VMworld Hands-on Labs

Introducing the Command Center Wall – VMworld US 2019


VMworld 2019 was another record-breaking year for the Hands-on Labs team. A total of 14,434 labs were delivered across 5 different clouds, which is an equivalent to 127,523 virtual machines, 17,535 NSX Networks and a staggering 9,455,776 GBs of storage!

Every year, we deliver labs at a massive scale and customers often wonder – How?

A pivotal factor is the tools that we use to efficiently manage, monitor and scale our intricate and complex environment. Exclusively at VMworld, we offer a sneak peek behind the scenes at our infrastructure through a rather extraordinary installation of 15 screens on a 10ft. wall.

The screens on the Hands-on Labs Command Center wall are the windows into our operations and provide live, realtime access to the statistics of our environment during the event. These are many of the same dashboards our engineers are using to monitor and manage the clouds.

Much of this information is only open to the public during large events like VMworld. It is one of the most highlighted stops during the Hands-on Labs tours and was often seen crowded with customers.


Here is a peek at the screens we shared during VMworld.

vRealize Operations (both on-premises and the new cloud-based service)

We use traditional vRealize Operations and and vRealize Operations Cloud to monitor the overall infrastructure resources: CPU, Disk, Memory and Network. The dashboards give us the ability to summarize 5 clouds and over 300 hosts into a single dashboard, but also allow us to dig deeper into individual hosts, datastores, or virtual machines. With this extensive and instant insight into our infrastructure, we have visibility into overall usage and utilization of individual resources. We use alerts, events and alarms to realize and mediate issues as soon as they occur, with thresholds set to alert us in advance of potential user-impacting problems.

Interested in learning about vRealize Operations? – You can take a hands-on lab!

Lab: vRealize Operations – Optimize the Performance of Your vSphere Environment  Click here!



We use Wavefront to store data about our labs. This tool provides the ability to analyze relationships between different aspects of this data. Using these relationships, we can better understand lab consumption, active labs during specific times of day, week, and month, product interest trends and geographical lab usage. We can locate most popular lab at different points in time and geographic location, helping us understand our impact around the globe.


VMware Learning Platform

VMware Learning Platform (VLP) is the system that the Hands-on Labs team uses on a daily basis to manage everything from lab presentation, management, deployment and cloud placement to user accounts, transcripts and permissions. Where vRealize Operations and Wavefront are tools we use to monitor and analyze our environment, VLP is a one-stop management tool for all things Hands-on Labs.

If you are interested in learning more about VLP, you can try this interactive simulation (iSIM) for a quick overview: VMware Learning Platform – Interactive Quick Demo or experience the product in the Hands-on Labs  [link to HOL-2085].



Watch an interview with Doug Baer, (Staff Technical Marketing Architect and Command Wall Guru) introducing the command center wall! Watch Video

Any additional questions on the command wall? Reach us at HOL Support hol-feedback@vmware.com


Written by:

Doug Baer, Staff Technical Marketing Architect

Kate Lee, Technical Marketing Manager