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Tag Archives: vsphere

Congratulations Brian W – DJI Drone Raffle Contest Winner


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.


Announcing VMware Hands-on Labs BackStage Pass Webinars

Webinar Series VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass

Join our Webinar Series VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass


We are announcing the VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass Webinars Series.  These sessions are for Administrators, Architects and IT Managers running VMware environments of any size. Our talks are easygoing , focus on technology and provide tips and tricks to help make your life easier.

The VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass Webinars Series will run the first Wednesday of the month 9:00 AM PDT. All sessions will be recorded and posted on our Hands-on Labs blog if you cannot attend session. Please join us as these are a great opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback and learn how we use our products to run the VMware Hands-on Labs service.

VMware Hands-on Labs Backstage Pass – Webinar Schedule / Abstracts

March 25, 2014

Session #1  VMware vSphere Operations Management 101 – Online Workshop
In our vSphere with Operations Management 101 online workshop, you will learn first-hand how vCenter Operations Manager can help you manage your vSphere environments. We will walk you through the steps to access the live vCenter Operations labs.  Using the Hands-on Labs online portal you will be able try vCenter Operations Manager and chat with our VMware experts who use this product to monitor the Hands-on Labs infrastructure. Attend this online workshop to see how vCenter Operations Manager provides comprehensive visibility into the health and performance of your vSphere environments, helps you improve the efficiency of your virtual infrastructure, increase your consolidation ratios, and how it provides capacity management with “what if” planning capabilities.

This online workshop is targeted at customers who are running vSphere and who are new to vSphere with Operations Management. Registration is closed thanks for your interest.

April 2, 2014

Session #2Backstage with VMware Hands-on Labs – vPod and Data Sync

In this Session Bill Call and Doug Baer will walk you through an overview of the Hands-on Labs infrastructure, design considerations when creating our vApps (vPods) and how we move them across multiple datacenters around the world.

This technical session is for architects, and administrators running datacenters. The content level is intermediate to advanced. Please plan to attend and be prepared to ask questions at the end of the talk.  We also encourage you to start thinking about joining us for VMworld 2014 in San Francisco or Barcelona and visiting us in the Hands-on Labs room. 30 minute talk /presentation with plenty of room for questions and answers.

Backstage with Bill Call and Doug “Trevor”

PDF and MP3 Recording

May 7th 2014

Session #3Backstage with VMware Hands-on Labs Performance Testing Tuning Hands-on Labs Architecture with @jpschnee and Joeyd.

This session will discuss how we tested and tuned our Datacenters for optimal performance. Josh will discuss the tools he used to test our multiple clouds and Joey will go into details on the infrastructure we have deployed and our planning for VMworld. This is a great session for folks getting ready to roll out their Clouds and a great opportunity to ask questions.

Recording and PDF

Session #4 Backstage with VMware Hands-on Labs Project NEE & OneCloud – Delivering Hand-On Labs at Cloud Scale
Wednesday June 4th 2014
Time: 9:00 AM PDT
Length: 60 minutes
We have had tons of requests for more information on Project NEE and more details on how we run and operation our Hands-on Labs Infrastructure. In this session we will have the guys from the ProjectNEE team and OneCloud walk us through the architecture and go into details on how we manage our infrastructure.
The first part of this session we will cover details on Project NEE. The second part of the session will go into OneCloud – our internal Cloud infrastructure service. The OneCloud team will discuss how they use the vCloud Suite – vCenter Operations Manager, vCenter Log Insight and various tools.  This is a great session for folks interested in learning how we run and operated our infrastructure.
– What is ProjectNee
– What is OneCloud
– Solving the Delivery Problem
– Operating Cloud at Scale
– Questions and answers
This meeting will be recording for folks that cannot attend.

Join us at VMware Partner Exchange 2014 – Meet our Product Experts – Hands-on Labs


We are incredibly excited about  bringing to our Partners the VMware Hands-on Labs – This is a superb opportunity for you to come in learn all about our products, take a lab and meet the actual people that built the labs.

Please join us – looking forward to seeing you there ….

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Now available: OpenStack+vSphere and vCAC 6.0 Labs

Got Automation? Fresh from their debut performances in VMworld Europe, we have released two more new labs in the Software-Defined Datacenter catalog, both specifically focused on cloud automation solutions. There was a great deal of interest in both of these labs at the conference, so we are happy to release them to the world.



HOL-SDC-1320 – OpenStack on VMware vSphere

OpenStack is a cloud management platform that enables self-service cloud provisioning and automation. What does that mean for you? This lab provides a basic overview of OpenStack and how it can be used with vSphere to provide cloud users access to compute and storage resources.

Enroll in HOL-SDC-1320

vCloud Automation Center 6.0

HOL-SDC-1321 – vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) 6.0 from A to Z

VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) version 6 has arrived! Explore how vCAC 6, vCAC Application Provisioning, vCAC Business Management, vCenter Orchestrator (vCO), and VMware vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) integrate and accelerate successful cloud deployments.

Enroll in HOL-SDC-1321

Try Out New VMware Products in the Hands-on Labs

The complete catalog of Hands-on Labs from VMworld 2013 is now available online. This is the best place for you to explore new features in the vCloud Suite and vSphere 5.5 and learn about VMware Virtual SAN. Connect to the labs at:


vSphere with Operations Management v5.5

If you are new to vSphere, be sure to take the “vSphere and vSOM 101” lab (HOL-SDC-1310) This provides an introduction to vSphere features and functionality and uses videos and hands-on steps to deepen understanding.

If you are familiar with vSphere already, but would like to experiment with vSphere 5.5, this lab makes an excellent “sandbox.” It includes a “What’s New” appendix to highlight new features in vSphere 5.5.

vSphere Big Data Extensions

Also new with vSphere 5.5 is the VMware Hadoop solution, vSphere Big Data Extensions (HOL-SDC-1309). See how you can deploy scalable application clusters seamlessly with vSphere.

VMware Virtual SAN

The public beta of VMware Virtual SAN is an exciting release. This software-defined storage solution is at your fingertips in HOL-SDC-1308. Take the lab as many times as you like to familiarize yourself with the new interface and features. Be sure to sign up for the VSAN public beta at http://www.vmware.com/vsan-beta-register.html to get your own copy of the software.

vCloud Suite Use Cases

Our vCloud Suite Use Case labs (HOL-SDC-1313 through HOL-SDC-1318) demonstrate the vCloud Suite addressing important business objectives. Not all of these labs have been updated for version 5.5 of the vCloud Suite, but they do demonstrate the power and flexibility available to you, even in earlier versions of the software. Be sure not to miss this exciting content.

New Labs and New Languages

Today we have added seven labs created by VMware Partners. These labs demonstrate the strong VMware partner ecosystem and the variety of solutions that are available. We also are highlighting our localized lab manuals in Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Spanish. Some of our most popular labs are available, localized into these languages to better serve the global audience for Hands-on Labs.

Click here for detailed instructions on how to change your preferred language in the Hands-on Labs Online portal.

Partner Labs

HOL-PRT-1301 – NetApp Virtual Storage Console

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You will take a guided tour of the NetApp Virtual Storage Console (VSC) and see how VMware and NetApp solutions work together to simplify storage management.

Enroll in HOL-PRT-1301

HOL-PRT-1302 – IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments

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IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments is simplified data protection for virtual machines. You will use Tivoli Storage Manager to provide scheduled protection and simplified recovery of mission-critical virtual machine data.

 Enroll in HOL-PRT-1302

HOL-PRT-1303 – EMC – Using Puppet and the vSphere Web Client

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Connect your infrastructure components to the VMware vCloud Suite using EMC infrastructure. Leverage vCenter Orchestrator, EMC ViPR, Avamar, and Puppet Open Source from Puppet Labs.

Enroll in HOL-PRT-1303

HOL-PRT-1304 – Infoblox – Automate with vCAC and the vCO IPAM plug-in

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IP address management (IPAM) can be a challenge in today’s data centers. See how the Infoblox vCenter Orchestrator IPAM plug-in works with with vCloud Automation Center (vCAC), vCenter Server and vCloud Director to provision virtual machines.

Enroll in HOL-PRT-1304

HOL-PRT-1305 – Cisco Nexus 1000V – Enhanced VXLAN Networking in vCloud Director

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Leverage the Cisco Nexus 1000v to deliver enhanced VXLAN networking in vCloud Director deployments.

Enroll in HOL-PRT-1305

HOL-PRT-1306 – Catbird-Hytrust-LogRhythm – Partner Security and Compliance

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Achieve Higher Consolidation Ratios Without Increased Risk by Leveraging VMware and Partner Technologies for Security and Compliance.

Enroll in HOL-PRT-1306

HOL-PRT-1307 – Puppet Labs – Automate vSphere Provisioning and Management

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Puppet Enterprise enables IT teams to automate VM lifecycle management and scale services quickly, reliably, and efficiently. You will walk through common configuration steps and automate repetitive tasks.

Enroll in HOL-PRT-1307

The first of the 2013 VMware Hands-on Labs are now online!

Today we are excited to announce that we have released the first four labs from the 2013 Hands-on Labs Content catalog to the HOL Online portal. These four labs were among the most popular at our 10th Annual VMworld US show last week in San Francisco. They demonstrate some of the most talked about new products and features in networking, storage, performance and mobility.

Click on the lab icon or the link below each lab description to enroll and begin your VMware Hands-on Labs Online session. To connect to the HOL Online portal in general, please use http://labs.hol.vmware.com/


Explore features of the vSphere Distributed Switch from beginning to advanced perspectives. There are modules that explore QoS and ERSPAN and others that provide a basic introduction to the vSphere Distributed Switch. If you want to explore vSphere networking, this is your lab.

Enroll in HOL-SDC-1302

HOL-SDC-1304 – vSphere Performance Optimization

The vSphere Performance lab is a perennial favorite and this year is no exception. There is content for all levels of expertise and multiple tracks through the lab. The optional modules at the end allow you to customize your lab experience around topics of interest to you. Be sure to take the lab more than once so that you can experience all of the modules.

Enroll in HOL-SDC-1304

HOL-SDC-1308 – Virtual Storage Solutions

VMware Virtual SAN pools compute and direct-attached storage resources and clusters server disks and flash to create resilient shared storage. This idea is so cool, you just have to see it in action! Get your first taste of this exciting new technology in this Hands-on Lab, then visit vmware.com to sign up for the free beta.

Enroll in HOL-SDC-1308

HOL-MBL-1301-AZ – Horizon View from A to Z

VMware Horizon View is changing the way that companies manage their desktop systems. This lab includes a beginning-level guided tour module as well as advanced troubleshooting and optimization content. See what all of the buzz is about and try out Horizon View.

Enroll in HOL-MBL-1301-AZ

Over the next few weeks, we will continue a phased rollout of the 2013 VMware Hands-on Labs. With each release, be sure to take labs that you may have missed at VMworld or something outside of your core competency. We build these labs for you. It is our privilege to present them to you and join in the conversation around VMware products and solutions.

Continue to watch these blog pages for future lab release announcements, follow us on twitter @VMwareHOL and participate in the online community at http://hol.vmware.com/

Exploring Hands on Labs Portal: New Features


Just wanted to list out some of the very cool new features that the guys have been adding over the last few weeks.

Feature Name: SPEED-TEST (Experimental Mode)

This is got to be one of my favorite debugging self serve tools the guys are working on. I like it because it gives the user a way to determine how things are going relative to where they are taking a lab. We are still working the kinks out in this feature so please keep the feedback coming. You will need to log into your account, once you are in go to: https://www.projectnee.com/speed-test

Please remember in order to ensure you have a great lab experience you will need to have the following:

– 300 – 500 kb dedicated bandwidth connection per client

– Better than 200ms latency – pretty typical of most web applications now days.

We are looking to expand our datacenter footprint across the globe in the near future but for now we are serving labs out of North America (Washington)

Feature Name: “THE J TIMER”

This just came out and I have to say it is very fun to watch the clocks run as your lab gets provisioned. We use this feature to determine how things are going and to help our users get a sense of how much time it takes to build a lab in HOL. As a rule of thumb our labs will load roughly between 3 – 5 minutes if all things are going well. If you think about it, that is pretty amazing considering what is going on under the covers. The application is actually building a new vAPP with a fully provisioned vSphere / Cloud Infrastructure for you to explore. You can imagine how much fun our guys have when we compete with each others data centers  (we have multiple test data centers) Will tell you the story behind the name when we see you at VMworld 😉



Feature Name:  “Console Refresh”

You will find this feature once you start the lab, it works the same way a browser refresh button would work – If things are going wonky you can try hitting the refresh button and the console will come back – hopefully in a better state.


Feature Name:“Split My Screen”

Description: This feature lends itself more to when we are hosting labs at an event, this will allow a user to have two monitors; one for the display, the other for the lab manuals. The guys even created an option that lets you use your tablet to read the manual as you take the lab…








Hello World – VMware Hands on Labs Official Blog


We are very happy to announce our Official Hands on Labs Blog dedicated to all things Hands-on Labs. As you might have already seen we have just released the 2012 Catalog Lab Abstracts for VMworld with 30 + new and exciting labs for our users.

So when will the labs be Online?
I wanted to get this out before you asked. We have been running a private beta for our Hands on Labs Online over the last few months and will be launching our Public Beta right after VMworld US. For folks that were part of the Private Beta we thank you very much for your feedback and patience and you will be the first ones on the Public Beta List. We will be opening up registrations shortly so please stay tuned.

How to get involved ? We need your feedback as we venture in the brave new world of running labs as a cloud service – running this service for us is very much like fixing the airplane as it is in the air – we hope to get it right the first time around and always look forward to your feedback to get it perfect- these labs are for you.

The three things we need you to do:

  1. Check our blog for updates as we get closer to release
  2. Join our VMTN Community http://vmware.com/go/hol
  3. Follow us @VMwareHOL

We are looking forward to an exciting 2H2012 and happy to be opening up our labs to the world !

See you at VMworld !

Pablo Roesch