Jan 062017

Happy 2017 from the VMware Hands-on Labs team! I have three quick updates for you in this post.


We are currently working on our Spring Release, which is when we refresh some of thelabs from the prioryear’s VMworld. Look for some updated content around April of this year.


We havestarted planning the labs for VMworld 2017, which is always an exciting time. If you have a great idea that you would like considered for our 2017 cycle, we have the Hands-on Labs Idea Registry.We accept submissions on this site for the current year until around mid-February. Once youridea is submitted, it will be reviewed and presented to the appropriate VMware Business Unit for consideration.


We have create a few tools todeal with the specialness of runningour lab content in a nested environment. Some of these have proven useful to others in the community who run their own labs.We talk about these tools a bit during our VIP Tours at the VMworld events and are happy to share what we can.A few arecurrently available on GitHub:

  • LabStartup – a framework that we use for checking the status of components within our labs, both at startup time and, now, on a periodic basis. The LabStartupFunctons.ps1 contains some useful functions for checking status and, in some cases, performing remediation.
  • HOL-ModuleSwitcher – a framework for executing PowerShell scripts via a simple “button panel” UI. SupportsStart andStop scripts for each module.

Disclaimer:These scripts are provided “as-is” and may not be appropriate for your environment. Theyare not officially supported by VMware. If you decide to use them, you do so at your own risk.

Most recently, Ihave been overhaulingthe three-tier “application” that we use inside our labs. The basic version is made up of 3 VMs, runs entirelyon Photon OS, and boots in under 30 seconds!

With all of the interest on networking in general, and NSX in particular, we have received some requests for access to this application because it can be really helpful in a lab setting.

Rather than providing a linkto a multi-GB download with VMs that someone else (me) has hacked together, I think it would be more interestingto explain how this application isput together. My goal for this projectisto have something small,simple, and understandable.Usingas many default components and settings as possible helps get there.Itis not currently implemented using something sexy likecontainers, although it can be reworked that way if you are so inclined.

In some upcoming posts, I will describe this application and how it isconstructed using the base Photon OSv1.0 OVA as a starting point. If you want to see what the current ConeOS-based versionlooks like, you can check out one of the NSX labs like HOL-1703 or HOL-1725. The new version is slightly different, but the idea is the same.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your labs!

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