NETLAB+ User Group Meeting, January 18, 2017

The January NETLAB+ User Group meeting consisted of specific topics for Instructors, College Administrators, and NETLAB+ System Administrators. Meeting minutes and recorded video (available to members only) have been posted in this article.

Topics covered included:

  • How to Support NETLAB+ in Your Region
  • Frameworks for Building or Expanding the NETLAB+ Infrastructure
  • Deploying High Availability and DRS in NETLAB+
  • Shared Storage

Be sure to log into your NETLAB+ User Group account to view the webinar.

Meeting Minutes - Summaries

Shawn Monsen, Welcome

Introduction video - Members Only

  • Visit the NETLAB+ User Group website for relevant articles and events at; members can also post questions to the Forum.
  • Next NETLAB+ User Group meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 5 at 2:00 p.m


Salvador Vargas, Dean of CTE and Workforce Development, San Joaquin Delta College

Salvador Vargas Video - Members Only


NETLAB+ is a Critical Resource for Today’s Students

  • Students attending college with limited time due to work, family, etc.
  • Provides extra opportunities for students unable to come into the lab or classroom
  • Multidimensional system – can be used for ICT and other programs as well

Gaining Support for NETLAB+

  • Need supporter who understands technical side
  • Need champion on administrator side (ICT or any CTE program)

Tips on Presenting NETLAB+ to Administration

  • Consider ongoing costs beyond installation (be realistic)
  • Present data that shows increased enrollment and completers
  • With data from the Centers of Excellence and/or other sources, show the need in the workforce, and how using NETLAB+ will help students prepare for certification exams and enter the workforce
  • Research possible leads for getting funding; Perkins funds, Strong Workforce funding through the region, other college grants and resources

Future Plans for NETLAB+ in the Central Region

  • Delta College is the regional hub; 4 colleges currently using
  • Working with IT to have 100% dedicated line for NETLAB+ by next fall
  • Available to all colleges in the region wanting to participate

Rich Weeks and Jason Zeller, Network Development Group (NDG)

NDG Video - Members Only


  • Rewrite of NETLAB+; remodeled as a virtual machine on your VSphere environment
  • Allows expansion beyond hardware server
  • Administrators are beta testing and sending
  • Once in production, current customers can convert to VE model while continuing to run the hardware model for 1 year
  • New version will use HTML 5; no plugins required
  • Will provide an API to enable administrators to automate the script


  • NETLAB+ VE does not currently support VMware High Availability (HA) during beta phase, but is on roadmap to test and ensure good for customer use
  • To support HA, the NETLAB+ Infrastructure requires a minimum of two (2) management servers and a shared network storage
  • To date, NDG has recommended Synology for the shared storage in an effort to keep the costs low to academic institutions
  • See presentation slides for diagrams and details


  • Designed as a way to actively distribute VMs among physical host servers
  • Primary benefit is to share resources of all available host servers along with many other benefits including server power-down during under-utilization to save energy and cooling costs
  • VMware DRS is not compatible with the NETLAB+ environment; NETLAB+ has its own pod scheduling algorithm
  • All VMs are required to be on the same host due to the creation of VLANs for traffic between VMs
  • NETLAB+ Proactive Resource Awareness ensures the host server does not get overloaded at any one point in time
  • See presentation slides for diagram of student pod deployment, and watch video for pod cloning template discussion