, we are releasing the HOL-1803 series of labs today, so the HOL-1703 series will be placed in the HOL Archive catalog. The labs in the archive catalog will take longer to start and be sure you wait until the Lab Status indicator says Ready before you start. If you would like more information or how the new labs map to the existing labs, you can review my previous post, Transitioning to the 2018 Hands-on Labs. You may also notice that the catalogs look a bit different and you may be confused on where to find the lab you are looking for. You can review the post, Upcoming Changes to the Catalogs and Tips on How to Find Things for all the details.

The first release of new labs has typically been the top performers from VMworld and this year is no exception. Below are the labs we are releasing today. You can click on the lab SKU and name to be taken directly to the lab. One question we receive quite often is if the manuals are available in other formats, so in the second column you will find a link to the PDF and HTML version of the manual. These links are from our Hands-on Labs Documents site, where you can find manuals for all the labs dating back to 2014. Finally, the last column shows which lab the new one is replacing.

Lab SKU / Name Link to PDF/HTML Archived 2017 Lab
HOL-1801-01-CMP – vRealize Suite Standard – Cloud Planning and Optimization PDF / HTML HOL-1701-USE-2
HOL-1801-02-CMP – vRealize Suite Standard – Automated and Proactive Management PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1801-03-CMP – vRealize Suite Standard – Manage the SDDC PDF / HTML HOL-1701-USE-3
HOL-1801-04-CMP – vRealize Operations – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML HOL-1706-USE-4
HOL-1801-05-CHG – vRealize Operations Application Monitoring – Challenge Lab PDF / HTML HOL-1701-CHG-5
HOL-1801-06-CMP – Introduction to vRealize Operations Assessment and Hybrid Cloud Assessment PDF / HTML HOL-1701-USE-1
HOL-1803-01-NET – VMware NSX – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1703-SDC-1
HOL-1803-02-NET – VMware NSX – Distributed Firewall and Micro-Segmentation PDF / HTML HOL-1703-SDC-2
HOL-1803-03-NET – VMware NSX – Operations and Visibility PDF / HTML HOL-1703-SDC-3
HOL-1806-01-CMP – vRealize Suite – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1706-SDC-1
HOL-1806-02-SLN – Automate IT – Make Private Cloud Easy PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1806-03-CMP – vRealize Business for Cloud – Getting Started PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1808-01-HCI – vSAN v6.6 – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1708-SDC-1
HOL-1808-02-CHG – vSAN v6.6 – Challenge Lab PDF / HTML HOL-1708-CHG-3
HOL-1811-01-SDC – vSphere v6.5 – What’s New PDF / HTML HOL-1710-SDC-6
HOL-1811-02-SDC – vSphere with Operations Management – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1710-USE-2
HOL-1811-03-SDC – vSphere with Operations Management – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML HOL-1710-USE-4
HOL-1811-04-SDC – vSphere Security – Getting Started PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1811-05-SDC – vSphere Automation – PowerCLI PDF / HTML HOL-1721-SDC-6
HOL-1811-06-SDC – vSphere Automation and Development – API and SDK PDF / HTML HOL-1710-SDC-5
HOL-1811-07-SDC – vSphere HTML Client SDK – Build a Plugin PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1821-01-CMP – vRealize Automation 7 – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1721-USE-1
HOL-1821-02-CMP – vRealize Automation 7 – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML HOL-1721-USE-2
HOL-1821-03-CMP – vRealize Automation 7 – Advanced Extensibility PDF / HTML HOL-1721-USE-3
HOL-1821-04-CMP – vRealize Code Stream – DevOps Solutions PDF / HTML HOL-1721-USE-4
HOL-1821-05-CMP – vRealize Orchestrator – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1721-SDC-5
HOL-1844-01-SLN – Modernize Infrastructure – VMware Cloud Foundation PDF / HTML HOL-1706-SDC-5
HOL-1844-02-SLN – VMware Cloud Foundation – Hybrid Cloud PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1845-01-SLN – Modernize Infrastructure – Build Your Own SDDC PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1851-01-ADV – Horizon 7.1 Enterprise – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1751-MBL-1
HOL-1851-02-ADV – Horizon 7.1 Instant Clones PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1851-03-ADV – VMware App Volumes – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1751-MBL-2
HOL-1851-04-ADV – VMware User Environment Manager – Getting Started PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1851-05-ADV – VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon 7.1 PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1851-06-ADV – VMware Horizon 7 for Linux Desktops PDF / HTML HOL-1751-MBL-6
HOL-1851-07-ADV – Horizon 7.1 – Advanced Operational Concepts PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1851-08-ADV – Horizon 7.1 – Advanced Architectural Concepts PDF / HTML HOL-1751-MBL-4
HOL-1851-09-ADV – Horizon 7.1 Security – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML HOL-1751-MBL-5
HOL-1851-10-ADV – Horizon 7.1 – Graphics Acceleration for 3D workloads and vGPU PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1857-01-UEM – VMware AirWatch – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1757-MBL-1
HOL-1857-02-UEM – VMware AirWatch – Unified Endpoint Management for Windows 10 PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1857-03-UEM – VMware AirWatch with Workspace ONE PDF / HTML HOL-1757-MBL-3
HOL-1857-04-UEM – VMware AirWatch – Productivity Apps PDF / HTML HOL-1757-MBL-4
HOL-1857-05-UEM – VMware AirWatch – Mobile Application Management and Developer Tools PDF / HTML HOL-1757-MBL-5
HOL-1857-06-UEM – VMware AirWatch – Directory and Certificate Authority Integration PDF / HTML HOL-1757-MBL-2
HOL-1857-07-UEM – VMware AirWatch – Android Management PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1857-08-UEM – VMware AirWatch – Technology Partner Integration PDF / HTML HOL-1757-MBL-6
HOL-1884-01-HBD – VMware Cloud Services – Getting Started PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1887-01-EMT – VMware Cloud on AWS – Getting Started PDF / HTML New!

Upcoming Changes to the Catalogs and Tips on How to Find Things

As we return from a record breaking VMworld Europe in Barcelona, I wanted to take a minute to talk about some of the new catalogs you will be seeing in the Hands-on Lab Online Portal in the coming weeks as we start to release the new labs.

This year we have over 80 new labs in the 2017 Hands-on Labs Catalog and based on feedback we received from you, our users, we still needed a better way to break up the content in the catalog listings to make things easier to find.  For example, we have 44 labs in the Software Defined Data Center catalog.  Searching through that catalog and trying to find the bit of content you are looking for can be a daunting task!  For those that are not familiar with what the catalog structure looks like today, here is how we have things laid out.

We have four main catalogs, SDDC, Hybrid Cloud, Mobility and Challenge.  There is a fifth catalog, Focus Labs, we populate with the latest and most popular labs.  You can start to see the difficulty in finding 80+ labs in only four very generic catalogs.

We tested the new catalog listings at VMworld and from the feedback we received from attendees, it made finding labs around specific products or features much easier.  So here are the new catalogs and what contents you may expect to find in them:

New Catalog Name High Level Products Included Existing Catalog
Application and Desktop Virtualization Horizon Suite, FLEX, Mirage, Horizon Cloud Mobility
Challenge Labs Test your knowledge on VMware Products Challenge Labs
Cloud Management Platform vRealize Suite, vRealize Automation and vRealize Operations Software Defined Data Center
Cloud Native Applications PhotonOS, vSphere Integrated Containers Software Defined Data Center
Emerging Technologies VMware Cloud, vSphere Integrated OpenStack, Network Functions Virtualization and VMware Learning Platform Hybrid Cloud, Software Defined Data Center
Hybrid Cloud Hybrid Cloud Services, Cloud Services and VMware Cloud Provider Program Hybrid Cloud
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure vSAN, Virtual Volumes and VxRail Software Defined Data Center
Network Virtualization NSX, NSX-T, NSX Cloud and Partner Solutions Software Defined Data Center
Software Defined Data Center vSphere with Operations Management, Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Performance Software Defined Data Center
Solution Labs Labs focused on solving business challenges with VMware Solutions Software Defined Data Center, Mobility, Hybrid Cloud
Unified Endpoint Management VMware AirWatch Mobility

I also wanted to share a couple of additional tips that may come in handy.  The first is the search feature.  You can use the search box to find a lab by SKU (i.e. HOL-1810-01-SDC) or by product or keyword.  Be sure to click the ‘ALL LABS’ link first, so your search will be across all the catalogs.

In this example, after clicking on the ALL LABS link, I searched for ‘firewall’.  This will bring up any labs that include the term ‘firewall’ in the lab title, description or module listing.  This can also be used to search for product names, like NSX or a lab SKU.

If you have taken a lab and would like to find other labs that are based on the same product, you can use the ‘Lab Details’ section.

In the Products section, you will see the major products featured in the lab.  Click on the product you are interested in and you will be shown all the other labs that include that product.  By clicking on vRealize Log Insight, I’m given this listing of labs:

When you find a lab that interests you, just click on the link and you will be brought right to the lab details page for the lab, where you can enroll to take the lab.

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for updates!  The new labs will be here before you know it!

Transitioning to the 2018 Hands-on Labs

We had another record breaking year at VMworld US last week and are on our way to VMworld Europe for next week’s show, which will hopefully be just as exciting!  We debuted lots of new content and we cannot wait to share it with you.

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 what we have done in year’s past and we will start rolling out the labs after VMworld Europe.  Since VMworld Europe is a month earlier this year, that means we will be delivering the labs that much sooner to you!

As the new labs in the 2018 catalog get released, their 2017 counterparts will be placed in the HOL Archives catalog. The catalog can be found at the bottom of the list.  We will also be restructuring the catalog listings, very similar to what we are using at VMworld, to make things easier to find.  More details to come in the next post.








One thing to note is that once the 2017 labs are placed in the archive catalog, you will likely need to wait a bit longer for your lab to start and make sure the Lab Status indicates ‘Ready’ in green before proceeding with your lab.







As a reminder, in order to make room for all this great new content, we will have to retire the 2017 catalog and that will happen on December 1st, 2017.  For those of you that may be planning to use our HOL-in-a-Box service for upcoming events, make sure you keep those dates in mind and transition any events to the 2018 labs prior to that date!

Finally, to help you find the lab replacing the 2017 SKU, you can use the HOL 2017 to 2018 Lab Listing PDF.  For the most part, the 2018 SKU lined up to identical content that was in the 2017 SKU.  For example, HOL-1703-SDC-01 (NSX) has been updated and replaced with HOL-1803-01-NET.  In cases where there was no direct match, you can review the Notes column to see where the content is now or if it has been removed.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks for further updates on some of the changes we have implemented this year and to see which labs are released!