Archive for the ‘Certification’ Category

There are many many posts out there on this already but I thought by way of a blog post me sharing what I used to learn may help somebody sitting on the fence regarding certifications  or re-certifications and also skilling up on VMware vSphere 6. I just passed VCP6-DCV so thought I would capture my thoughts while it was still fresh.

The main objective for me was to re-immerse myself in vSphere. I recently after much lobbying have joined the VMware team at work now splitting my time with Data Center team (EMC/VCE/Cisco/Brocade) and the VMware team. From a post sales (PSO type role) I will focus on becoming a core vSphere, VMware SRM, vROPS and VSAN SME. For my Pre-Sales VMware SE hat a wider brief is necessary but looking forward to that as I have NSX, Automation and DevOps SME’s in house to call on while the ramp up happens there too. The point here is to say my journey is only beginning so watch this space 🙂

vSphere 6 Training Resources

Greg Shields has put together an excellent training series on vSphere 6 for Pluralsight. As an EMC Elect member Pluralsight very kindly gave a free years subscription so I could take advantage. This course (and many other related and unrelated courses) are well worth checking out!

http://blog.pluralsight.com/learning-path-vmware-vsphere-6-data-center-virtualization-vcp6-dcv

I was lucky enough to attend a classroom based training course which was pitched to align to VCP6-DCV which it will more than cover and it did give me well needed hands on with the trainer fielding my many questions. But in truth the course had so much detail it intimidated me a bit to the point that I didn’t know the manual detail cover to cover so thought I was goosed for the exam but you  will certainly not need to (for VCAP yes) so fear not. The course is excellent to learn vSphere in great detail which is better than any result in an exam. Course link and spec below

VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale v6

At VMworld I attended sessions on Managing vSphere 6.0 deployments which were excellent. I downloaded these sessions as an education for myself and there are some nuggets there even for the more seasoned among ye. These are available free here  for viewing or download so utilise it. The particular sessions that will help with up-skilling on vSphere 6 and prepare you for VCP6-DCV are;

INF4944 – Managing vSphere 6.0 Deployments and Upgrades, Part 1
INF5123 – Managing vSphere 6.0 Deployments and Upgrades, Part 2

As I was watching this back I saw on one of the slides a resource the presenters used for demos. I didn’t utilise it for my VCP6 but I will for field work, general knowledge and as Sunny Dua mentioned in becoming a vSphere 6 Ninja. Check this free VMware resource out for product and feature walkthroughs.

https://featurewalkthrough.vmware.com

From a book perspective I kept it to one  for the moment (others ready for design and advanced admin I won’t bore you with now) and that is Mastering vSphere 6 by Nick Marshall, Grant Orchard and Josh Atwell all of whom are vRockstars in the VMware community. For anyone who has not picked up one of the previous versions this is a really good book and should be on every engineers desk or laptop for reference.

vSphere 6 Study Guides

There are many study guides out there but I focused on two. Either one would do but two gives extra coverage for blue print topics in my opinion.

First up is the Unoffficial official guide By Josh Coen and Jason Langer. Very comprehensive and VEEAM kindly sponsored them to produce it

http://virtuallanger.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/vcp6-dcv_sg.pdf

The second one I referenced was from Vladan SEGET who has an excellent blog and active blog. You will find other study guides there as well as other resources so bookmark it.

http://www.vladan.fr/vcp6-dcv/

Hands-on without your own lab

The VMware hands on labs came in handy from two perspectives. Firstly it gets you necessary face time (when you don’t have your own kit) with vSphere 6 to negotiate new features and also to review existing. Secondly the lab notes/script associated with the HOL was a very good reference as well as it documents new features all in one place as well as a refresher on common tasks. I unashamedly took “HOL-SDC-1410 – Virtualization 101 – vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM)” which can be found in the HOL catalog to find out vSphere 6 new features and walk-throughs.

Practice Questions

Paul McSharry has some excellent resources on his website but in particular I wanted to draw your attention to his practice VCP exam questions which he very kindly put together himself for the community which will quickly indicate to you whether you are ready to sit the exam or are still a bit off the pace.

http://www.elasticsky.co.uk/more-vcp6-dcv-questions/

Reflections and what’s next

This is a comprehensive list to get through and all are not necessary to pass the VCP6-DCV exam. I didn’t cover everything comprehensively as I simply didn’t have the time and eating into family time studying isn’t that fair in December so wanted to get it knocked out. I didn’t ace the exam in 20 minutes or anything I found it a fair but tough enough test of knowledge. I am going to continue to use and reference these resources now to plug any weak areas the exam identified.

I am looking forward to preparing for VCIX6-DCV which is my next target along side my other short term goal of more consultancy and hands on field work. The VCIX6-DCV will have Advanced Admin (VCAP6-DCA) and Advanced design exams (VCAP6-DCD) for one badge/cert. These v6 exams have not been released yet but more detail on the news to come can be found here. Advanced Admin (VCAP6-DCA) will be my first goal so I may be picking a few peoples brains on how best to prepare as I have never done one of the VMware advanced or lab based exams before. It will be a challenge but one that I finally need to get off the pot and go after!

Usual disclaimer folks

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Hello World

Well I’ve finally decided to take the plunge into the world of blogging! I have done some serious procrastination on this front but with some coaxing (more on that later today) I have decided now is as good a time as any to give back.

Those that know me would acknowledge that I am quite active on twitter and linkedin sharing other bloggers and vendors content as well as positively interacting on discussions but this site will be my musings from my own day job and technology passions which the IT Community at large can hopefully benefit from. This site may not be for everyone but if only a handful get use out it then it will be worthwhile!

For those that don’t know me you can read about me here.

I am a definite rookie at blogging so please feel free to provide feedback you think will benefit me. I better figure out what to post now…

Like most personal technology blogs my views are my own and not that of my employer, see disclaimer.

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