Regular contributor and vBrownBag crew member, Eric Wright (@discoposse), wrote an interesting article on his blog discoposse.comÂ discussing the number of labs he uses on a regular basis. Â It has long been understood that having a lab for learning, testing new technologies, and testing automation has become a near requirement for operating a good IT environment. Â The lifecycle of software (VMware, Microsoft, RedHat, OpenStack) has made it increasingly difficult to maintain personal labs. Â Eric provides a great list of the different types of labs he uses, several of which are cloud-based and easily accessible.
Still concerned about hardware costs? Â Nothing wrong with that. Â Home labs can get expensive. Â IÂ bloggedÂ about my humble little lab last year totaling over $4100 over 2 years. Â Fortunately, many VMUG groups are giving away homelabs during their user conferences. I personally know that Chicago, Toronto, and Charlotte have done this in the last year. Â Yet another exciting reason to attend aÂ VMUG users conference. Â Eric steps up once again with Virtual Design Master season 2 where the winner stands to win some seriously coolÂ lab gearÂ courtesy of Zerto. Â The equipment is out there, just have to keep an ear to the community and jump.
This is a good time to remind readers of AutoLab, developed by Alastair Cooke (@DemitasseNZ) and others in the vBrownBag crew. Â AutoLab recently got updated to support vSphere 5.5 and Al has mentioned continuing development over the coming year. Â This is exciting news for those of you looking to keep up to date on VMware’s foundational software and might only have a reasonably powered laptop or desktop.
Whether you use your lab for learning, testing, or playing around with community automation (my favorite) we’re interested in hearing about YOUR lab story. Â Please share in the comments below and on Twitter using the #vBrownBag hashtag.