What is VMware TestDrive
VMware Hands-On Labs (HOL) have been around for quite some time and are well-known within the VMware ecosystem. What many people don’t know is that VMware also offers “fully configured, enterprise grade, and integrated” environments to test and explore VMware’s full suite of products in VMware TestDrive. Where VMware HOL are available to everyone, access to Testdrive is regulated and only available to:
- VMware Employees
- Customers & Prospects
- VMware Partners
- VMUG Advantage Members
To be honest, I’m having a pretty hard time thinking of a situation where an individual does not fall into one of these categories. I highly recommend registering for a TestDrive account because there are some awesome guided labs available there. Simply request access to TestDrive at https://portal.vmtestdrive.com/signup and after verification, you will receive a welcome email:
NSX Security Lab
In this blogpost, I’m going to focus on accessing the newly released VMware NSX Security environment. This requires the NSX Application Platform that runs on Kubernetes now. Even the ‘Evaluation’ form factor has some serious system requirements that are typically not available in homelab setups:
Form Factor: Evaluation
Minimum # of Nodes: 1 control node and 1 worker node
vCPU: 2 vCPUs for the control node and 16 vCPU per worker node
Memory: 4 GB RAM for the control node and 64 GB RAM per worker node
Storage: 1 TB per node
Ephemeral Storage: 64 GB
Using VMware TestDrive makes perfect sense to give NSX Security a spin!
After you logon to VMware TestDrive, you will find the new VMware NSX Security lab in the Intrinsic Security section:
Launch the lab and you will find the link to start the NSX Security lab.
After logging on to the TestDrive environment using VMware Horizon, I recommend to first look at the Lab Guide. The link is provided on the Windows Desktop but you can also access it on a separate device (like a tablet) using https://kb.vmtestdrive.com/hc/en-us/articles/4416606236315-NSX-3-2-Security-Lab-Walkthrough. The guide does a great job of explaining the new NSX Security capabilities and how NSX Advanced Threat Prevention (ATP) can help prevent and protect against sophisticated attacks. Sections 1 through 4 – a bit further down in the Lab Guide – guide you through a step-by-step walkthrough.
To access the NSX environment, you only have to double-click the ‘NSX-MGR-AutoLogon’ icon on the desktop. As the name says, don’t touch your mouse or keyboard after opening the link because there is a script that automatically logs you on. You can now follow the step-by-step Lab Guide and play around with the new NSX Security capabilities.
There is one major drawback of this specific VMware TestDrive environment: the account that’s used during the AutoLogon is unfortunately a read-only account. This means you can’t make any changes. Nevertheless, the lab gives a fairly good overview of the capabilities of NSX Security with ATP.