VMware Hands-on Lab Online Public Beta Review

A little while ago VMware announced Project Nee, something I was, and still am, pretty excited about.

This afternoon I finally got access to the Hands-on Labs Online Beta part of Project Nee, and I have to say, this looks incredibly promising and useful.

At the moment, the available labs are:

Cloud Infrastructure:

  • HOL-INF-02 – Explore vSphere 5.1 Distributed Switch (vDS) New Features
    This lab explores the new features of the vSphere Distributed Switch (vDS).
  • HOL-INF-03 – Automate Your vSphere 5.1 Deployment with Auto Deploy
    Learn how to use VMware Auto Deploy to scale and manage ESXi deployments or upgrades.
  • HOL-INF-04 – Deliver Optimal Performance with VMware vSphere 5.1
    This lab will step you through performance monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimization options in VMware vSphere 5.1. 
  • HOL-INF-05 – VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM)
    In this lab you will leverage various VMware technologies to implement disaster recovery protection for a vCloud Director managed infrastructure.
  • HOL-INF-06 – Deploy and Operate Your Cloud with the VMware vCloud Suite
    Learn how to build and use the Virtual Datacenter with the vCloud Suite as introduced by Steve Herrod at VMworld 2012. This lab is presented as two 30 minute lightning lab modules. 
  • HOL-INF-07 – VMware vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS)
    Learn the fundamentals of software defined networking in the VMware vCloud Suite using vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS). 

Cloud Operations:

  • HOL-OPS-01 – VMware vCenter Operations Manager Enterprise
    This lab covers automated performance, capacity, and configuration management with VMware vCenter Operations Manager Enterprise. 
  • HOL-OPS-05 – Explore VMware vCenter Operations Manager Enterprise New Features
    In this lab you will use new features of VMware vCenter Operations Manager Enterprise edition for performance monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimization of VMware vSphere infrastructure.
  • HOL-OPS-07 – VMware vCenter Orchestrator – “The Undiscovered Country”
    This lab introduces the little known yet powerful automation solution, VMware vCenter Orchestrator. 

End-User Computing:

  • HOL-EUC-03 – Troubleshoot and Optimize VMware View
    This lab covers new performance features in View 5.1 with two 30 minute lightning lab modules.
  • HOL-EUC-04 – Discover VMware Horizon Application Manager
    Explore VMware Horizon Application Manager through two 15 minute and one 30 minute lightning lab module. 

Clearly there is a good collection of good content here, and as the catalog gradually expands I´m sure we´re in for a lot of great lab modules still in development.

Sample screenshots:

 

User Experience:

For now I´ve only done a quick run through of the  HOL-OPS-01 - VMware vCenter Operations Manager Enterprise lab, but I must say that the user experience was responsive and intuitive. I had no problem navigating the lab environment and accessing the virtual machine consoles directly in my browser (Safari). The lab guide/manual was clear and to the point, and even included troubleshooting steps in case something didn´t behave as expected.

This is, as far as I can gather, this is the same platform Project Nee will use for the online training VMware will offer in the future

My Verdict:

I´m impressed. The Hands-on Lab Beta looks great, and behaves according to it´s appearance. As the content catalog grows, this will quickly become an invaluable resource for every vAdmin out there, my only concern is how it will be priced when it hits general release.

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