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  1. Introduction
  2. Creating Virtual Lab Machines for Hatsize
  3. Deploying a customer image
  4. Building a new lab image from scratch
  5. Updating an existing lab image



Introduction


This document applies to the creation, conversion or update of customer images.

It is important to note that most customers have done training in a physical environment prior to using Hatsize. Therefore, we need to ask them how they setup and cloned machines in their physical lab environments.

  • If setup scripts were used in the physical environment, it is best for those setup scripts to be supplied with the images.
  • Along with the image and scripts, it is important to have a customer contact that is familiar with the image configuration.
    • The customer contact may be needed to supply information on how the images were setup.

Customers need to build and send images to Hatsize according to the guidelines laid out in section Creating Virtual Lab Machine for Hatsize. This section may be updated from time- to-time to keep up with newer technologies and practices. If you have used this guide for earlier images please refer to it each time an image is created to ensure you are using the latest information.

 


Creating Virtual Lab Machines for Hatsize

The simpler the student environment (e.g. number of machines per student, network topology), the quicker Hatsize can deploy the images and have a test class ready for review.

This is not to say that an environment cannot be complex. However, if an environment does not need to be complex, please keep it simple to speed image setup time.

 

This section provides some tips for creating images to run inside the Hatsize environment as smoothly as possible while providing you with the best possible performance:

Preferred Image Format

VMware compatible format, such as:

    • ovf / ova (preferred format)
    • vmdk / vmx

If you are starting from a Windows physical computer, please see P2V - How to convert my Windows physical computer to a Virtual Machine for a step-by-step.


  • Currently VMware hardware version 10 images are the preferred version.
    • If older VMware hardware version images are to be provided, they will be converted to VMWare ESX by Hatsize.

Disk(s) and disk controller
  • Disk type should be set to SCSI rather than IDE
  • Disk controller recommendations:
    • If you are unsure how to convert to the recommended disk controller, our Solutions Architects will gladly provide further help.
      • Customer-specific appliance: please inquire with Hatsize
      • Linux: PVSCSI (VMware Paravirtual) - unless you are using older versions of Linux
      • Nested ESXi: LSI Logic or LSI-SAS
      • Windows: PVSCSI (VMware Paravirtual)

NIC(s) Type
  • NIC(s) Type recommendations:
    • If you are unsure how to convert to the recommended NIC type, our Solutions Architects will gladly provide further help.
      • Customer-specific appliance: please inquire with Hatsize
      • Linux: vmxnet3
      • Nested ESXi: e1000
      • Windows: vmxnet3

Windows Licensing

Hatsize will require that you license or provide licenses for your Windows environments.

We offer 2 options:

  • Bring your own licenses (acceptable licensing: Volume-licensed (VLK) or  KMS-licensable only).
  • Use Hatsize licensing services for a licensing fee (only available for Windows Server versions).

Unused Services / Applications

Do not run processes that are unnecessary for the lab.

  • By default, many operating systems have a number of servers/applications configured to auto-start. Unless these services are required, please disable them.
    • Disabling these will free up resources and allow your image to run faster (e.g. Hyper-V, apache, mysql, and MSSQL).

Fixed IP address

Hatsize will set the IP address of the server and this may affect services that have a hard coded IP address.

  • If fixed IP addresses are required, please notify Hatsize. We will create a secondary interface with this fixed IP address.
  • Alternatively, add a second interface to your system with this fixed IP address; Hatsize will require its own interface. (By default, it will run DHCP).

Screensavers and backgrounds
  • Disable screen-savers: as these systems are virtual, screen-savers merely consume valuable resources.
    • Blank backgrounds minimize resource consumption.

VNC

If you are using VNC, please ensure that it is not set to autostart.


Lab Initial Requirements Worksheet

We strongly suggest filling up the Lab Requirements Worksheet to speed up deployment of your images.

Network Diagram

For network complex lab environments, please send us a network diagram showing which NIC connect to what NIC between virtual machines.

  • Network diagram can be created:
    • with the software your choice (e.g. Visio, PowerPoint, etc.) and send to Hatsize in a user-friendly format (e.g. PDF, JPG, etc.)
    • drawn by hand, then scanned and send to Hatsize. 

 


Deploying a customer image

Hatsize will deploy an image, as is. However, if applications in the image break due to cloning, Hatsize will not automatically fix the applications unless:

  1. The customer provides scripts that can be used to fix the broken apps. We will attach these scripts to the end of our setup process.
  2. The customer is willing to fund Hatsize to update and correct the broken app.
    1. If funding is provided, Hatsize will then spend the time necessary to fix the broken application.
      1. Hatsize will work with the customer technical team to find solutions to the broken application, but it is expected that the customer is the expert at their own app and therefore, Hatsize might need help in learning the application.
    2. If the application cannot be fixed:
      1. Hatsize will try to redeploy the image provided by the customer to see if the behaviour changes.
      2. If the application is still broken, customer technical team will need to try to re-install / re-load the application inside the virtual image inside the Hatsize environment.

 


Building a new lab image from scratch

This applies to situations where the customer is not sending an image to Hatsize for deployment, but would rather have Hatsize build a new image according to their specifications. Unless otherwise instructed by Hatsize Sales, the customer must provide us license keys for the operating system and all applications.

 

If Hatsize is to build an image from scratch, it is the responsibility of the customer to provide a complete and accurate specification for the image, please us our Lab Requirements Worksheet: Hatsize Lab Initial Requirements Worksheet.xlsx.

  • This specification should include all information necessary to install the OS and Applications including any license information needed. Minimum required information needs to include: memory and CPU requirements for the image(s) as well as a network diagram of the solution.

 


Updating an existing lab image

There are two ways to update an existing image:

  1. Customer can use our self-service Image Management System (IMS).
    1. For more information on IMS, please see Lab Configurations - Versions and/or inquire with Hatsize.
  2. Hatsize can be engaged to update an existing image. The Hatsize sales team will ensure that the appropriate paperwork has been completed prior to starting work on the image update. Work is charged on an hourly basis and must be recorded in the Customer Invoicing system.

 


 

 

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