Scaling into the Cloud

Here’s a simple example of how the ability to quickly provision an entire software defined datacenter enabled one company to dramatically change how it delivers training and labs to its customers in just a couple months.

Recently, due to the global Corona virus pandemic, a security consulting and training institution found its annual conference in jeopardy of being canceled due to limitations and bans on travel.  In February of 2020, just 3 months before the conference was scheduled, they announced they would instead run the conference and sessions virtually.  However, they needed a way to bring the content and classes to the registered attendees. 

Working with VMware, they quickly deployed a small Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) in VMware Cloud on AWS comprising 3 hosts.  Over the course of the next month, they migrated several of their course lab modules out to the SDDC, and asked their instructors to review and validate the content and functionality of the labs.  They found that only a single lab was not able to run in the cloud, due to specific requirements of the security tooling used in the lab.  The ability to quickly provision an entire cluster in the cloud – including virtualization of compute, networking, and storage, as well as the management plane – was key to the success of this project.  As a result, they were able to shift the entire conference to a virtual event in just about 2 months, requiring only minor changes to the content and schedule.  Furthermore, since they were able to extend the event to a larger audience, they were even able to increase attendance.

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