VCAP5-DCA… Passed!

I'm not the world's biggest fan of exams and I've been putting this one off for a while. But, after Gregg Robertson volunteered me (at VMworld Europe) to pursue VCDX in 2014, I thought I ought to get it scheduled. I took the VCAP4-DCA back in 2011 and became the 189th person to pass it. You would think then that the VCAP5 wouldn't pose a big issue. I was concerned though that I spend more time now using tools like Word and Visio than I do mucking about in the vSphere Client. Turns out that I needn't have worried quite so much. Despite having manflu for four days before (and during) the exam and having a nightmare journey to get there thanks to a broken down train, I managed to have a crack at almost all tasks in the exam and came away … [Read more...]

Getting Started with VMware Certification (The Easier Way)

It's always been difficult to justify getting started on the journey to a VMware certification. In the past, the first certification available from VMware was the VMware Certified Professional (VCP). This in itself was a large first step to take, comprising an instructor-led prerequisite and a technical-level exam. Somewhat daunting and costly! All that is changing with 2 important new developments from the VMware Certification Team: VMware Certified Associate (VCA) and on-line training availability. The VMware Certified Associate-level exams are aimed at giving users a broader understanding of the 4 technology areas (Virtualization, Cloud, Mobility & Network Virtualization), to allow them to become conversant in the technologies … [Read more...]

VMware Education Offers at VMworld Europe 2013

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I popped by the certification area in hall 7 (behind the HoL) at VMworld Europe today to chat to the lovely people working in VMware's Education team. One of my primary reasons for going there (aside from getting some badges) was to enquire about progress on the exam track for Network Virtualisation. More on that in a minute. If you're new to VMware certification or just getting started, there are a couple of good reasons to visit the Education Team whilst at the conference. Firstly they are offering a discount code to take a VMware Certified Associate (VCA) exam if you register for it before November 15th 2013. The VCA certification is VMware's entry level certification and the exam can be taken online. The current availability and … [Read more...]

Passed: My VCAP5-DCD Experience

I meant to sit the VCAP5-DCD exam last year after my US project finished and I'd had some time off. For one reason or another it never happened. I managed to book it just after VMworld Europe but then had to cancel again. The other day, I finally got to sit it (I didn't get as far as passing the VCAP4-DCD). Hooray, I passed! Unfortunately I don't live very near any exam centres that were offering slots for one of VMware's 4-hour Advanced exams so I had to drive over to Milton Keynes to QA's training facility there. If you choose to take an exam there and, like me, have to drive there make sure you leave yourself plenty of time as parking wasn't straightforward. The facilities, the exam station itself was fairly decent. The screen size … [Read more...]

TrainSignal Online – 1 Month On…

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It's been just over a month since TrainSignal switched to providing their courses only via an online model and binned the idea of shipping DVDs around the world. Although they kept their plans under wraps fairly well (at least they did as far as I know), it shouldn't really have come as a surprise to anyone that they changed their model. You only have to look back another month or so to one of the UK's big high street names going to the wall to see further evidence that physical media is just not as popular anymore. I had been planning to purchase one of TrainSignal's courses just prior to them making the switch. Good job I waited eh? But after giving it a week or so to bed in, I subscribed and I now have access to the whole training … [Read more...]

TrainSignal Moves to Online Subscription Model

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The first ever TrainSignal course that I "took" was David Davis' VMware vSphere 4 training. I had heard lots about it from a few people on Twitter and several others in person and I wanted to use it to fill in a few gaps in readiness for my VCP4 exam. I've since been through a few other courses and they've all been great. What's changed between then and now is TrainSignal's transition from supplying only DVDs, through adding online access to purchased course, to finally switching to a subscription only model. It's a move that makes a great deal of sense and it'd be worth a subscription to get access to course related to technologies that I don't use as often. There is even an offline player but it's currently limited to desktop … [Read more...]

VMware Press Sweepstakes

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VMware Press, VMware's official publishing arm, are in the middle of running a 60 day competition sweepstake (that ends June 30th 2012). On offer are a $100 Amazon gift card and three VMware Press books for the winner and nine second prize winners will win an eBook of their choice. Enter here. The publisher has already produced two excellent books in Administering VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0 and Automating vSphere with VMware vCenter Orchestrator. This summer promises a glut of new titles that I'd be interested to read too: Storage Implementation in VMware vSphere 5.0 (July 2012) Managing and Optimizing vSphere Deployments (July 2012) The Official VCP5 Certification Guide (July 2012) VMware View 5: Building a Successful … [Read more...]

VCP5: Passed

It took me a while to get around to booking it but I passed my VCP5 exam on the first attempt yesterday. Back in 2009 when vSphere 4 was launched, I took the VCP4 exam much earlier. I was thinking last night why this was and I think it's down to a change in circumstances. In 2009 I was freelancing and I felt it was advantageous to get my VCP4 as soon as possible. Working as I now do for a consultancy as a permanent employee, it's not been as important for me to update to VCP5. That said, I did want to do it before the end of February to avoid having to take the "What's New in vSphere 5" course. Now I know that everybody else who has posted about their VCP pass has done this but I just wanted to note the various resources that I used … [Read more...]

VCDX Defence Practice Event – London

Announced at the London VMUG meeting on 26th January, vSpecialist.co.uk and Virtual Clarity present the first VCDX Defence Practice Event. VCDX is VMware's premier / flagship certification "for design architects highly-skilled in VMware enterprise deployments", and is aimed at "professionals who want to validate and demonstrate their expertise in VMware virtual infrastructure". (Extracts from VMware VCDX Certification page here). However, this is no ordinary certification, and in line with other technology companies obtaining VCDX is not a case of sitting an exam but preparing a design and presenting / defending it to a panel of industry experts. … [Read more...]

vSpecialist Labs: Overview

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So, after several months of procrastination and searching for build information, my 'home lab' build begins which will grow over time into the new 'vSpecialist Labs' sandbox infrastructure. With this, I plan to do test and research work for configurations for production deployments, as well as have an environment which we at www.vspecialist.co.uk can use for study (VCP, VCAP and VCDX) too. This page is the basis for the documentation of the configuration of our lab, the reference information used to create the configurations and and hints and tips learned along the way. If you are building a home lab or are looking for information on how to go about this, then we hope you find it useful. A note about licensing. The majority of the … [Read more...]