On the latest VMware Communities Roundtable Podcast (iTunes) podcast (Episode #290), Dave Rollins announced updates to the Hands-On-Lab program:
- 2013 HOL Catalog – Still available on the Internet.
- 2014 HOL Catalog – Third round of Beta testing has been completed in readiness for VMworld 2014.
- “Labs-in-a-Box” – The name is a misnomer, it is NOT a set of HOL binaries for you to setup your own HOL environment. It is the connection service for volunteer HOL experts in your area to provide “Intstructor Led” services for your HOL event (eg. VMUG); also included is the planning and documentation for co-ordinating the pre-staging of the LaaS services within the HOL backend. It also includes recommendations for the EUC infrastructure and the Internet bandwidth required for a large group of people, ensuring that your HOL event will be a success.
- “Lightning Labs” – 15 to 30 minute labs that give you the “fast-track” on that particular product. This means you do not have to complete the entire 60-90 minute lab.
- “Instructor Led Labs” – Two rooms (increased from 12 to 20 people each) during VMworld will have Instructor Led HOL. They are fully booked out, but a lot of people do not show up. So turn up 10 minutes before the session begins and you may be able to take the place of a “no-show”.
- “Partner Labs” – The number of partner labs has increased this year: IBM, Puppet, Infoblox, Cisco, NetApp, CatBird, Liquidware Labs, etc.
- “Self-paced Labs” – Same as last year, EUC endpoints where you can complete a Lab at your own pace.
- “Hot Spots” – Same as last year, dedicated areas for “Bring Your Own Device” to access HOL.
- “HOL” tours – Same as last year, there will be organised tours of the HOL environment by the HOL team.
The expectation is that on the second and third days, the queues for HOL will thin out, so if you have some free time, sign up! See you at VMworld.
Personally I have found HOL to be a great resource, it allows you to gain exposure to a new product very quickly without having to worry about setting it up and trying to workout the use-cases. HOL does it all for you with a pre-staged walkthrough. As a VCDX, HOL was a big part of my preparation for the VCDX defence, providing a quick and easy way to learn.
For the best BYOD HOL experience, I have found that Mozilla FireFox is the ideal browser for OS X, plus a fast Internet connection.
The clock is ticking, register for VMworld US 2014, plan your travel and reserve your sessions: