VMware Test Drive
First, the VMware Test Drive program gives you access to most VMware products in a preconfigured, easy-to-use hosted environment with as much or as little guidance as you’d like. Everything is installed, configured, and optimized for you and your teams, and the comprehensive step-by-step videos, walkthroughs, and guides ensure you have a great experience focused on what you want to learn and see.
Beginning today you can test and demo the advanced workload security features of vSphere Platinum and AppDefense in the Test Drive environment. Curious about what vSphere Platinum brings to the table? Want to see how VMware AppDefense changes the game around workload and endpoint security? Go to the VMware Test Drive site and sign up now!
VMware Hands-on Labs
Second, VMware Hands-on Labs (HOL) is also a great way to try VMware products. While the Test Drive is a preconfigured environment, the Hands-on Labs is dynamic. Each lab environment is provisioned on-demand inside of the Hands-on Labs cloud environments, and each has different strengths and content. Hands-on Labs is a huge feature of VMworld conferences (you’re going, right?) and a subset of labs is available year-round via the HOL web site. There are lab manuals to help guide you through learning each technology, but using the lab isn’t limited to following a manual. Want to try something? Want to see how a feature works? The Hands-on Labs is a great place to experiment, too.
Last, nested ESXi & vCenter Server is a great way to test and experiment in your own environment. You can run ESXi for non-production purposes as a guest OS inside ESXi, which is exactly how the Hands-on Labs works! Maintaining separate test environment hardware is time-consuming and inflexible. As vSphere requirements change it sometimes means that old hardware cannot be effectively used for testing. Plus, if you break the environment you have to rebuild it.
With nested vSphere you build ESXi VMs in essentially the same way you build other VMs, and deploy a separate vCenter Server Appliance to manage them. Once you do that you can snapshot them all so the environment is easily reset for testing. Want to try a new process, or make sure a procedure works before you do it in production? This is an excellent, low-effort way to do so.
VMware doesn’t directly support nested ESXi, but many in the greater VMware and vExpert community have great resources on nested ESXi and vSphere.
All these resources are free to customers and easy to use. Sign up today!