This page describes the NETLAB+ system requirements to support EMC Academic Alliance content. The NETLAB+ pod design for the EMC Academic Alliance Information Storage and Management (ISM) course, uses 100% virtualized lab components to achieve a high pod to physical host ratio, at a significantly lower cost point relative to traditional delivery of ISM content.

Using VMware virtualization and the sharing and scheduling capabilities of NETLAB+, each student (or team of students) has access to their own ISM pod, which they may maintain exclusive use of throughout the course.

Please review the NETLAB+ System Requirements and specific requirements for other courses and lab content.

Required Hardware Components

The following interactive diagram and table lists required hardware components that are required to support the EMC Academic Alliance. See the Scaling section of this page to determine how many ESXi servers are required.


NETLAB+ integrates with VMware vSphere to provide remote PC support.

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# Component Description Learn More
1 NETLAB+ Server NETLAB+® is a server appliance with all software pre-installed. NETLAB+ Overview
2 VMware vCenter VMware vCenter enables you to manage the resources of multiple ESXi hosts and allows you to monitor and manage your physical and virtual infrastructure. NETLAB+ integrates with VMware vCenter to assist the administrator with installing, replicating and configuring virtual machine pods. vCenter Requirements
3 VMware ESXi Physical VMware ESXi servers host the virtual machines in your pods. Virtualization using ESXi is performed on separate physical servers, not included with NETLAB+. You can interface with multiple ESXi servers if necessary. Recommended Hardware for ESXi

VMware ESXi Host Requirements and vCenter Requirements

These components are used for NETLAB+ management of VMs. Specifications are provided on the Remote PC Support page.

Host Server Requirements
  • ESXi 4.1 U2 is required on physical host servers.
  • ESXi 5.0 is currently NOT supported on the physical host servers due to several known issues.


The number of active ISM pods that can be used simultaneously depends on the NETLAB+ product edition and the number of VMware ESXi host servers meeting the current NDG virtual machine host server specifications. The following table shows the number of active pods (students or teams) that can scheduled at the same time. You may provision more ISM pods than the active limit.

NETLAB+ Edition Number of VMware ESXi Servers Active ISM Pods
Academy Edition 1 16
Professional Edition 2 32

Content Availability on Your NETLAB+ System

You may request that EMC content be enabled on your system. Detailed participation requirements are included on the request form:

Request EMC Content Enabled On Your NETLAB+ System

Topology Specific Requirements

Details pertinent to specific topologies are available by selecting a topology on the topologies page.