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VMworld Hands-on Labs 2018 – What You Need to Know


The Hands-on Labs team has been working hard to make sure your experience this year at VMworld is the best! We’ve created a list of things you need to know about before you pack your bags for Las Vegas.

Find Labs That Fit Your Schedule

Take as many labs as you like, as many times as you want. The Hands-on Labs are flexible to fit your schedule. Here are of few options available at VMworld:

  • Self-Paced Labs: Interact with the latest VMware products at your own pace at a traditional workstation. Labs are delivered in a first-come, first-served fashion and do not need to be scheduled in advance.
  • Expert-Led Workshops:  Access to VMware product experts in an engaging, instructional environment in English, Japanese, Spanish or Portuguese. To attend an expert-led workshop, you must sign up in advance through the VMworld 2018 Content Catalog. 
  • Hands-on Labs Tours: 30-minute behind-the-scenes peek at what it takes to run our Hands-on Labs. Get to meet lab creators and engineers running our multiple clouds. Make sure to book your tour at the HOL Tours Check-in desk.

What’s New?

Discover the new things that will be happening this year at VMworld Hands-on Labs.

  • Augmented Reality Content Wall: On-site iPad will be available to use and bring the Hands-on Labs Content Wall to life uncovering, more lab details.
  • Hands-on Labs Connect: The nerve center of the Hands-on Labs room, stop by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) area to take a lab on your own devices and interact with the new touchscreen Command Center Wall.

What about Prizes?

Don’t worry we got you covered and this year we are making it more interactive than ever! Here are a few ways to qualify to win.

  • Hands-on Labs Lightning Labs: Are short, concentrated modules that are designed to maximize your time. In as little as 15 minutes you can learn something new, in the last two hours of each day to increase your chances of winning an Oculus Go 3D VR Headset.
  • The CloudCred, Hands-On Labs Great Labs Game: Score your CloudCred points for EVERY lab and workshop. Follow the QR code at the end of your lab or session for CloudCred points to BIG PRIZES!!
  • Code Coin: Earn 25 Code Coins for up to four labs taken, and 50 additional Coins by completing select CloudCred tasks. Code Coins can be spent on lattes & more in the VMTN Communities Lounge

Check out The CloudCred blog post for more details.

We look forward to seeing you at VMworld 2018.



Want more information? Check out these two videos on VMworld Hands-on Labs 2018.

Tips for Attending VMworld Hands-on Labs 2018

What’s New with 2018 VMworld Hands-on Labs





Congratulations our Raffle Winner – Nicole Williams!


Super excited to announce our Raffle Winner Nicole Williams. Nicole will be joining us at VMworld Las Vegas.  Nicole is a detail-oriented database engineer with experience leading and working in teams on complex projects using a wide range of technologies such as SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, NoSQL, Hadoop, Cloudera and MapR.

Congratulations Nicole !

Spring Means New Labs!

Just in time for the new Hands-on Labs contest we recently announced, we have some new and updated labs for you!

These are labs that were initially released at VMworld and have now been updated to include new content or product versions.  We also have a few new labs around vRealize Lifecycle Manager, Pivotal Container Services (PKS) and VMware IoT Pulse.

While you enjoy these labs, we are just starting to develop labs for VMworld 2018.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll win the contest and be one of the first to see the labs!

Lab SKU / Name Link to PDF/HTML Notes
HOL-1808-01-HCI – vSAN v6.6.1 – Getting Started PDF / HTML Updated to vSAN v6.6.1
HOL-1822-01-NET – HOL-1822-01-NET – VMware NSX Cloud – Secure Native Workloads in AWS PDF / HTML Updated to release version
HOL-1826-01-NET – VMware NSX-T – Getting Started PDF / HTML Updated to release version, module added to show new features
HOL-1826-02-NET – VMware NSX-T with Kubernetes PDF / HTML Updated to release version
HOL-1829-01-NET – vRealize Network Insight – Getting Started PDF / HTML Updated to v3.6 highlight new use cases
HOL-1832-01-CNA – Pivotal Container Service (PKS) and Kubernetes – Getting Started PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1834-01-CMP – vRealize Lifecycle Manager Basics PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1842-01-NET – VMware AppDefense – Secure Datacenter Endpoints PDF / HTML Updated to release version
HOL-1844-01-SLN – Modernizing Your Data Center with VMware Cloud Foundation PDF / HTML Updated to VCF v2.3, new iSIMs
HOL-1883-01-HBD – VMware Cloud Provider Program – vCloud Director for Service Providers PDF / HTML Now focused on vCloud Director v9
HOL-1883-02-HBD – VMware Cloud Provider Program – Tools and Offerings PDF / HTML New lab focused on products and tools.
HOL-1889-01-EMT – Internet of Things (IoT): VMware Pulse IoT Center & LIOTA (Little IoT Agent) PDF / HTML New!

Want to attend VMworld 2018 but your team is out of travel budget?













Hi folks,

We are excited about announcing our first ever Global Raffle Contest – A FREE Trip to VMworld 2018! The contest starts April 18th and ends May 24th. We will be announcing the winner here on our Blog so please stay tuned.

What is the catch?

Nothing. We are running this raffle contest to show our appreciation to our global Hands-on Labs users. We also think it would be nice to have an extra set of hands helping us during VMworld (just kidding not required but happy to give the winner our special Hands-on Labs behind the scenes Super VIP Tour)

Be sure to take any of qualifying freshly minted Hands-on Labs and more info.

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:

What will VMware pay for?

VMware will pay for your Airfare, Hotel, Conference Pass and Airfare up to $5,000 USD. You are responsible to follow your organizations and local laws, taxes, visa, passport and all other travel requirements. Please be sure to read the Terms and Conditions and be sure to obey your local contest laws.

What if I am already attending VMworld can I transfer the prize to my friend or colleague?

Yes. You will have 3 business days to declare the new winner and the new winner will need to be approved by VMware.

Will VMware pay for additional travel expenses?

VMware will cover Airfare, Hotel and a Full Conference Pass (up to $5K USD)

Is the contest for VMworld US and VMworld EMEA ?

Yes you pick your destination but as long as the cost is under $5K USD.

Localized Manuals Now Available in Five New Languages!

We are delighted to announce the 2018 Hands-on Lab manuals translated to serve our global audience. Click here for instructions on how to change your language in the Hands-on Labs portal.  Once you have your language preference set, if a lab manual is available in your preferred language, it will be displayed as the lab deploys.

In an effort to better serve our ever growing global user community, we have added five additional languages to our catalog, Traditional Chinese, French, Italian, Russian and German.  We are likely to add more manuals in more languages, so check back often as we update this post!

Did you know that you can change your language preference when you log in to the Hands-on Labs site?  Just click the link next to the Globe and select your preferred language.


Once logged in, you will see badges next to each lab indicating what languages the lab is available in.

You can click on the language badge to see all of the labs available in that particular language.

We have also made available PDF and HTML versions of the manuals. You can use the tables below to download or view them. You can also click the Lab SKU & Name in the table to be taken directly to the lab.  The manuals are also listed on our documents site and will be updated as this post is updated.

Brazilian Portuguese (Português)

French (Français)

German (Deutsche)

Italian (Italiano)

Japanese (日本語)

HOL-1803-01-NET – VMware NSX – Getting Started PDF HTML
HOL-1803-02-NET – VMware NSX – Distributed Firewall and Micro-Segmentation PDF HTML
HOL-1804-02-CHG – vSphere 6.5 – Challenge Lab PDF HTML
HOL-1808-01-HCI – vSAN v6.6.1 – Getting Started PDF HTML
HOL-1810-01-SDC – Virtualization 101: Introduction to vSphere PDF HTML
HOL-1811-01-SDC – vSphere v6.5 – What’s New PDF HTML
HOL-1811-02-SDC – vSphere with Operations Management – Getting Started PDF HTML
HOL-1822-01-NET – VMware NSX Cloud – Secure Native Workloads in AWS PDF HTML
HOL-1844-02-SLN – VMware Cloud Foundation – Hybrid Cloud PDF HTML
HOL-1845-01-SLN – Modernize Infrastructure – Build Your Own SDDC PDF HTML
HOL-1851-01-ADV – Horizon 7.1 Enterprise – Getting Started PDF HTML
HOL-1857-01-UEM – Workspace ONE UEM – Getting Started PDF HTML
HOL-1889-01-EMT – Internet of Things (IoT): VMware Pulse IoT Center & LIOTA (Little IoT Agent) PDF HTML

Korean (한국어)

Latin American Spanish (Español)

Russian (Pусский)

Simplified Chinese (简体中文)

HOL-1801-03-CMP – vRealize Suite Standard – Manage the SDDC PDF HTML
HOL-1803-01-NET – VMware NSX – Getting Started PDF HTML
HOL-1803-02-NET – VMware NSX – Distributed Firewall and Micro-Segmentation PDF HTML
HOL-1808-01-HCI – vSAN v6.6.1 – Getting Started PDF HTML
HOL-1810-01-SDC – Virtualization 101: Introduction to vSphere PDF HTML
HOL-1811-01-SDC – vSphere v6.5 – What’s New PDF HTML
HOL-1811-03-SDC – vSphere with Operations Management – Advanced Topics PDF HTML
HOL-1821-02-CMP – vRealize Automation 7 – Advanced Topics PDF HTML
HOL-1825-02-NET – VMWare NSX and SRM – Active-Standby Solution PDF HTML
HOL-1844-01-SLN – Modernize Infrastructure with VMware Cloud Foundation PDF HTML
HOL-1844-02-SLN – VMware Cloud Foundation – Hybrid Cloud PDF HTML
HOL-1845-01-SLN – Modernize Infrastructure – Build Your Own SDDC PDF HTML
HOL-1851-05-ADV – VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon 7.1 PDF HTML

Traditional Chinese (繁体中文)

Year End 2017

With 2017 drawing to a close, it is time for our annual maintenance: retiring labs that were released at VMworld in 2016, refreshing some of our content for spring, and preparing for VMworld 2018.

If you notice that your favorite HOL-17## lab is no longer with us, please look for the shiny new HOL-18## version. We try to keep the ## the same as we transition between years. You can browse the catalogs here.

Thank you!

The Hands-on Labs core team wants to give a big THANK YOU to our massive team of volunteers who create the content. We could not do this without you! A special shout out to the captains and principals who own the content and ensure that it remains functional throughout the year.

Also, thank you to our users, nearly 370,000 of you. Whether you take our labs online, at events like VMUGs, vForums, SociaLabsVMworlds, or a combination, we appreciate your support.  New web browser updates have been keeping us on our toes, so please keep sending in the feedback and letting us know how things are going.

Happy Holidays!

-The VMware Hands-on Labs Team

VMware Hands-on Labs Live Stats – Fun way to track usage statistics – Official Link

Hello Friends of Hands-on Labs, 

We wanted to share with you some background on Hands-on Labs Live stats and would love some feedback on what else you would like to see.  The project was inspired by the VMworld Jumbo Tron Display – our large screen displaying stats during the show. We wanted to make this available for all our users so they can check on their favorite labs and check to see some stats on our infrastructure usage.  A huge thanks to Andrew Hald and team for putting this creation together for us.

Official Live Stats Link: http://go.hol.vmware.com/live-stats/?eventName=hol-global (As of September 27, 2017)

Some of my favorite features:

One application for many devices: The app was designed to work for our massive overhead projectors at VMworld as well as your favorite mobile devices. This is pure CSS black magic, the app can auto rotate or you can stop it to check on your favorite stats.

Reporting on stats during multiple events. We run HOLs at many events during the year and this year was pretty complex as we had many fall at the exact same times across the globe. As you can imagine creating usage reports gets complicated.

Here are some exaymples of the cities we used LiveStats on

vForum Tokyo: http://go.hol.vmware.com/live-stats/?eventName=vforum-tokyo

vForum Singapore: http://go.hol.vmware.com/live-stats/?eventName=vforum-singapore  (Nov14)

vForum Thailand: http://go.hol.vmware.com/live-stats/?eventName=vforum-bangkok (Nov14th)

Users around the Globe:  I enjoy this feature as it is fun to see where the labs are taken around the world.

Top Labs: It seems like most of the content developers are concerned with this feature as they like to compete against each other.

Please send us your feedback ! This is our first iteration of LiveStats and hope its useful for you – we can only improve on it if you send us your feedback. We would love to hear from you!

Final VMworld 2017 Labs Released!

Today we will be releasing the remainder of the Hands-on Labs that were delivered this year at VMworld.  These labs are a great mix of hyper-converged solutions, NSX management, Cloud Native Applications and Partner integration with NSX and Horizon.

Starting at the top of the list, we have labs from Palo Alto Networks and Check Point and how they integrate with NSX.  Both of these labs focus on the benefits and enhancements to NSX that both Partners bring.

We have updated the Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management lab.  It now includes lessons on working with Nimble Storage and some of the new capabilities, like array based replication of Virtual Volumes in vSphere 6.5.

The VxRail lab has also been upgraded to show some additional features, like Storage Policy Based Management and troubleshooting hard drive failures.  In addition, there are also use case lessons on upgrading and shutting down the VxRail appliance.

vRealize Network Insight has been refreshed and now includes a lesson on managing security for public clouds and in this case, focuses on AWS.  vRealize Network Insight traffic monitoring gives you visibility in to native AWS constructs like Virtual Private Clouds, Virtual Machines, Security Groups and more.  This means that you will be able to plan micro-segmentation and understand traffic patterns using data collected from your AWS instances.

Next are the Cloud Native Application labs.  The first lab, PhotonOS and Container Basics – Getting Started, is designed more for a vSphere Administrator to see how valuable containers really are.  The vSphere Integrated Containers – Getting Started lab focuses goes in to more detail on how to setup and use vSphere Integrated Containers.  It also shows addition products like Admiral for container management and Harbor as an enterprise class registry server for Docker.  We round things out with the final lab, Kubernetes – Getting Started.  The lab starts with an introduction to Kuebernetes, but it also offers a deep-dive that shows how to manipulate an application via the CLI.  The final lesson focuses on a great use case where you will deploy a multi-tier application, upgrade to a newer version and roll back the upgrade, all with zero downtime.

Last but not least on the list is an updated Horizon 7 and F5 integration lab.  The lab has been updated to show how the F5 BIG-IP solution integrated with Horizon 7, AppVolumes, and Identity Manager.

Well, that’s all we have for now and want to thank you for sticking with us this past week.  Be sure to keep checking back, as you never know what surprises may be in store!

Lab SKU / Name Link to PDF/HTML Archived 2017 Lab
HOL-1823-01-NET – Palo Alto Networks VM-Series on NSX – Next-Gen Security for your SDDC PDF / HTML HOL-1723-SDC-1
HOL-1824-01-NET – Check Point vSEC and NSX – Advanced SDDC Security PDF / HTML HOL-1724-SDC-1
HOL-1827-01-HCI – VMware Storage – Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management PDF / HTML HOL-1708-SDC-2
HOL-1828-01-HCI – VxRail – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1728-SDC-1
HOL-1829-01-NET – vRealize Network Insight – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1729-SDC-1
HOL-1830-01-CNA – Photon OS and Container Basics – Getting Started PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1830-02-CNA – vSphere Integrated Containers – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1730-USE-1
HOL-1831-01-CNA – Kubernetes – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1730-USE-2
HOL-1859-01-ADV – F5 Integration with VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise PDF / HTML HOL-1759-MBL-1

VMworld 2017 Cloud Based Labs Released

There are only a few more days until we have released the new labs for this year!  Today’s release will be focused on some of the cloud based offerings and solutions in VMware’s portfolio.  These labs include everything from hosting your own desktops in the cloud to helping Telco providers run elastic, cross-cloud services.

The first lab, HOL-1856-01-ADV – VMware Horizon Cloud – Getting Started, walks you through setting up your own desktop as a service on Horizon Cloud and helps you understand the differences between running an on-premise solution.  You will also see how to integrate Horizon Cloud with User Environment Manager and Workspace ONE

I was fascinated by the next lab, HOL-1881-01-HBD – VMware HCX – Getting Started with Cross-Cloud Mobility and includes the solution to what I believe a lot of Customers have been or will be looking for.  This lab illustrates how to move applications across data centers, whether they are in your private or public cloud.  It also includes a look at protecting your applications with site to site disaster recovery and how to design secure networks and the tools you need to move workloads to the public cloud.

If you are part of the VMware Cloud Provider Program (formerly vCloud Air Network), you will want to a look at HOL-1883-01-HBD.  This lab provides an introduction to vCloud Director and how it interacts with vSAN, vRealize Operations and vRealize Log Insight.  It also covers two new tools, Usage Meter and vCloud Availability.  Usage Meter assists Services Providers in metering usage of VMware products for monthly billing.  vCloud Availability helps customers protect their on-premise vSphere environments with replication and recovery to Public Cloud.

Would you like to run your own Hands-on Labs or are you just curious about how it all works, then you should take a look at HOL-1885-01-EMT – VMware Learning Platform – Deliver Your Own Hands-on Labs.   This is also a great lab for those that are looking for a tool to integrate with their current Learning Management System.  In the lab you will get an idea of what it takes to deliver the labs to you, our users.  The lab also shows how it can be used in an Instructor-led environment and the ability to grade a student’s work in a lab.

The last series of labs, HOL-1886, focus on VMware vCloud Network Functions Virtualization with a Getting Started and an Advanced topics lab.  VMware vCloud Network Functions Virtualization is a platform geared towards the telecommunications industry.  In the Getting Started lab, you will follow the end-to-end lifecycle of vCloud Network Functions Virtualization, along with our partners Athonet and Cloudify.  The Advanced Topics lab covers integration with VMware Integrated OpenStack and deploying Metaswitch.

Thank you for sticking with us as we are down to the last few days.  We’ll be back tomorrow with more great labs for you!


Lab SKU / Name Link to PDF/HTML Archived 2017 Lab
HOL-1856-01-ADV – VMware Horizon Cloud – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1756-MBL-1
HOL-1881-01-HBD – VMware HCX – Getting Started with Cross-Cloud Mobility PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1883-01-HBD – VMware Cloud Provider Program (formerly VMware vCloud Air Network) – Tools and Offerings PDF / HTML HOL-1787-USE-1
HOL-1885-01-EMT – VMware Learning Platform – Deliver Your Own Hands-on Labs PDF / HTML HOL-1785-HBD-1
HOL-1886-01-EMT – vCloud Network Functions Virtualization – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1786-USE-1
HOL-1886-02-EMT – vCloud Network Functions Virtualization – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML New!

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!