This quick reference page provides a summary of the specifications of this topology.

For the implementation of the VMware vSphere O&S Pod for v6.0 it is necessary to request virtual machine templates from CSSIA. Using these templates will simplify your setup, since the virtual machines will be pre-configured.

Please be aware of the robust server requirements that are necessary in order to run nested virtual machines. Review the virtual machine server recommendations.


Lab Topology

O&S Pod

In the NETLAB+ pod design for the VMware IT Academy vSphere (O&S) course, all lab components are 100% virtualized (i.e. ESXi-in-ESXi) to achieve a high pod to physical host ratio, at a significantly lower cost point relative to traditional delivery of vSphere O&S. Using virtualization and the sharing and scheduling capabilities of NETLAB+, each student (or team of students) has access to their own set of virtual equipment, which they may maintain exclusive use of throughout the course.

Significant Cost Reduction

NETLAB+'s use of virtualized lab components results in a significant cost reduction by allowing several pods to run simultaneously on one physical server (final ratio to be determined). This cost reduction can open up the possibility of participating in the VMware IT Academy Program for many organizations who would be unable to afford it otherwise.

Virtual Machines

The VMware vSphere O&S 6 course will consume 78.5 GB of storage per each master pod instance. Details of the storage requirements for each of the lab virtual machines in the pod are provided in the table below. Some fluctuation in the numbers may occur.

Virtual Machine Role Initial Master Pod
(Thin Provisioning)
winserv Windows Server 24GB
esxi-1 Virtualized ESXi server 5GB
esxi-2 Virtualized ESXi server 0.5GB
san Virtualized Storage Area Network server 36GB
vcenter-1 A virtual Microsoft Windows Server that runs an instance of VMware vCenter server 13GB
Total Recommended 78.5GB

Virtual Machine Templates

The Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance (CSSIA) provides virtual machine templates to install on the pod.

To request access to the preconfigured virtual machine templates from CSSIA:

  1. Go to the CSSIA Resources page:
  2. Select CSSIA VM Image Sharing Agreement.
  3. Complete and submit your access request by following the instructions on the request form.
  4. CSSIA will provide, via email, password-protected download links. Access to the download links is provided only to customers who are current with their NETLAB+ support contract and are participants in the appropriate partner programs (i.e., Cisco Networking Academy, VMware IT Academy, Red Hat Academy, and/or Palo Alto Networks Cybersecurity Academy).
  5. Once all virtual machines have been downloaded, they can be deployed following the steps in the appropriate pod installation guide. Each virtual machine is deployed individually.