365 Data Centers has announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration between private businesses and the Nashville VMware User Group (VMUG) to deliver a real-world VMware environment for learning and sharing tech skills among tech community members and educational institutions in Nashville. Hosted at the 365 Nashville Tech Hub, a 365 initiative that provides incentives and free services to local hi-tech start-ups and businesses, local companies Tintri Inc. and Plow Group worked with representatives from VMUG's Nashville chapter to secure and set up the infrastructure and software for the online VMware platform.

The ITT Technical Institute, Nashville Campus, will use the VMware platform in classes to enable real-world educational training in a professional grade virtual environment. The Tech Hub deployment hosts the entire suite of enterprise class licenses from VMware and allows VMUG to host control over the vCenter and provide various virtual machine configurations to the community.

365's VMUG deployment will help accomplish the goals of Tennessee's Drive to 55 Alliance, an active and rapidly growing alliance of private sector partners, leaders and non-profits working together in support of the state's Drive to 55 initiative to equip 55 percent of Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate by 2025.

365 is an investor in Partnership 2020 (P2020), the Nashville Area Chamber's economic development initiative responsible for the creation of jobs and capital investments to drive local business expansions and relocations to the area. 365's Nashville Tech Hub supports P2020's goals by providing entrepreneurs and businesses with free data center colocation, power and Internet services each year at 365's expense and by providing services to other local organizations at a reduced cost. 

"We are proud to partner with the Nashville business community to grow the local tech economy with the help of the 365 Nashville Tech Hub," said Keao Caindec, chief commercial officer, 365 Data Centers. "This collaboration to launch a VMware development environment will empower local students and tech professionals to get hands-on with VMware's latest software and provides the support to achieve regional goals of increasing postsecondary education, innovation and employment opportunities."

"We founded the Nashville VMUG chapter four years ago with just five people and have experienced incredible interest and involvement, growing the chapter to more than 500 members," said Todd Lewey, virtualization and storage engineer, Tintri and Nashville VMUG Group Leader. "VMUG is about sharing knowledge among its members to deliver improved skills for our entire ecosystem, and adding ITT to share this knowledge with students will amplify this capability. Nashville is a center for regional transformation and has become one of the more innovative VMUG chapters in the world."

"The deployment provides the kind of real-world experience you can't get from just reading a tech manual. Instead, students and engineers can see and experience firsthand a data center setup and how virtual machines actually behave in a production environment," said Cameron Plato, principal and co-founder, the Plow Group. "Understanding how various solutions and products interoperate with virtual machines, combined with learning how to solve technical issues that arise from spinning up multiple instances, are critical to developing solutions-oriented thinkers who add significant value to the community."

VMware makes the most widely deployed hypervisors in the world. VMUG has more than 100,000 members worldwide and is an independent, global, customer-led organization, created to maximize members' use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events.

In November 2014, 365 launched its 17,000-square-foot data center in downtown Nashville and announced the 365 Nashville Tech Hub. The VMUG deployment that is colocated in 365's facility is running a Tintri T540 storage solution, along with 3x Dell R710s, which were installed and activated by personnel from Tintri, Plow, 365 Data Centers and VMUG.

With locations at the increasingly important local network edge, 365 Data Centers is the place where business connects. All of its 15 U.S. data centers are HIPAA, SSAE 16, PCI DSS, SOC 2 and ISAE 3402 compliant and feature a full suite of colocation and cloud solutions, direct access to carriers and superior uptime availability.


This article was originally posted “Nashville Tech Community Launches Online VMware Learning Environment” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.