Apr 302012

Because I’m just so kind and generous, I’ve decided to give away my VMware Workstation 8 Licence I got for passing my VCP 5. I already have a Workstation licence and although I’m sure I could find a use for it I thought that someone out there might have a greater need for it than I do.


Whoever leaves a comment on this page on the subject of what is their favourite VMware product or feature and why (and I think is the best answer), will win the licence.

(dont write and essay, just a line or 2 will do)

UPDATE 15/05/2012:

I have selected Matts comment as the winning comment. Storage vMotion (even back in the 3.5 days) got me out of many a perils situation and with the improvements today along with Storage DRS it’s up there among my own personal favourites.

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Mar 232012

Happy to say I passed the VCP-510 today.

I have to say the VCP exam has become harder since the VI3 days. The VI3 was the last time I took the VCP as skipped the vSphere 4.x as it wasn’t something I needed at the time.

The broadness of the technical content that the VCP 5.x can choose to ask questions on and the level at which you need to know that contact is considerable. Since my VI3 qualification we have seen a plethora of features like vDS, storage vMotion, Storage Profiles etc, etc, etc. For the VI3 I honestly thing you could do the course read a few whitepapers and pass the exam. The VCP5 is definitely a step up, if you have little or no hands on they you will struggle to pass this exam. I have been in a more presales role for a while now so I struggled to get up to speed.

Although this is a hard exam, its a good thing it is. Far to many early VCPs back in 2008ish were claiming to be something they were not and along with the VCAPs I think its clearer now who knows their stuff.

What did I use to get up to speed:

  • vSphere 5 ICM course
    • This covered off the basics but did not cover things like ESXTOP, Auto Deploy, vDS, VASA etc etc. All of the excluded things are featured in the exam so either do the ‘Whats New’ course aswel or take the ‘Fast Track’ course. But no matter what you will be lucky to pass the exam with just attending a course. (exam prerequisites)
  • Trainsignals VMware vSphere 5 Training.
    • If you don’t get an opportunity to do the course or even if you do they this is CBT is highly recommended. The Demos alone are a fantastic way to learn especially if you don’t have access to a lab. I am doing a full write up on this CBT so ill link to it here once I’ve completed it.
  • Blog posts and link:

I’m not going to link everything I used as the above links already have some good resources in them to look at and some links to other useful pages.

WHATS NEXT: VCAP DCA or DCD I think. Would love to be among the first bunch to attempt a VCDX 5 defence but that’s just aspirational at the moment.

If you read this far down any you have your VCP-510 soon then I wish you the best of luck.

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Feb 132012


The guys over at VSPECIALIST have come up with a great idea to help people that are planning on going down the VCDX path. They are putting together a mock VCDX defence panel to help prospective VCDX panel attendees to hone there defence and presentations skills.

The aim of the Defence Practice Event is to help candidates with the group aspects of a defence session, and to prepare candidates for the type of technical questions they may face from a panel. You may your design inside out, but can you verbalise them to someone who doesn’t know your design as well. Can you explain your choices, limitations and restrictions in your design to someone else, and can you technically defend these when questioned?

The VCDX session at VMworld last year was a real eye opener for me as they had a very small mock session with the actual defence panel. It was suppressing to see a few people who volunteered struggle so much, not with the technical aspects of the challenge but actually trying to explain there thinking aloud as they tried solve the issue they were presented with. It can often be a misconception that the only skills they are looing for are technical, a good % of what they look for in a VCDX is communication and presentations skills. After all they don’t want people to go in front of customer and be terrible at the soft skills after VMware award them the top qualification they can bestow.

I think its great these guys are willing to take time out to help the community in this way and it is a fantastic opportunity to practice for what in real life will be a gruelling experience.

Check out the full details here

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Aug 192010

NOTE: this is currently speculation and not yet confirmed by VMWARE.

It looks like vmware are about to pull the plug on the VCDX 3 program as of the 30th of August 2010 (thats the romour anyway). All Exams and Design Submissions must be passed and submitted by this date.

This leaves me, along with quite a few other people, with very little notice to get the exams and designs finalised and submitted.

My personal position is that I have passed the Enterprise exam but not the Design exam (failed it once). As a result I have spend hundreds of pounds on something that looks like its going to be worthless.

I have 2 main issues:

  1. Why have there not been any anouncments from vmware certification? I know people have recently taken the enterprise exam and were not informed of the pending withdrawal of VCDX3 thus anyone that thought they could take their time for the rest of the process have been caught out.
  2. Why is there no meaningful qualification at each stage of the VCDX3 process like there is with the VCDX4. I don’t really understand why there has not been an equivalent of the VCAP for stages in the VCDX3. I would not have as much of an issue with this if my VCDX3 Enterprise exam actually counted for something.

The VCDX3 process was a little painful and drawn out, but to make matters worse vmware now seem to have left a significant number of people in limbo as there is so much confusion due to no official announcement. Vmware have always been good at connumication and it puzzles me why we have ended up in this situaltion.

As the upgrade path allows anyone that has passed the design exam in VCDX3 to take the design exam in VCDX4 and skip the Administration exam.

However when I went to book my exam on the Pearson Vue website the entire exam has been removed from site. Hence I can not book the exam.

This leaves me (and others) with the very real possibility of wasting allot of time and money on a qualification that means next to nothing in the industry (re the Enterprise Exam only).

Please could you do the poll bellow so I can get an idea how many of you are effect by this:

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

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Jun 062010

Hello all,

Over the last few weeks I have been revising for my VCDX design exam I have later this month. I must admit however I have not done as much as I would have liked. (if only I didn’t have to work as well).

I have been asked by a few people what material I am using for my revision. Well Im sure like me, anyone reading this will have googled for study material around this. And essentualy that’s all I’m using at the moment. Here are a consolidated list of useful URLs from various blogs and websites:

ESX Server 3 Configuration Guide

Virtual Machine Backup Guide

VMbook – Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

Setup for Microsoft Cluster Service

VMware HA: Concepts and Best Practices

SAN System Design and Deployment Guide

Good article on SAN based replication:

Disaster Recovery Solutions from VMware

Making Your Business Disaster Readywith Virtual Infrastructure

Using VMware® ESX Server System and VMware Virtual Infrastructure for Backup, Restoration, and Disaster Recovery

VMware Update Manager – Administration Guide
Security Design of the VMware Infrastructure 3 Architecture
iSCSI Design Considerations and Deployment Guide
VIOPS: VI3 Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Workshop: http://viops.vmware.com/home/message/1989;jsessionid=D7584DF18C1AD92A7416FD814CAF0FE6#1989
I am also refreshing my memory with the enterprise exam notes i took. I am not expecting to be tested on my knowledge of command line but it will help with some of the actions and topics that I don’t use vmware for on a daily basis and may just be useful so i think it’s worth doing.
Again here are the links for the ent exam material I’m using:

I will keep this blog up to date with how I’m getting on but feel free to ask me questions.

I’m pushing really hard to get to vmworld emea for my defence. I know it’s pushing it a bit but I would love to be vcdx before 2011.

Other very interesting design exam related information:





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May 142010

I finaly got my authorisation through from the vmware certification team that can book my design exam.

As with the enterprise exam you can only take it at the test center in Holbourn London (uk obviously). Luckly my current client is in London (walking distance in fact) so for me this is quite handy.
Ironicly the best day for me happens to have landed right smack on my birthday. Typical…..

I had done about 5 minutes of looking at other peoples blogs and saw that they thought the design exam was easyer than the enterprise. As such I was getting quite hopeful until i saw the design blueprint. Looks like I was wise to leave 6 weeks to study as it looks like I’m going to need it.

I am busy collating all the revision matirial I can lay my hands on and I will post what I find once i manage to get hold of it.

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