VMware Explore Hands-on Labs

Hands-on Labs Tours at VMware Explore

Written by Doug Baer

(Update 10/10/2022 to Europe Tour hours and Command Center location)

Since 2014, the our team has offered tours of the Hands-on Labs room at VMworld. We started these in response to the many questions we receive regarding our processes, tools, infrastructure and scale. The tours provide an opportunity to hear from some of our team members who create the content and work in the trenches to make the event happen and ask questions that you may have about our program and event.

The Hands-on Labs program has a legacy of sharing, and our team has continued that tradition. There is an interesting YouTube video from VMworld 2009 that shows a 4-minute time-lapse of the VMworld Datacenter being built onsite at Moscone Center in San Francisco, mere days before the attendees arrived. We don’t do that any more, but we still like to share our work.

Since we run everything in the cloud these days and there is no “gear” onsite to show (this still surprises many people!), our sharing evolved into showcasing our live monitoring at the Command Center Wall and the backstage pass experience of the Hands-on Labs Tours.

Hands-on Labs Tours

Hands-on Labs and TestDrive are the premier examples of what you can do with VMware products and solutions. A tour of the Hands-on Labs room at Explore will give you a behind the scenes peek at what it takes to run the labs. The tours last 30-45 minutes, covering both business and technical topics. In this tour, you will meet the lab creators as well as the engineering teams who run our multiple clouds. This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions and engage at a much deeper level

Tour Schedule Explore Europe

Tours will depart from the tour desk at the appointed times and are available to anyone who would like to know more, though space in each tour will be limited based on the number of headsets available.

Monday, November 7, 2022 – 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM

Tuesday, November 8, 2022 – 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 – 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM

Thursday, November 10, 2022 – 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM

Command Center

The Command Center wall has become a fixture in the Hands-on Labs room at these conferences and is a featured stop on the Hands-on Labs Tours. The screens on this wall showcase the tools that our teams use for realtime monitoring of the event clouds, capacity utilization within the event hall and other event-related information.

Hands-on Labs Command Center Wall circa 2019

You can take a tour or check out the Command Center Wall in Hall 8.0 just behind registration at Explore Europe. We hope to see you there!


VMware Hands-on Labs provides everyone with free access to VMware products and services to explore and learn. No installation required. You only need your Chrome or Firefox browser, a reliable internet connection, and, hopefully, not too many distractions.  

If you have a comment or request, contact us at  discovery-request@vmware.com   

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