VMware recently announced that applications for the next VMware vSphere Beta Program are now open. People wishing to participate in the program can now indicate their interest by filling out this simple form. The vSphere team will grant access to the program to selected candidates in stages. This vSphere Beta Program leverages a private Beta community to download software and share information. There will be discussion forums, webinars, and service requests to enable you to share your feedback with VMware.
So what’s involved? Participants are expected to:
- Accept the Master Software Beta Test Agreement prior to visiting the Private Beta Community;
- Install beta software within 3 days of receiving access to the beta product;
- Provide feedback within the first 4 weeks of the beta program;
- Submit Support Requests for bugs, issues and feature requests;
- Complete surveys and beta test assignments; and
- Participate in the private beta discussion forum and conference calls.
All testing is free-form and you’re encouraged to use the software in ways that interest you. This will provide VMware with valuable insight into how you use vSphere in real-world conditions and with real-world test cases.
Why participate? Some of the many reasons to participate include:
- Receiving early access to the vSphere Beta products;
- Interacting with the vSphere Beta team consisting of Product Managers, Engineers, Technical Support, and Technical Writers;
- Providing direct input on product functionality, configurability, usability, and performance;
- Providing feedback influencing future products, training, documentation, and services; and
- Collaborating with other participants, learning about their use cases, and sharing advice and learnings.
I’m a big fan of public beta testing. While we’re not all experts on how things should work, it’s a great opportunity to at least have your say on how you think that vSphere should work. While the guys in vSphere product management may not be able to incorporate every idea you have for how vSphere should work, you’ll at least have an opportunity to contribute feedback and give VMware some insight on how their product is being used in the wild. In my opinion this is extremely valuable for both VMware and us, the consumers of their product. Plus, you’ll get a sneak peak into what’s coming up.
So, if you’re good with NDAs and have some time to devote to some testing of next-generation vSphere, this is the program for you. So head over to the website and check it out.