Helping out at TechEd 2014 in Houston

I am privileged to be a member of the fifty or so Microsoft Certified Trainers who are volunteering their time this week with the Hands On Labs here at TechEd 2014 in Houston. There are 300 general use machines plus 400 machines dedicated to Instructor Led Labs.

Look at my computer lab! ūüôā

Hands On Labs area at TechEd 2014
Hands On Labs area at TechEd 2014 (click to enlarge)

There are over 150 different labs available at the conference, all created and hosted by HynesITe. They do this with over 70 host servers, many with half a TERABYTE of RAM, all from a single colocation facility in Tampa, Florida. The labs are made up of one to several  virtual machines that are spun up and ready for the attendees when they sit down to learn.

I asked a ton of questions, and learned that while Microsoft is their biggest client, it’s¬†just one of many. They host around ten thousand different labs for customers all over the world.

They use Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012 R2, and I suspect they are the the largest user of Hyper-V in terms of scope and scale.

I find the process and infrastructure behind supporting so many  virtual labs fascinating, and will research the topic further. A very big thanks to the HOL team for talking with me and sharing their knowledge.

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