VMworld Blog

11 Posts tagged with the vmworld_labs tag
10 years of Defying Convention


To celebrate our 10th annual VMworld, each week we'll be looking at a different facet of our event, from the evolution in VMware technology to our place as one of the world's largest IT conferences. For updates on VMworld 2013, please follow @VMworld on Twitter.


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Hands-On Labs at the first VMworld
in 2004.

Since 2004, Hands-On Labs (HOLs) at VMworld have been a key part of VMworld’s experiential learning.

HOLs give attendees access to the latest VMware technologies. “It’s a benefit for users; they can try all VMware products without assembling software. Users don’t have to change licenses or buy equipment—and trying to do that yourself could take days,” says Pablo Roesch, Group Manager of Technical Marketing.


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Product experts are available to answer
questions and listen to feedback.

What happens during HOLs is all in the name: get your hands on a VMware-provided keyboard or your own device, and experiment with a product in the lab for approximately 60 minutes. Product experts are also on deck to provide immediate guidance. After a successful run of the lab, the environment is reset to a fresh state for the next participant.


Instructor-Led Labs kicked off in 2004 with resounding success.

Building the HOLs environment has been a labor of love years in the making. Labs were held in a room as its own encapsulated environment (datacenter, isolated network, user access points) equipped with Lab Captains to lead a guided tour to 40 to 120 users. Its popularity left attendees wanting a greater Labs presence and experience.


We introduced Self-Paced Labs in 2005.

To combat concerns in reserving seats, Self-Paced Labs (SPLs) were introduced in 2005 providing users with the convenience of accessing HOLs without pre-registration. While this resolved the issue by giving attendees the option to take a lab at their own time, Self-Paced Labs could not provide a complete user experience given the inherent limitations on a laptop.


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SPLs in session during VMworld 2009.

Between VMworld 2008 and 2009, lab teams experimented with the concept of nesting ESX within itself. Running ESX on top of ESX within a virtual machine enabled HOLs to be built once and deployed in a clean state over and over again. By VMworld 2009, the lab teams combined nested ESX, Lab Manager and a custom portal in a private cloud supported by on-site datacenters. This created an enhanced self-paced experience, one that parallels the instructor-led one.


The success of the on-demand SPLs in VMworld 2009 proved to be a pivotal turning point in the creation of a HOL infrastructure.


All labs at the 2010 VMworld US were 100% self-paced.

Each workstation had a VMware View virtualized desktop running Lab Manager software, powered by VMware hybrid cloud technology. The vSphere virtualized infrastructure integrated onsite and offsite datacenters (in San Francisco, Ashburn, and Miami) to enable 4,000 virtual machines to be deployed and un-deployed every hour.


In 2011, all HOLs ran on vSphere 5.0 and vCloud Director 1.5 in a geo-distributed public cloud powered by three data centers (Amsterdam, Miami and Las Vegas). In this year, there was significant focus on the delivery of lab content. Instead of showcasing features of a product, sessions were more scenario-based to give the user a practical perspective on how a VMware product can improve business IT operations.


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Attendees running labs on their own
devices during VMworld 2012.


In 2012, VMworld introduced the BYOD model, making HOLs even easier to experience.

Support for BYOD (bring your own device), the introduction of Lightning Labs (quick 15 or 30 minute modules) and the reduction of lab time to less than 60 minutes are just three ways HOLs have grown to be as scalable as possible.


To top that this year, VMworld 2013 will have hot spots around the conference so HOLs can be accessed outside the lab. This further reinforces Pablo Roesch’s stance on HOLs: “Our goal is to make our labs as accessible as possible to everyone on the planet. People should be able to do labs on the fly, on airplanes, anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”


Please leave any feedback on HOLs in the comments below, so VMworld can continue to grow and defy convention.

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It's Sunday evening and the Labs are open with 550 seats.


It really looks impressive in here, as each of the terminals has dual head displays.There are over 36 labs and there's currently no lines, no waiting. It took a little while to get all the labs up and running, but fortunately they're all up and ready for the full four-day event.


Look for our continuing lab coverage as we report stats, photos and interviews from the lab team.



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The VMworld 2012 Hands-on Labs team has been working feverishly to prepare great content for this year's conference. There is some exciting news to share including an expanded lab catalog, a modular content approach and new ways to take labs.

The lab catalog has grown this year to include topics across the entire cloud spectrum. You will interact with the latest versions of VMware's software solutions in cloud Infrastructure, operations, end-user computing and applications. From vSphere and vCloud Director to vFabric; from View and vCOps to Socialcast and Zimbra; you will have the chance to experience VMware products that are new to you and see them in action, solving real-world problems.

Have you found it challenging, in the past, to carve out an hour and a half from your busy VMworld schedule to take a lab? This year we are making two important changes that will make it easier to fit the Hands-on Labs into your schedule. First, each lab topic can be completed in 60 minutes or less. While we are retaining the successful scenario-based approach from last year, the content is more succinct and will allow you to learn the key takeaways in less time.

We are also excited to introduce the concept of Lightning Labs at VMworld 2012. Some lab topics will be broken into smaller 15 or 30 minute modules to make the Hands-on Labs fit better into your schedule. If you only have 15 minutes before lunch, you can drop in, take a Lightning Lab and get a complete story in a bite-sized format. You can come back later and complete the other modules in the same lab topic or move on to other topics as you see fit. It is our hope that Lightning Labs will make the entire Hands-on Labs content catalog more flexible and accessible to all VMworld 2012 attendees.

For the first time, at VMworld 2012, you can bring your own device (BYOD) to the Hands-on Labs. The BYOD delivery model will demonstrate a new way to access and complete Hands-on Lab content on your own tablet or laptop. A separate area will be provided where you will connect to wireless, login to the portal and take labs from your own device. Please be sure to bring your gear with you so that you can try out the new site.

We hope that you will join us this year at the VMworld 2012 Hands-on Labs. There is new content to be discovered and easier ways to get at it.

Register to attend VMworld and stop by to see us!


Stay Connected

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Don't Miss Hands-on Labs

Posted by VMworld Team Aug 23, 2011

The VMworld Hands-On Labs (HOLs) are yet again taking a leap forward to provide a user experience greater than any other in the industry with 24,000 lab hours being made available to conference attendees during VMworld. The HOLs will be serviced by a globally distributed public cloud which stretches across our Sponsor Datacenters; Switch in Las Vegas, Terremark in Miami, and COLT in Amsterdam all powered by vSphere 5.0 and vCloud Director 1.5.


New this year - The Labs have been designed around typical customer use case and business scenarios. This will allow conference attendees to have a hands-on experience exercising workflows that relate to real-world scenarios. There will be 27 distinct labs available; two of which will have manuals available in German and Japanese along with the default English. We will also be offering three partner labs this year from Cisco, EMC and NetApp. For the full list of labs being offered please refer to the U.S. Content Catalog.


Join us and take one of the HOLs to get more in-depth knowledge into the technologies you want to learn more about; at a time that best fits with your schedule.


Hands-on Labs Hours:

Sunday, Aug. 28           2:00pm - 8:00pm
Monday, Aug. 29           7:00am - 3:00pm
Monday, Aug. 29           5:00pm - 8:00pm
Tuesday, Aug. 30          10:00am - 10:00pm
Wednesday, Aug. 31     7:00am - 7:00pm
Thursday, Sept. 1          7:00am - 4:00pm

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If you haven’t yet registered for VMworld 2011, do it today as hotel rooms are selling out quickly and airfare won’t drop significantly in the near future. VMworld is THE place to learn about the hottest virtualization and cloud computing technologies and get a sneak peek of what is coming up next.


Here are Top 10 reasons why you won’t want to miss VMworld 2011.


1. Dive deep into VMware vSphere.
Get the latest updates to the best platform for building cloud infrastructures with Sessions and Labs dedicated to vSphere 5.0.


2. Get a grip on cloud computing.
Learn what cloud computing is all about, including how to use it to reduce IT complexity and enable IT as a service.


3. Arm yourself with knowledge.
Choose from more than 175 unique Breakout Sessions led by subject-matter experts.


4. Get your hands dirty.
Explore how virtualization can make a powerful impact on your organization by choosing from Hands-on Labs covering over 20 topics.


5. Hear from the top in General Sessions.
VMware’s Paul Maritz, Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Stephen Herrod, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of R&D, present VMware’s vision for IT as a Service.


6. Participate in the ultimate show-and-share.
With more than 250 exhibitors, the Solutions Exchange is the perfect place to network, learn and explore the latest virtualization and cloud infrastructure products, services and solutions.


7. Stay in the know.
Be one of the first to hear exciting announcements from VMware. We've got some great ones coming up that you don't want to miss.


8. Pick the brain of an expert.
Hear subject-matter experts present in Sessions, lead Group Discussions and then meet them one-on-one to cover topics that relate specifically to your organization.


9. Network, network, network.
Meet, connect, and share your experiences with virtualization and cloud computing with peers from around the world and across your industry.


10. Revel in your "developerness".
If you're a developer building and delivering solutions on VMware platforms, the Technology Exchange for Alliance Partners is the premier event for you.


New this year, attendees must pre-register for sessions. Without pre-registration, you will not be given access to any breakout sessions.


If you are registered for VMworld, view a full listing of sessions, organize your days, and sign-up for the sessions you want to attend. Most sessions will be repeated at least once and we will be adding additional sessions based on popularity, so if it is full, check back.


If you are not yet registered, what are you waiting for? Register now and build out your schedule.


During VMworld, you will be able to add a session to your schedule up to an hour prior to the start. Session rooms will open approximately 25 minutes before the start of a session and close at the start of the session. Only attendees who have pre-registered for the session will be allowed in the room. There will be NO stand-by line, so please make sure to register for the sessions you plan on attending.


Hands-on Labs will be available on-demand and can be taken at any time throughout the event. You can add Lab time to your personal schedule, but will need to visit the Labs at VMworld to sign-up.


Lab Hours:

Sunday   2:00pm – 8:00pm

Monday   8:00am - 3:00pm

Tuesday   10:00am – 10:00pm

Wednesday   8:00am – 6:00pm

Thursday   8:00am – 4:00pm


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Now that VMworld 2010 has concluded, it's time to digest and consume sessions that were offered.  If you attended VMworld 2010 in either San Francisco or Copenhagen, you have been granted full access.  If you were not an attendee, you will need a VMworld 2010 Subscription.  However, VMworld 2010 General Sessions + Super Sessions AND all content from previous VMworld conferences is free to all VMworld.com visitors.
Cheers to the lab staff and participants at VMworld 2010 in Copenhagen.  After an amazing and record setting hands-on lab experience in San Francisco, the lab team put the lab cloud to the test, bringing the labs online in Copenhagen via PCoIP (datacenter actually back in the U.S.).  And the results were awesome yet again.
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Some interesting lab stats:
- Number of VMs deployed: over 50k and growing fast
- Number of Labs completed: over 5,200
- Average number of VMs being deployed and un-deployed per hour: 3865


Top five labs out of the 30 lab Topics being offered:
1. View 4.5 Install and Configure
2. ESX 4.1 New Features
3. VMware Performance and Tuning
4. Basic vSphere Install & Configure
5. VMware  Cloud Director


If you are at VMworld 2010 San Francisco, be sure to jump in and get you're feet wet!


Reporting to you live...

~Tony (@tony_dunn)

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Are you unable to travel to San Francisco or Copenhagen or attend VMworld 2010?  You can still experience VMworld 2010 online and gain all the knowledge and learning by purchasing a VMworld 2010 Subscription.  Content from the San Francisco conference will be posted to the VMworld Sessions & Labs Theater in mid-September.  Most of the content will be repeated in Copenhagen, but we will also post any new keynotes or breakout sessions from Europe by the end of October.

The VMworld 2010 Subscription provides annual online access to the following VMworld 2010 content:

- General Sessions (video and PDF)
- All Super Sessions (video and PDF)
- All Breakout Sessions (flash presentations for all tracks)
- Labs (PDF downloads only)


Access to VMworld 2010 content will be restricted to attendees and subscription owners only.  Paid attendees of VMworld 2010 (San Francisco or Copenhagen) will have full access to online content.  If you are unable to attend the live show in either the U.S. or Europe, please consider this subscription as an alternative opportunity to attend VMworld 2010 sessions and labs online.

To learn more or to purchase your subscription today, please visit
VMworld 2010 Subscription >

The subscription is $699 for individual access and can only be purchased via credit card.  The subscription covers secure access until August 2011.  VMworld 2011 content will require a new subscription.

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Whether you have been waiting to access sessionand labs from 2009 online or you would like to preview sessions from last year before coming to this year's conference -- VMworld 2009 Sessions & Labs are now open to to public.

Visit the VMworld Sessions & Labs Theater and click on VMworld 2009 to view the presentations from last year.  PDF and MP3 file downloads are also provided as links in the right sidebar when viewing each presentation.  Free online sessions and labs are offered (as available) all the way back to VMworld 2004, our first VMworld conference.

You will need to have a VMworld account and sign in to view content in the theater.  Once you sign in, you can scroll down under the presentation area to see 3D
community avatars for all visitors in the theater (you can customize your avatar and walk from the theater to other areas of our Virtual Pavilion).  Below the avatars is a live chat window for you to share live discussions or Q&A with other community members while watching presentations.  You can click on other avatars to view profiles, share member info and network.  While in the theater, find other community members and add them as friends.

Enter the VMworld Sessions & Labs Theater >

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