VMWare Lab For Training, Testing or Proof of Concept


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VMWare Lab For Training and Testing: As our IT infrastructure grows in complexity and new products are released every so often, we are faced with the same expectations to deliver tested and innovative IT environment while reducing the cost and speeding up the whole process of testing and training. Now, this is a real challenge if you don’t have all of the resources!

So, how can you reduce the cost, the time to plan, install, configure, validate and support complex virtual labs for training, practice or proof of concept? It’s time for a breakthrough, innovative solution…called: Cloud-Based VMWare Lab http://viadmin.com/pages/VMWare-Practice-Lab-at-Home.html!

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  • Hello and welcome to today’s webinar:“VMWare Lab - for Training, Practice or Proof of concept”
  • I’d like to start by asking you this question: Are you concerned about the cost of running your IT testing or training initiatives? I know most likely your are, and even if you are not you should know that there is a way to significantly reduce the cost to test your applications or train users.
  • In this presentation I will introduce you to a new, highly efficient solution for test and training environments – VMWare Lab based in the cloud!
  • All right, so… what are the challenges that we face in terms of building a lab for training, practice or proof of concept?
  • • Challenge #1 is – we don’t have sufficient servers, multiple network cards, lots of memory, fast iSCSI SAN or an NFS storage, enough switches or routers, AD, DNS services and the list goes on and on. In other words building fully functional VMWare Lab is expensive and it does require lots of resources.
  • • It’s the single, largest factor in the delay of user or sys-admin training, it significantly does slow down testing and releasing upgrades. It is also a major slow-down for planning new application deployments or building a proof of concept environment.
  • So the time required to build and maintain test and training environments is Challenge #2
  • • #3, It’s a challenge to stay competitive and to support your production environment if you can’t get access to testing, training or hands-on practice lab when you actually need one.
  • • Available servers dedicated to test usually are old systems incapable of handling the load or simply can’t run the latest software version or it’s not VMWare compatible.
  • • Challenge #4, because of the cost associated with buying servers and network equipment for testing and training, businesses see their test environments as inefficient and costly based on their return on investment. Reality is it’s very hard to convince the CEO or the CFO of the company to spend money for testing or training equipment.
  • • As a result of that in many small organizations there is no budget for test servers, so sometimes you are forced to use production servers to do testing, or you simply do not test at all!
  • Did you know that the reason #1 for production systems to go down is the fact the IT didn't test the upgrade or the new application deployment before putting it into production? Well, you should know that there is a way to deal with this problem.
  • • Quite often, the inability to ensure that test environments match production environments can result in quality problems and significantly slows down the process of finding a resolution to critical system and application issues, when the systems and applications are deployed.
  • As our virtual infrastructure configurations grows in complexity and VMWare releases new products or a whole new line of products, we are faced with the same expectations to deliver tested and innovative solution by reducing not just the cost but also to speed up the whole process of testing and training. Now, this is a real challenge if you don’t have all of the resources!
  • So, how can you reduce the cost, the time to plan, install, configure, validate and support complex virtual labs for training, practice or proof of concept?Well, there is solution… and it’s time for you to look at private cloud-based environments as a way to address those challenges.
  • It’s time for a breakthrough, innovative solution…called: Cloud-Based VMWare Lab!
  • The Cloud based VMWare lab is a way to reduce the required time and investment in infrastructure because it delivers virtualized applications, operating systems, networking and server resources on demand.
  • The cloud based VMWare lab can help you rapidly test new features and train users on applications in a simplified and efficient way.
  • Our Private Test environment is about ease of access and use, the ability to get the test resources quickly and have elastic scalability, and the best part of it is that you pay only for what you use.
  • This infrastructure on demand can be used to deliver testing and training services dynamically – on-demand, as you can see right here on this workflow of a cloud computing model.
  • With our VMWare Lab (Test and Training Environment) in the cloud CIOs, IT managers, test and development teams, system administrators will realize the benefits that cloud computing can provide for testing and training initiatives, such as:
  • • Significantly reduced time to take new technologies and innovations through the test or proof of concept cycle so they are delivered quicker and with higher quality
  • • Labor cost savings related to time spent installing, configuring and supporting dedicated test or training environments
  • • Elimination of errors—estimates as high as 30 percent—that come from faulty configurations
  • • More efficient resource management - achieved by optimizing the existing server and network infrastructure for use with production applications only
  • • Reduction in IT operating and capital costs by avoiding the investment in to under-utilized servers and network infrastructure
  • All right let’s take a look at how is the lab organized. Let’s start with the hardware layer. First we have a number of enterprise-level physical servers organized in a cluster, part of the same network.
  • In each physical server we have six network cards, two of them dedicated to SAN connectivity and four to virtual machines and management , 32 Gigs of RAM and a KVM controller.
  • We’ve got multiple redundant switches to serve each of the two physically isolated networks: the regular virtual machine network (green color) and the SAN network (red color). It’s a best practice to run your SAN traffic on an isolated network segment for better performance and reliability. In fact running your SAN and your regular network on the same segment is a recipe for disaster.
  • For shared storage we’ve got an array of DELL EqualLogic SAN units, physically cross-connected to two redundant SAN switches.
  • Each SAN unit has six gigabit network uplinks to the Switch – three of them connected to SAN Switch one and three to SAN Switch two. The IP address of the iSCSI SAN (the iSCSI target) is – you are going to need this IP address to add a shared storage to your ESXi Server.
  • The iSCSI SAN has two LUNs, SharedStorage12 and SharedStorage14 that you can use to place Virtual Machines on and also plays critical role to installing and configuring VMWare’s advanced features such as vMotion, HA, DRS, Fault Tolerance – you need shared storage for all of these features to work. The two LUNs allow you to do Storage vMotion, which is to migrate running VMs from one LUN to the other.
  • Each one of the physical hosts (or servers) has two gigabit network cards cross-linked to the SAN switches for muti-pathing. Network card one is plugged in to SAN switch one and NIC two goes to SAN switch two. We use two network cards for SAN connectivity, so that you configure SAN multi-pathing for redundancy but also to bind the two network cards to increase performance.
  • On the same network we have an NFS Server (IP address that you can use to learn how to mount and work with NFS shares and also we’ve got a PXE server (IP
  • The purpose of the PXE server it to deliver the ESXi install image over the network – this way we don’t have to use a physical DVD-ROM drive to install ESXi Server. To install ESXi Server you can re-boot the physical host and during the boot up when you see the POST screen you can hit F12 to boot off the network. The network card will go out and search for PXE server and will pool the ESXi image off of the PXE and it will load it into the server’s memory, so that you can install or re-install ESXi whenever you need to.
  • Now, let’s take a look at the regular virtual machine network (green color). The VM network has an Active Directory server called VIAD with an IP address – we use it as domain controller to authenticate and authorize all users and computers in the network. It’s also used to integrate VMWare ESXi Server and vCenter authentication with Active Directory.
  • There is a DNS Server sitting at IP address DNS is a required component for most of the VMWare features to work properly.
  • Now, down here we’ve got Microsoft SQL Server (called VIAPP1 with an IP address of SQL Server is there to host all of the VMWare vSphere Databases, for example vCenter database and Update Manager Database.
  • Right here we’ve got the shared instance of vCenter Server called VIAPP3, with an IP address of and FQDN VIAPP3.LAB.VIADMIN.COM. You can use this shared, pre-installed instance of vCenter Server to practice the advanced VMWare features such as vMotion, High Availability, Fault Tolerance, DRS etc… This is where you can find Windows and Linux Virtual Machine templates that you can use to quickly provision new virtual machines.
  • As I said earlier each one of the physical servers has four gigabit network cards plugged into the Virtual Machine Network Switches. The reason we use four network cards for VM network traffic and connectivity is that:One, you can configure vMotion with it’s own dedicated NIC,
  • Two, you can setup the Management Network with one or two NICs for redundancy – this allows you to experiment with link aggregation to achieve better performance and multi-pathing for redundancy.
  • Three you can do the same with the network cards dedicated to VM traffic.
  • With 32 Gigs of memory and superfast SAN each physical host can easily run 10-15 or more virtual machines. Working with DRS does require a number of virtual machines so that won’t be an issue here.
  • To manage your physical host, your ESXi server and the rest of the virtual infrastructure components you will be provided with remote access to a 64-bit Virtual Machine running Windows Server 2008 R2. This is your Management Station that you can always access even if you power down your dedicated physical host, or ESXi Server.
  • Now, after signing-up you'll receive a username and password so that you can connect to your own Management Station through Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). If you are connecting from a none-Windows based computer, you can use one of these RDP Clients: for Linux, Solaris or BSD use: rdesktop, and for Mac OS you can use: TSclientXYou can even access the lab from your iPad, you just need to install the free 2X app from Apple AppStore.So, no matter where you are located - different city or continent you can use Window's Remote Desktop to access your Management Station and do all of testing and training.
  • With our standard package, when you login to the VMWare lab in addition to your main physical host (for example ESX100, IP: you have an access to at least one or more shared ESXi servers (for example ESX60, with an IP: with the same specs, connected to the same Shared Storage, so that you can set up VMotion, HA, DRS, FT and all of the advanced VMWare features – and without fast shared storage, you know that won’t be possible. 
  • Installing ESXi Server on the physical host can easily be done with the help of the remote keyboard-video-mouse controller (aka KVM). KVM is an interface card that provides out-of-band management facilities - meaning you can manage and configure server’s settings even if the server is powered down. It has its own web interface, network connection, and access to the server’s system bus. With the KVM controller you can power up and down your host, mount virtual DVD images in order to install ESXi. You can also access Server’s remote video console through a supported web browser (Internet Explorer) which gives you the ability to manage the physical host as if you were sitting in front of it.
  • All right, so with our Cloud based VMWare Lab we offer new methods of delivering complex testing and training environment that overcome many of the challenges of traditional testing environments and methods.By adopting the private test cloud methodology you are benefiting from new and better ways for your IT staff and users to access services which traditionally used to be extremely hard to configure and very expensive – immediately and at the fraction of the cost. Our Test Cloud offers an improved means of infrastructure management and supports faster service delivery.
  • The key features of The Private Test and Training Cloud are:• Standardized server templates, cloud-based deliverable services• Elastic scaling• Flexible pricing• Metering and billing capability• Advanced virtualization• Rapid provisioning of resources
  • Our Private Test Clouds are hosted for our clients and maintained behind the firewall and are typically part of a client’s IT infrastructure using a private network.
  • The Private Test cloud is readily auditable and offer the benefits of security, known resiliency, a very high utilization of internal resources, and an improved ability to customize the resources to meet a specific need.
  • With the Private Hosted Cloud you can forget about your capital expense concerns, the need to ensure service automation, ease of consumer use and access. Also you are no longer dependent on your internal availability which may be limited depending on the resource investment you made in your infrastructure.
  • Because traditional testing methods can be long, drawn-out, manual processes that tie up many resources, the test environment is a prime target for leveraging a cloud computing solution.
  • Considering that development and test cycles are critical paths to offering new services to clients, it's an opportunity to increase the speed of innovation and improve solution quality.
  • • Cloud testing provides an end-to-end solution that transforms the way testing and training is done and can help an organization boost its competitiveness by reducing the expense of testing and training without negatively impacting mission-critical production applications.
  • • By leveraging a cloud for testing and training, organizations can shorten provisioning time because the cloud enables provisioning of test servers on demand. This helps ensure unused servers are re-provisioned, which maximizes asset usage.
  • Consider that some of major customers were able to save 83 percent in capital costs and drive utilization up 75 percent on Windows and Linux systems with the faster provisioning provided by a test cloud infrastructure.
  • • By automating the provisioning of test and training resources, organizations attack a key variable cost that has an impact on their bottom line—IT operating costs. Then, organizations can redirect key resources from manual configuration activities and previously under-utilized assets to more mission-critical and value-added tasks.
  • • Furthermore, with test and training cloud environments, test teams can leverage live environments for their testing and training services and not just modeling tools.
  • Using the test or training lab environment Assume that a tester needs a highly complex test environment configured in order to conduct performance testing on a new application or a Trainer needs a copy of the same test environment to train the pilot user group.
  • As illustrated in Figure 1, in a test cloud environment, the tester, trainer or user would first log on to aservice request portal, with accesses a services catalog and then submit the request for the test environment desired. The portal and catalog mask the underlying complex infrastructure from the user so that the focus is shifted to the services provided.
  • The request is delivered through the service request catalog and passes through the cloud infrastructure where the requested resources, including the bare metal, operating system, databases, and networkare provisioned. The services can be defined as a simple set of images inside the virtual lab or a complex inter-dependent application stack.
  • When testing completes, the resources can be de-provisioned and returned—as illustrated in Figure 2—to the resource pool for others to use. This on-demand approach facilitates resource sharing and prevents hoarding of resources that have low utilization.
  • With implementation of an automated cloud lab solution, our customers reduced the time to build test, development and training environments from about a month, down to around 30 minutes and were able to cut administrative costs and better utilize existing assets. This also dramatically improved their overall consumer satisfaction and helped improve innovation within the organization.
  • And with that said I’d like to invite you to give a try and see for yourself! Thank you for joining me for this presentation and I sincerely hope that we can work together to lower the cost of your testing and training environment!Thank you.
  • VMWare Lab For Training, Testing or Proof of Concept

    2. 2. Are you concerned about the cost of running your IT testing or training initiatives?
    3. 3. Highly efficient solution for Test and Training environments
    4. 4. Building A Lab Training Practice Proof Of Concept
    5. 5. Challenge #1  Insufficient Systems
    6. 6. Single, largest factor in the delay of: User/Admin Training Testing Upgrades Deployments Building POC
    7. 7. Challenge #2 Time To Build Environment For:  Testing  Training
    8. 8. Challenge #3  Stay Competitive  Support Production Environment
    9. 9. Challenge #3  Old Systems  Can’t Run The Latest Software  Non compatible
    10. 10. Challenge #4 • Servers • Network • Inefficient • Costly Hard To Convince CEO/CFO!
    11. 11. VMWare Lab Challenges  No Budget  Use Production Servers For Testing  No Testing At All
    12. 12. VMWare Lab Challenges #1 Reason For Systems To Go Down Lack Of Testing!
    13. 13. VMWare Lab Challenges TEST DEV Quality Problems Slow Resolution
    14. 14. VMWare Lab Challenges  Configuration grows in complexity  New Products Released We face the same expectations!
    15. 15. Cost Time To Plan Install Configure Validate Support
    16. 16. It’s time for a breakthrough, innovative solution…cloud based VMWare Lab!
    17. 17. The Cloud based VMWare lab a way to reduce: • Required Time • Investment In Infrastructure It Delivers: • Virtualized Applications, Operating Systems, Networking and Server Resources.
    18. 18. The cloud based VMWare lab can help you: • Rapidly test new features • Train users on applications Simplified and efficient way!
    19. 19. Private VMWare Test Cloud is about:  Ease of access and use  Get resources quickly and have scalability  Pay only for what you use
    20. 20. Infrastructure On Demand Service Consumers Datacenter Infrastructure Service Catalog
    21. 21. CIOs, IT managers, Test and Dev Teams, System Administrators realize the benefits that cloud computing can provide for testing and training initiatives.
    22. 22. Cloud Lab Benefits • Significantly Reduced Time • Higher Quality
    23. 23. Labor Cost Savings Less time spent installing, configuring and supporting test or training environments
    24. 24. Elimination Of Errors Estimates as high as 30 percent—that come from faulty configurations
    25. 25. Efficient Resource Management By optimizing the existing server and network infrastructure for use with production applications only
    26. 26. Lower IT Opex/Capex By avoiding the investment in to under- utilized servers and network infrastructure
    27. 27. VMWare Lab Infrastructure NETWORK Server 1 Server 2 Server 3 Server N
    28. 28. VMWare Lab Infrastructure VIRTUAL MACHINES SAN KVM
    29. 29. Virtual Machines SAN VM Network
    30. 30. SAN SAN Switches
    31. 31. SAN SAN SW 1 SAN SW 2 IP:
    32. 32. SAN SAN SW 1 SAN SW 2 IP: SharedStorage12 SharedStorage14
    33. 33. SAN SAN SW 1 SAN SW 2 IP: SharedStorage12 SharedStorage14
    34. 34. SAN SAN SW 1 SAN SW 2 IP: SharedStorage12 SharedStorage14 NFS IP: PXE IP:
    35. 35. SAN SAN SW 1 SAN SW 2 IP: SharedStorage12 SharedStorage14 NFS IP: PXE IP: ESXi Install Image
    36. 36. VIAD
    37. 37. DNS
    38. 38. VIAPP1
    39. 39. VIAPP3
    40. 40. VMWare Lab Infrastructure VIRTUAL MACHINESSAN 1 1) vMotion
    41. 41. VMWare Lab Infrastructure VIRTUAL MACHINESSAN 1 2 1) vMotion 2) Management
    42. 42. VMWare Lab Infrastructure VIRTUAL MACHINESSAN 1 2 1) vMotion 2) Management 3) VM Traffic 3 3
    43. 43. VMWare Lab Infrastructure VIRTUAL MACHINESSAN
    44. 44. You RDP Your VMWare ESX Server Your Management Station (VM) ESX Server Practice Lab
    45. 45. • For Linux, Solaris or BSD: rdesktop • For Mac OS: TSclientX • iPad: 2X app You RDP Management Station (64-bit VM) INTERNET
    46. 46. VMWare Lab Infrastructure Internet Explorer KVM ESXi Install Image Video Console
    47. 47. Testing & Training CloudIT Staff & Users Services On Demand
    48. 48. Key Features  Standard Templates  Cloud-Based Services  Elastic Scaling  Flexible Pricing  Metering and Billing  Advanced Virtualization  Rapid Provisioning
    49. 49. Testing & Training EnvironmentIT Staff & Users VPN Firewall
    50. 50. Testing & Training EnvironmentIT Staff & Users VPN Firewall Auditable Secure Resilient High Utilization Customized Resources
    51. 51.  No Capital Expense  Automation  Easy Access  Resource Independent
    52. 52. Traditional Methods  Long  Drawn-out  Manual  Many resources tied up
    53. 53. New Services Speed Up Innovation Improve Solution Quality
    54. 54. Cloud testing an end-to-end solution Testing & Training Environment Competitiveness Cost No negative impact on mission-critical production applications!
    55. 55. Benefits Testing & Training EnvironmentProvisioning Time  On demand provisioning  Maximized Asset Usage
    56. 56. Benefits Testing & Training Cloud Infrastructure Utilization Cost 83 % 75 %
    57. 57. Benefits Automate Provisioning IT operating cost • Manual Configuration • Under-utilized assets • Mission-Critical • Value-Added Tasks
    58. 58. Benefits  Leverage Live Environment  Not Just Modeling
    59. 59. Testing Lab Use Scenario
    60. 60. Testing Lab Use Scenario
    61. 61. Testing Lab Use Scenario
    62. 62. Testing Lab Use Scenario
    63. 63. Benefits  Reduced Time To Build Test/Dev/Train Environment  Cut Administrative Costs  Better Utilize Existing Assets  Improved Consumer Satisfaction  Innovation
    64. 64. Thank You!