Duncan Epping rather unceremoniously published a blog post «New Beta Program offering: VMware Hosted Beta» yesterday, outlining the availability of the new hosted beta offering that companions some of the current VMware beta programs.
_Due to the very NDA nature of the beta programs, I can´t really go into details on what is currently offered, but what I can say is this: Well done VMware!_
The VMware Hosted Beta runs on the same engine that runs the VMware Hands on Labs Online – Beta, but with a little added twist. You connect to the hosted beta through a web interface, before the actual connection is handed over to a locally installed VMware Horizon View client. This works very well, and I got to play around a bit with it a bit yesterday.
The idea of a hosted beta like this really resonates with me, as one of the major time sinks when it comes to actively participating in betas is the physical setup of a lab environment. As I am currently without a properly powerful lab, something that will change very soon I hope, getting hosted beta access could not be more welcome.
This way I get to dip my toes in the beta offerings, without having to procure the required hardware. While I don´t think the hosted beta replaces the need for a dedicated physical lab, it sure does work as an excellent stop-gap in the mean time. It also means that you can jump in and out of various pieces of the beta, without having to spend a lot of time configuring an environment from scratch. In addition, this also means that you can get a working environment set up in a matter of minutes, and all you need is
love an internet connection.
Of course, VMware does not want everyone to run all their beta testing in this environment, they need feedback on installation and configuration issues in «real world» scenarios as well as plain old feature testing in a controlled environment, but this is a very welcome addition in my mind.
Kudos to the HoL and Beta teams at VMware, this makes my day so much easier and I am sure it will also help them in getting better feedback from us beta testers.