vSphere 5.0 AutoLab version 0.8 released

It’s been a busy month in the AutoLab lab. At the start of May we released the first public build, version 0.5 of the vSphere AutoLab. Over the month between we’ve had around 1,500 downloads of the v0.5 build and some great feedback that the tool is helpful. Now at the end we have released version 0.8. Keep the feedback coming, if you have suggestions or issues email to feedback@labgiudes.com If AutoLab is simply a tool you use and like tweet about it with the hashtag #AutoLab, we love to hear that you are using the AutoLab.

The highlights of the new release are:

  • vSphere 5.0 Update 1 support
  • Windows Server 2008R2 SP1 support for the Domain Controller and Virtual Center VMs
  • Removed the requirement to download SQL client and extract deploy.cab into the Build share
  • Cosmetic and reliability improvements in scripts
  • Support for deployment onto standalone ESXi server
  • Removed suggestion that XP worked in nested VM
  • Improved clarity and completeness of the deployment guide

vSphere 5.0 Update 1 is the only “Update” release of vSphere that will be supported.  When vSphere 5.x is released it will be supported but vSphere 5.0 Update 2 will not be supported.  Building in ESXi 5.0 Update 1 support was painful as the PXE boot files have different names.  Since Update releases don’t bring new features they don’t add value to the AutoLab.

Adding support for SP1 on Windows 2008R2 was also painful as we cannot use the same unattended boot floppy for both SP1 and the RTM (no Service Pack) version. We plan to keep current on the service pack  releases of Windows for the DC and VC VMs

Most of the other changes were about making the automation prettier and more reliable, as well as making lab setup simpler.  Adding the Automate.ini file has been great as I rebuild labs about five to ten times a week so shaving off interaction time has been useful.

Finally a note about re-distribution.  Everything in the AutoLab is freely redistributable and you are welcome to build on top of the platform to solve other training and enablement problems, provided you attribute the work that has enabled your work.  If you are able to freely redistribute the result and it might be useful to others then please do let us know and we can publicise your project, possibly event host it for distribution.  If you use the AutoLab to create something that can’t be redistributed that’s cool too, please let us know what you’ve done with it so we feel appreciated.  In the unlikely event that you find a way to make money by selling something built on top of our work then please contact us to discuss, unauthorised commercial sale of our work isn’t cool.

Right, now head to the AutoLab home page and get downloading, have fun.