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Top VMworld 2018 Labs Released!

We are pleased to announce the release of the top labs from VMworld 2018!

Just a couple of reminders before we get started. As we release the HOL-1900 series labs, the corresponding HOL-1800 series lab will be placed in the HOL Archives catalog. For all the details, you can review the previous post on Transitioning to the New 2019 Hands-on Labs. So if you don’t see the HOL-1800 series lab in the usual catalog, try the HOL Archives catalog or better yet, use the HOL 2018 to 2019 Lab Listing sheet and take the newer, HOL-1900 series version!

The labs listed below were some of the top performers at VMworld US in Las Vegas this year. You will see some familiar labs, like NSX, vSAN, Horizon, and Workspace ONE, but there is some great new content we adding this year. We have a new lab focused on NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud, Workspace ONE UEM Intelligence, and a new vRealize Orchestrator lab has been created to include more advanced content.

By clicking on the Lab SKU and Title, you will be taken directly to the lab.  There are also links to the PDF and HTML version of the manual, pulled from the Hands-on Labs Documents site. Finally, the last column will show the corresponding HOL-1800 series lab this new one is replacing.

By the way, if you have not seen how the Hands-on Labs room at VMworld was built out this year, check out the awesome time-lapse video!

Lab SKU / Name Link to PDF/HTML Replaces 2018 Lab
HOL-1901-01-CMP – What’s New in vRealize Operations Manager and vRealize Log Insight PDF / HTML New Content!
HOL-1901-02-CMP – Optimize Infrastructure Performance with vRealize Operations Manager PDF / HTML HOL-1801-03-CMP
HOL-1901-03-CMP – Optimize vSphere Capacity and Cost Savings with vRealize Operations Manager PDF / HTML HOL-1801-01-CMP
HOL-1901-04-CMP – Monitor and Troubleshoot with vRealize Suite and Wavefront by VMware PDF / HTML HOL-1801-05-CHG
HOL-1901-05-CMP – vRealize Operations Manager and vRealize Log Insight – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML HOL-1801-04-CMP
HOL-1903-01-NET – VMware NSX Data Center for vSphere – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1803-01-NET
HOL-1903-02-NET – VMware NSX Data Center for Security – Distributed Firewall and Micro-Segmentation PDF / HTML HOL-1803-02-NET
HOL-1903-03-NET – VMware NSX Data Center for vSphere – Operations and Troubleshooting for Network Engineers PDF / HTML HOL-1803-03-NET
HOL-1906-01-CMP – VMware vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager Basics PDF / HTML HOL-1834-01-CMP
HOL-1906-02-SLN – Automate IT – Making Private Cloud Easy PDF / HTML HOL-1806-02-SLN
HOL-1906-03-CMP – Automate IT – Hybrid Cloud PDF / HTML New!
HOL-1906-04-CHG – VMware vRealize Automation Troubleshooting PDF / HTML HOL-1890-01-CHG
HOL-1908-01-HCI – vSAN v6.7 – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1808-01-HCI
HOL-1908-02-CHG – vSAN v6.7 – Challenge Lab PDF / HTML HOL-1808-02-CHG
HOL-1911-01-SDC – What’s New in VMware vSphere 6.7 PDF / HTML HOL-1811-01-SDC
HOL-1911-02-SDC – VMware vSphere with Operations Management – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1811-02-SDC
HOL-1911-03-SDC – VMware vSphere with Operations Management – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML HOL-1811-03-SDC
HOL-1911-04-SDC – VMware vSphere Security – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1811-04-SDC
HOL-1911-05-SDC – VMware vSphere Automation – PowerCLI PDF / HTML HOL-1811-05-SDC
HOL-1911-06-SDC -VMware vSphere Automation and Development – API and SDK PDF / HTML HOL-1811-06-SDC
HOL-1911-07-SDC – VMware vSphere HTML Client SDK – Building a Plugin PDF / HTML HOL-1811-07-SDC
HOL-1921-01-CMP – vRealize Automation 7 – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1821-01-CMP
HHOL-1921-02-CMP – vRealize Automation 7 – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML HOL-1821-02-CMP
HOL-1921-03-CMP – vRealize Automation 7 – Advanced Extensibility PDF / HTML HOL-1821-03-CMP
HOL-1921-04-CMP – vRealize Code Stream – DevOps Solutionss PDF / HTML HOL-1821-04-CMP
HOL-1921-05-CMP – vRealize Orchestrator – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1821-05-CMP
HOL-1921-06-CMP – vRealize Orchestrator Advanced PDF / HTML New Content!
HOL-1940-01-NET – VMware NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud – Getting Started PDF / HTML New Content!
HOL-1941-01-NET – Secure VMware Horizon with VMware NSX and Trend Micro PDF / HTML HOL-1841-01-NET
HOL-1951-01-VWS – VMware Workspace ONE – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1851-05-ADV
HOL-1951-02-VWS – VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1851-01-ADV
HOL-1951-03-VWS – VMware Workspace ONE – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML New Content!
HOL-1951-04-VWS – VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise – Advanced Topics PDF / HTML HOL-1851-02-ADV
HOL-1951-05-VWS – VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise – Security, Operations and Troubleshooting PDF / HTML HOL-1851-09-ADV
HOL-1951-06-VWS – VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise – Advanced – JMP, App Volumes and UEM PDF / HTML HOL-1851-03-ADV, HOL-1851-04-ADV
HOL-1957-01-UEM – Workspace ONE UEM with App & Access Management PDF / HTML HOL-1857-03-UEM
HOL-1957-02-UEM – Workspace ONE UEM – Identity Management PDF / HTML New Content!
HOL-1957-03-UEM – Workspace ONE UEM – Intelligence PDF / HTML New Content!
HOL-1957-04-UEM – Workspace ONE UEM – Windows 10 Management PDF / HTML HOL-1857-02-UEM
HOL-1957-05-UEM – Workspace ONE UEM – Apple Management PDF / HTML HOL-1857-01-UEM
HOL-1957-06-UEM – Workspace ONE UEM – Android Management PDF / HTML HOL-1857-07-UEM
HOL-1957-07-UEM – Workspace ONE UEM – Productivity Apps PDF / HTML HOL-1857-04-UEM
HOL-1957-08-UEM – Workspace ONE UEM – Unified Access Gateway PDF / HTML New Content!
HOL-1987-01-HBD – VMware Cloud on AWS – Getting Started PDF / HTML HOL-1887-01-EMT

Stay tuned as we announce more great content from this year’s catalog!

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!

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.


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!


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!


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.


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.


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


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

Final Round of 2017 Hands-on Labs to be Released!

The wait is finally over!  We are back from VMworld Europe and will be releasing the remaining labs in the 2017 Hands-on Labs catalog over the coming days.  Today’s release will focus on the Top 10 series labs.  These are labs that proved to be popular at VMworld and have yet to be released.


As a reminder, when we add a new 2017 lab, the corresponding 2016 lab will retired to the HOL Archives catalog, where it will eventually be decommissioned on December 1st, 2016.  Keep in mind that we are significantly reducing the “pre-pops” for the older 1600 series labs that are in the Archive catalog to make room for the new content.  If you do choose to take a lab from the Archive catalog, you may wait a bit longer for the Lab Status indicator to display “Ready”.

You can review my previous post to see which lab(s) will be retired when a new a lab is made available, where to find the older lab and what to watch out for.


Without further delay, here are the new labs available for you!  If you don’t see your favorite lab listed, keep checking back throughout the week.  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-1705-SDC-1 Site Recovery Manager: Data Center Migration and Disaster Recovery HOL-SDC-1605
HOL-1721-USE-1 vRealize Automation 7 Basics HOL-SDC-1621, HOL-SDC-1633
HOL-1721-USE-2 vRealize Automation 7 Advanced HOL-SDC-1632
HOL-1721-USE-3 vRealize Automation Advanced Extensibility HOL-SDC-1632
HOL-1721-USE-4 DevOps with vRealize Code Stream HOL-SDC-1621
HOL-1721-SDC-5 Introduction to vRealize Orchestrator HOL-SDC-1632
HOL-1721-SDC-6 vSphere Automation with PowerCLI HOL-SDC-1607
HOL-1781-HBD-1 VMware vCloud Air – Jump Start for vSphere Admins HOL-HBD-1681
HOL-1783-HBD-1 VMware vCloud Air – Manage Your Cloud HOL-HBD-1683
HOL-1784-HBD-1 VMware vCloud Air Disaster Recovery HOL-HBD-1684

Thank you for your continued support of the Hands-on Labs and to the volunteers that make all of this possible!14

New Hands-on Labs at VMworld 2016


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.

Continue reading

Time, Resources, and Modularity

“There is not enough time provided to complete all of the steps in the manual!”time-up-businessman-holding-sandglass-hourglass-looking-realise-s-nearly-deadline-45081255

This is perhaps the most common bit of feedback we receive about the VMware Hands-on Labs. For the past few years, we have been working on ways to optimize resource utilization. One of these optimizations has been consolidation and sharing of lab environments.

What does that mean? Let’s look at our wildly popular NSX labs for an example. Rather than having 13 individual “labs” that showcase our NSX product, we have two lab environments available. We pair each environment with a manual containing multiple modules. This provides a consolidation of sorts: lab modules are written to use the same underlying lab environment.

In the case of NSX, we have split the modules into two groups: Introduction and Advanced. It makes sense to leave certain aspects of the lab environment unconfigured for the Introduction because a big part of learning is performing the configuration. In the Advanced environment, we assume that the student already knows how to perform basic configuration and those tasks have already been performed.

The set of basic modules became the Introduction to NSX lab (HOL-SDC-1603), while the Advanced content became the NSX Advanced lab (HOL-SDC-1625). There are other labs that contain NSX-related content, but you get the idea.

By design, each lab module is independent, and should require between 15 and 90 minutes to complete. If you like, you can think of each module as a “lab” that shares a “lab environment” with related labs. The net result for us is that we save on resources. From your side, you don’t need to wait for a new environment to deploy in order to move on to the next lab. Rather, you deploy once and have a set of labs to choose from. Only switching environments or rolling back the current one requires a redeployment.

You can jump to any module in the manual and start from there — WITHOUT going back to perform tasks in previous modules.

Use this information to plan your lab experiences: each time you complete a module, think of it as reaching a checkpoint, restore or respawn point in a video game. The same idea applies: you do not need to repeat that effort unless you want to do so. These are also good places to remember to get up and stretch your legs or grab a cup of coffee.

We list each module with its estimated completion time in the Table of Contents. We try our best to make the estimates reasonable, but each person learns at a different pace. Hitting those times is neither a goal nor an assessment of your proficiency, simply a number to help you plan your session time. This is not a test. Feel free to take the labs as many times as you like!VLP_TOC


The new VMware NSX Advanced lab (HOL-SDC-1625) manual contains 7 modules with a total estimated 3.5 hours of content. We usually provide 90-minute sessions at our events (VMworld, vForum, VMUG) and 3-4 hours via the public portal.


Eating the Elephant

If I were to take this lab, I would make it a goal to complete module 1, and maybe module 2 in my first sitting. That is about 90 minutes of content, and more than enough for me to try and consume during my first foray into Advanced NSX.

If I get to Module 3, great. If not, though, I can simply jump straight to that module the next time I get into the lab. Sure, if I log in later today or tomorrow, or next week, it will not be the exact same instance of the lab environment I was working in, but it will be a fresh copy from the same template and the exercises in Module 3 will not require that I complete Modules 1-2 before beginning work.

Our intent is not for you to work through every module in a lab manual in one sitting.

In fact, we have found that users are generally able to spend about an hour at a time in a lab — even when they are taking labs at large events like VMworld. Phone calls, meetings, and life in general tend to get in the way of marathon lab sessions. Besides, the ergonomics people say that you should get up and take a break once in a while — at least 5 minutes each hour.

So, next time you open one of our labs and see that there are 90 minutes on the clock and 598 pages (!!!) in the manual, don’t worry. This isn’t a test. It simply means that you have a LOT of choices related to the topic that you chose. Open the Table of Contents and see what interests you… and feel free to skip anything that you don’t care about, too!

I hope that helps you all understand our thinking and how we have chosen to structure our content.

Enjoy your labs.

Technical Women of the VMware Hands-on Labs

Did you know that in each of the past 4 years the VMware’s Hands-on Labs (HOL) have doubled the number of women staff members from one year to the next? Impressive? Yes. Accidental? No.

The Hands-on Labs team is staffed by hundreds of VMware technical experts. These volunteers create lab content so that customers and partners can try any VMware product online 24×7, 365 days a year. Since Jan 2013 The Hands-on Labs Online portal has delivered over 400,000 labs to over 122,000 unique users from 4 data centers around the world. Customers and partners visit the labs at VMworld to connect with the expert staff who create the content.

Lab Captains are the backbone of the program. They author the lab content and commit to over 300 hours of development and support effort annually. In 2012 the HOL team recruited our first woman Captain: Kim Delgado. Kim is a Staff Solutions Engineer in MSBU R&D and has been at VMware for more than 5 years. She loves working in the labs as it has helped her to build a deep knowledge of VMware products and strong relationships across the company. Kim was motivated to become an engineer by her high school computer science teacher, as well as her father who bought her first computer in middle school. As the first woman Lab Captain, Kim wants to tell women “This is a great opportunity to meet other experts and network with VMware’s best and brightest!

In 2013 Rebecca Grider joined as a Captain. Rebecca is a Senior Member of Technical Staff within Performance R&D. The Hands-on Labs have provided Rebecca a fabulous learning opportunity to understand customers’ real world challenges and bring that knowledge back to engineering. She gained perspective from directly interacting with our customers, which makes her a better engineer, focused on ease of use and customers’ performance challenges. Rebecca pursued computer science because she wanted to solve real world problems, and loves the diversity and pace of change in technology. Rebecca wants to motivate more women engineers to join the HOL team so they can educate customers about their product.

The following year, in 2014, Mousumi Mullick, Judy Snow and Jodi Shely joined as Captains. Mousumi is a Senior Member of Technical Staff within Storage Engineering in R&D. She joined VMware 5 years ago, and loves engaging customers to discover their challenges. “I see customer pain points and share them with R&D folks to bring them new feature ideas.” Her interactions on the HOL team have given her significant insights for her QE role. Mousumi comes from a family of engineers who encouraged her, and thinks of herself as “inquisitive and kind of geeky”. Judy Snow, Staff Technical Program Manager for EVO:RAIL in R&D, was always good at math & science. As a teenager her dad inspired her by giving her a programmable computer. Judy loves to educate customers about her product, interact with them at VMworld to learn their pain points and bring improvements back to her team.

This year with the addition of Kelly Montgomery, Laurel Spadaro, Cindy Mazeika, Julie Roman & Melanie Spencer, we again doubled the number of women Captains! They are all passionate to deliver high quality lab content, and bring new ideas back to their teams.

The Hands-on Labs program is capably shepherded by our Program Manager, Tina Valle. Tina is a former Marine who came to the Hands-on Labs team in 2013. She works incredibly hard all year to make sure the team is fully prepared to deliver labs at VMworld. Tina was drawn to high tech as she loves gadgets and solving problems. Tina is well respected by the entire Hands-on Labs staff. The running joke is that Tina will make them do push-ups if they do not follow the processes established to run this large operation.

Chris Romano, Principal Systems Engineer, is an almost 15-year veteran at VMware and acts as staffing manager for the Hands-on Labs. He has always been very proud of the high number of women in leadership positions at VMware. Chris has a teenage daughter, and actively seeks to recruit women into this career enhancing role. Chris says “My vision for the future is to bring in more women from R&D as Captains. They bring a different type of creativity and perspective.

Chris broadened his net and connected newly recruited women with each other and other experienced staff members. The newbies are comfortable asking questions of those with more experience. In addition to Captains, this year Chris recruited more than ten woman Proctors! He found himself in a position to make a difference, and quietly and persistently he has increased the number of women serving in the labs.

We are proud of our talented technical women who have contributed significantly to the Hands-on Labs program. We look forward to more women joining us in the future as word gets out about this exciting opportunity. If you are interested in learning more about the labs please visit hol.vmware.com. Together the women of the Hands-on Labs are moving the needle and that is inspiring!

New Trevor Videos – Tips and Tricks when taking a VMware Hands-on Lab


Trevor was in town last week and he created some videos to help you guys have an even better experience when taking a VMware Hands-on Lab. The videos are short and simple, and designed for someone that is just getting started using VMware Hands-on Labs – be sure to tell a friend and hope to see you at VMworld.

Tip #1 Loading of the Hands-on Labs

Tip #2 Checking to see your lab status (very cool feature in your Lab desktop most folks overlook)

Tip #3 Working your way around the User Interface,,

Tip #4 Sending feedback, getting help on Twitter @vmwarehol, Hands-on Labs Community hol.vmware.com

Chance to win VMworld Passes – Show us where you take labs – Defy Convention









We are kicking off a really fun contest with the goal to show how easy and fun it is to take labs anywhere and anytime.

What do you have to do to win?

Simply upload a photo of you and or your team / friends taking labs in unconventional places – that is it.

Winner Criteria

This contest is very much about defying standard convention  – which just so happens to be the theme for VMworld 2013 so we open it up to your creativity.

Here are some guidelines

  • Some random ideas of what we are looking for…  Take a picture of you at the top of mountain taking a lab, at your favorite spa taking a lab, on your train ride home taking a lab, studying for VCP exam with your friends – on an airplane taking a lab, at your favorite coffee shop taking a lab…. Also be sure to let us see the HOL Portal in the photo.
  • Creative:  We are looking for creative ways you take labs that can be photographed and presented to a public audience – (this means keep the pictures tasteful and rated G)
  • Usefulness: If you have a great tip to share with our community – this is the place to do it and express it in a photo – please be sure to include a caption or description of what is going on in the photo

How to participate

Take a photo of you and your teams / friends taking labs – and post them on twitter @VMwarehol or your favorite social media site. Be sure to respond to this post with your submissions.

Dont forget to add some context / description of what we are looking at – sometimes a picture does not tell the whole story.

Winners Announcements

Winners will be announced on the HOL Blog  http://blogs.vmware.com/hol

  •  July 1st – 2 Winners
  • August 1st – 2 Winners

Contest Rules

This is simply a fun raffle contest and we are trying to keep things open and easy. Please use good judgment when publishing your photos as we would like to highlight you in our blog. Remember your co-workers, family and friends will see this so keep it clean.  The winners will receive a full conference pass for VMworld US – so this does NOT include Travel and Expenses.

Who can enter?

We prefer to keep our contest open to VMware Customers and Partners and community members.

Questions / Comments

Send a note to our helpful alias hands-on-lab-beta <at> vmware dot com