VMware Hands on Labs (HOL) public beta available

HOLHi there,

Last summer in VMworld VMware announced their “Hands on Labs” program which will allow users to take real online labs so i want it to take this baby for a ride.




The portal interface

Once login you will get this clean and stylish interface for you to work with, it offers your available labs for you to enroll, transcript section, announcements from VMware and the ability to tweet your way as you go.

hol interface

Fire up a lab

At the moment VMware offers 3 main lab categories: Cloud Infrastructure, Cloud Operation and End-User Computing, to start a lab all you need to do is click the enroll button and you good to go. For the purpose of this post i’ve started the “HOL-INF-02 – Explore vSphere 5.1 Distributed Switch (vDS) New Features” lab and after approximately 30 seconds i got my Windows 2008 R2 Standard ready to go.

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On the right side of the screen there you see the Manual sidebar which will walk you through as you progressing lab. At the left side you will find the Console sidebar but to tell you the truth i didn’t find any use for it at the moment.

On the down right corner the time progress bar – there is a time limit for your lab but fear not, you can always enroll your lab back again or resume it within the time frame.

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After login to my vCenter VM it felt a bit “sluggish” but considering the HOL still in it’s early beta phase i didn’t care, performing the tasks and practicing was my main goal and was happy with the outcome 🙂

Share your experience

So, after finish practicing and messing up VMware’s lab environment i hit the end button and got the option to tweet about it, Facebook it and post it on my Linkdin page – very neat!

27-12-2012 09-40-40Conclusions

Well, VMware did a good job bringing the class to your screen. I think the biggest use case for the HOL environment come into play for VMware students wants to practice some more on the courses materials on their on time, not everyone has a decent lab environment and the HOL surely will narrow the gaps.

Like i mentioned there are still bugs, stucks and sluggishness and at the moment there are only 10 labs available but in the upcoming weeks VMware plans to have 36 HOL’s and more along the way.

As a great fan of labs i sure like this one and really eager to see what’s ahead.


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