A big complaint I’ve always had about the HLKs is the overhead of getting a system provisioned as the HLK controller. This is made even worse now by the blistering speed with which Windows feature updates are coming, thus requiring the installation of yet another HLK controller for compliance testing every few months.
I was pleasantly surprised then to see the release of the Virtual Hardware Lab Kit (VHLK). This is simply a pre-installed Server 2016 HLK controller contained within a 32GB VHD. In theory you can just spin up this VHD and voila, you now have an HLK controller to use for provisioning your test systems.
We haven’t actually tried to use this for testing yet, but this already solved a nagging problem for me: quickly grabbing the latest versions of the IFS Tests. All I had to do was mount the VHD and navigate to %ProgramFiles%\Windows Kits\10\Hardware Lab Kit\Tests and I was ready to do a quick validation on some recently added filter code.