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Tag Archives: hands on labs

Congratulations Brian W – DJI Drone Raffle Contest Winner

Folks,

Thank you for participating in our Raffle Drawing for the very cool DJI Drone – we had a lot of fun putting it together for you.  We thought it would be great to get to know our winner and did a little write up to introduce him to our readers.

Tell us about your professional career background and interests ?

 I work in healthcare specializing in virtualization technology and strategy. I’ve been working in IT for over 20 years, and working with VMware solutions for over 15. My current interests involve Cloud Management and Automation, and Network Virtualization. I also enjoy attending my local VMUG meetings to understand how other people are addressing problems in Healthcare with technology.

 How was your Hands-on Lab Experience? Anything we can do to improve the experience?  

I’m a huge proponent of the HOL’s. I used them frequently to study for VMware Certification exams, especially to get to bits that aren’t generally available… Additionally, many of the labs give you free reign to go off of the lab manual, and do other tasks. For me, this is much easier than a home lab. Everything is properly configured, consistent, and there’s no consequence for making changes that would break a home lab configuration. Over the years, the HOL environment has gotten better and the catalog broader, there’s really nothing else like it out there.

 Advice to users out there on using the Hands-on Labs

 Get out there and try them! Don’t be afraid to use a HOL environment for other tasks than the lab, such as performing tasks on a certification blueprint. I rarely find that there are things I cannot perform in the HOL’s, short of complex multisite configurations. The HOL’s are great training if you’re lacking budget, offering the latest content and products.

 

Last of the 2017 Hands-on Labs Released!

It’s the final day of releasing labs the 2017 catalog and we have some rather unique labs for you.  We are releasing the VxRail, VMware Learning Platform and vCloud Director for Service Providers Hands-on Labs today.

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The first lab, VxRail, covers the installation and management of the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Appliance (HCIA).  You will see how the appliance is initially configured, then walk through the features, management and monitoring and also see how to expand and extend the appliance.

The next lab covering the VMware Learning Platform is another of my favorites.  This lab gives you an inside look at how we deliver the Hands-on Labs to you.  If you are interested in how we host the labs or are interested in how to deliver lab content to your users, this is the lab for you!

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Finally, if you are a vCloud Air Network partner and need to come up to speed on vCloud Director, you will want to take a look at the VMware vCloud Director for Service Providers lab.  It will walk you through building out your Infrastructure as a Service platform.  If you are a customer that utilizes vCloud Air or services from one of our vCloud Air Network partners, there is a section in this lab that covers consumption of vCloud Director resources.

That’s it!  The Lab SKU link below will take you directly to the lab entry where you can start taking the lab.  Also, you can download any of the lab manuals from the Hands-on Labs Document site.

Lab SKU Description Archived 2016 Lab
HOL-1728-SDC-1 VxRail Introduction HOL-SDC-1628
HOL-1785-HBD-1 VMware Learning Platform: How You Can Deliver Your Own Hands-On Labs HOL-HBD-1685
HOL-1787-USE-1 VMware vCloud Director for Service Providers: Build IaaS Platforms N/A

That’s all for now!  A big thank you to the volunteers who created this content and the most amazing catalog I think we’ve ever had.  Stay tuned as we will be providing an update for our global users and localized Hands-on Labs manuals shortly!

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New Horizon and Challenge Labs Released!

Today is one of my favorite release days!  We are releasing the remainder of our Horizon and Challenge labs for the 2017 Hands-on Labs catalog.

There is some great new content we are releasing in the Mobility catalog for Horizon.  These labs focus on Identity Manager and application management and delivery with App Volumes and ThinApp.  We also have updated the F5 and Horizon integration lab.

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What I am really excited to release are the new Challenge labs and yes, I am a bit biased towards them!  Last year, we tested the waters with the vSphere 6 Challenge lab.  We were not sure how it would be received, but it did end up being one of the top three labs and we received phenomenal feedback from those that took it.

So today I am pleased to present three new Challenge labs covering Horizon, vRealize Automation and vSphere.  These are in addition to the two we have already released for vRealize Operations and Virtual SAN.  If you are not familiar with Challenge labs, we work with our friends in Global Support Services to understand the most common issues customers contact them about.  We then replicate those in the Hands-on Labs.  So while these labs are a great way to test your skills, they may also save you a call to VMware Support in the future.

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And finally, just for Mark Achtemichuk, we are releasing the vSphere 6 Performance and Optimization lab.  This is another one of my favorites.  If you are curious about optimizing your environment or how to troubleshoot performance issue, this is the lab for you!  For this lab, we worked with Mark and our friends in the VMware Performance group to help create this one.

Here are the links to the new labs for today.  If you don’t see your favorite lab listed, well, check back tomorrow!  We will have everything in the 2017 catalog released.  You can click on the lab SKU link to be taken directly to the lab entry and start taking the lab.  Also, you can download any of the lab manuals from the Hands-on Labs Document site!

Lab SKU Description Archived 2016 Lab
HOL-1704-SDC-1 vSphere 6: Performance Optimization HOL-SDC-1604
HOL-1704-CHG-2 vSphere 6: Challenge Lab HOL-CHG-1695
HOL-1753-MBL-1 VMware Identity Manager 2.6: Application Management and Delivery HOL-MBL-1653, HOL-MBL-1654
HOL-1753-MBL-2 User Applications: Delivery and Lifecycle Management HOL-MBL-1653, HOL-MBL-1654
HOL-1759-MBL-1 F5 Integration with VMware Horizon Suite HOL-MBL-1659
HOL-1759-USE-3 Horizon 7: Load Balancing HOL-MBL-1659
HOL-1759-USE-4 Identity Manager, App Volumes and Mirage: Load Balancing HOL-MBL-1659
HOL-1790-CHG-1 vRealize Automation: Challenge Lab N/A
HOL-1791-CHG-1 Horizon 7: Challenge Lab N/A

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Be sure to check back tomorrow as we will be releasing the last few labs in the 2017 catalog!

New Hands-on Labs at VMworld 2016

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VMworld US 2016 is less than a week away. The Hands-on Labs team cannot wait to connect with everyone in Las Vegas as we unveil our new 2017 content catalog. VMworld attendees are the first to experience the labs that are deployed online throughout the following calendar year. This year is no exception, with over 70 lab topics covering vSphere tech preview material, integration with VMware partner solutions, updated NSX content, new Virtual SAN labs, Airwatch, Horizon and vCloud Air. The VMware Hands-on Labs showcase the power of VMware products and solutions in real time. Be sure to visit the Hands-on Labs, Sunday through Thursday, at VMworld US 2016 in Las Vegas.

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VMware Hands-on Labs Releases and Naming

Hello and welcome to 2016! We have seen quite a few questions from people having trouble finding our older labs, so I wanted to take a few minutes and explain the VMware Hands-on Labs release and naming conventions.

Our major release of labs occurs annually at the VMworld conferences, but, depending on product release schedules and resource availability, some labs will be refreshed in the April/May timeframe. Continue reading

Please, Sir, I Want Some More (Time)

OliverIf you have taken one of our labs at a large event like a VMworld, vForum, or VMUG, you may recall that we provide 90-minute lab sessions so that everyone has a chance to experience the labs. If nobody is waiting in line, users may continue their sessions by requesting a time extension from the lab staff before their lab session expires.

When we publish these labs via our online portal, we configure longer session times based on lab popularity, demand and the capacity we have available, but there is no lab staff constantly monitoring the online labs to handle realtime extension requests.

As I have outlined in other posts, our labs are designed to be consumed in small chunks, and most users spend less than an hour in the lab at a time. However, we receive a good deal of feedback from users who would prefer to sit for several hours at a time and work their way through an entire lab manual. We understand that different people work in different ways, so we are piloting a new self-service model for lab time extensions to address this request.

This feature enables our users to self-extend their lab time in 1 hour increments to continue working within the same lab environment for an extended period.

How Do I Use It?

Prior to running out of time in your lab, click on the Extend button under the lab title and the system will request an additional hour to be added to your lab session.

HOL-ExtendThat’s it!

Try it out and let us know what you think by joining the Time Extension thread in the HOL section of the VMware Communities.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your labs.

 

 

Run Hands-on Labs offline? Probably not.

We periodically receive requests from our users and other organizations that are interested in running their own copies of the VMware Hands-on Labs. This request frequently stems from poor network connectivity to our hosting datacenter(s), but several just want to be able to download our labs to run on their own hardware so that they don’t need to be connected to the Internet in order to go through a lab.

While we understand many of the reasons behind these requests, it is challenging for a number of reasons, not the least of which has to do with the fact that our labs are live environments. I hope to address the main issues here while providing some additional insight into what the backend of the labs looked like in 2014. Continue reading

New VMware App Volumes Hands On Lab Available

Application Management with VMware App Volumes and Horizon 6

I am pleased to announce the availability of the new VMware App Volumes Hands On Lab (HOL-MBL-1458)!

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Hands-on Labs – End of Year 2014

It has been a long time since my last post. Lest you all think we’re just sitting back and waiting for VMworld 2015, I wanted to give an update on what we have going on in the Hands-on Labs and some of the exciting work we are doing to prepare for 2015.

  1. Updated Labs: new builds, wallpaper
  2. Enhanced LabStartup
  3. FAQ
  4. Maintenance

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More VMworld 2014 Hands-on Labs – IT Outcomes

it-outcomes-infographic-smallThings just don’t slow down here in the Hands-on Labs. We are in the middle of lab development for VMworld Europe but want to get your hands on the new content from VMworld 2014 US as soon as we can. After publishing the initial set yesterday, we are releasing 5 more new SDDC labs that showcase some of the high-value IT Outcomes that your organization can achieve with VMware software.

Four of these new labs replace similar labs in the current catalog with updated software and content. The lab development teams have done another fantastic job and these new labs are definitely worth a look. As we replace the 2013 labs, they are moved to the HOL Archives catalog and slated for retirement in December. I have called out the replaced labs here so that you can see what is new and what will be retiring.

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