by: VMware Senior Director, Cloud Service Operations Anees Iqbal and VMware Director, VMware Lab Platform Curtis Pope
The VMware Lab Platform™ (VLP) allows anyone to deliver richly featured hands-on IT labs on virtually any device at cloud scale. Since its introduction more than six years ago, VLP’s popularity within the company has grown so significantly that VMware is now planning to offer this solution—based on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—commercially to customers.
It’s hard to keep a great a secret hidden
VLP was founded as an incubator project in the office of the CTO to address the growing need (and complexity) of delivering training and demos of software-based solutions that leveraged the robust VMware Cloud™ environment. It was successfully utilized internally by various departments and pilot projects over a number of years. Then in 2017, as VMware began its shift to become a true SaaS company, the decision was made to take VLP mainstream via VMworld and other major venues. Response from both instructors and students during VMware Hands-on Labs events was overwhelming, and soon VLP became an integral part of every VMware business unit.
Legions of fans (and that’s just our friends and family)
Today, the platform has grown within the company to managing more than 600,000 virtual machines (VMs) per month and 120,000 VMs over five days for each VMworld, with thousands of concurrent platform users. We have achieved zero-downtime platform deployments, and our automated testing procedures enable us to make constant on-the-fly changes to rapidly evolve the platform as required. Now we are in the preliminary stages of commercializing the software as our customers have shown tremendous interest since its introduction.
While we are extremely happy with the widespread acceptance of VLP, we are even more pleased with what it represents—a new generation of massive open online course (MOOC) technology that can seamlessly scale on-demand and deliver the same engaging experience found in a physical classroom. And that, as they say, is a true game changer.
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