VMware Certifications

I have not been a fan of VMware certifications since they decided to make the VCP expire after only two years of holding the certification. To top it off, the policy was even for past certification holders. Everyone had two years before they had to pass another exam! If not, an expensive class would be required again before taking an exam.

After that being said, I have kept up with the game and took my VMware skill set to the next level last year by passing the VCAP5-DCA. I studied more for that exam than I have ever done for any other exam. I learned a lot from the entire experience. I took the exam on the 5.5 objectives so I’m not sure how relevant my advice would be now. However, I decided to post what I said on the VCAP-DCA Study Group in case it may help others.

I passed with a score of 347. I took the exam on Saturday and received my results in about 3 hours.

I, of course, ran out of time during the exam. I worked nonstop. I don’t know what would have happened if I stepped away to use the bathroom. I completed everything I knew and went back to the few labs I wasn’t sure about.

I obtained a lot of great information in this group. I went back to the beginning of the group and read everything. Other places I learned from was the VMware Press VCAP book, Jason Nash’s Plural Sight videos, Paul Grevink’s study guide, Josh’s lab, and other various blogs. I spent about 4 months preparing for the exam going over all that material and practicing in my lab.

I’m so happy to pass the exam. I learned so much from the experience. I’m looking forward to taking a break for a while. Then take the design exam on 6.

The next VMware certification I go for will be the VCAP6-DCV Design. That will earn me the VCIX-DCV because my first VCAP basically counts as the deploy requirement. I may try to squeeze in upgrading my MCSA 2012 to 2016 before my next VCAP.



VMware’s Cloud Strategy Finally Shaping Up

VMware has dominated on-premise virtualization for years, but has struggled in the cloud. Everyone knew vCloud Air was way behind AWS and Azure. I barely heard much about vCloud Air lately and not even a mention at the recent VMUG I attend.

First let me go over a couple sell offs in the past year. VMware sold its vCloud government service on August 31 to QTS. Then this month OVH announced it would like to buy vCloud air. Bye bye vCloud Air!

VMware has pivoted, which I think they have a better chance of being successful. That is with leveraging NSX in the cloud  and piggybacking off of already large, established cloud providers. They made the announcement during VMware world last year about their partnership with Amazon. Seemed like a rushed announcement since they didn’t have anything to show for a while. However, more technical information has been shared this year. Also, VMware has already been working with IBM Cloud and I heard plans for them to do the same with Azure.

I’m very interested in seeing how VMware will do with offering cross cloud architecture. Perhaps the cloud will not be siloed between vendors in the future. Check out The Fluffy Admin’s article on VMware Cloud on AWS for more information.

Review – Potomac Regional VMUG UserCon 2017

I always enjoy going to the VMUG UserCons. This year was no different. I attended my 5th UserCon on March 22. The Potomac Regional VMUG UserCon 2017 was at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. This UserCon seemed smaller than previous years. Perhaps it was due to email notifications for the event only going out about 2 weeks prior to the event.

The keynote speakers were the best that I remember of all the Potomac Regional UseCons I’ve been to. Scott Lowe had a more serious speech in the morning compared to Chris Wahl’s jovial speech at the end of the event. Scott went into the ever changing IT profession and how the term DevOps is often missed used. DevOps is not a postion. It’s a collaboration between developers and operations/infrastructure professionals. Chris’s keynote seemed more like a motivational speech, which I appreciated and honestly needed to hear myself. He went into his journey on how and he started in IT and how got where he is today. Sometimes it’s hard to make that jump to the next level. He was advocating for everyone to get involved with GitHub in some way. Even if it is to point out a spelling/grammar error like he did with Docker.

On a lighter side, the food is always great at these events. Impossible to go home hungry. Started off with a standard breakfast. Lunch had many options and a couple desserts. Can always count on cookies in the afternoon too. They even had milk this time to go along with the cookies this time. Finally the open bar and hors d’oeuvres at the end was a nice finishing touch.

There were a few breakout sessions that I enjoyed. Usually vendors are of course doing most of the presenting and it’s geared towards their products. However, once in a while, there’s a presentation hosted by a vendor that is not specific to any product they offer. This year Rubrik’s session titled Auditing and Enforcing a Consistent vSphere Configuration using PowerShell and Pester. This fits what I just described. On top of doing a keynote, Chris Wahl hosted that session. The title of the session describes the project well and you can check it out further on GitHub.

I also enjoyed the two VMware host sessions. The first one I attended was VMware Cloud on AWS. I was happy to finally receive more details on the AWS and VMware Cloud collaboration. I haven’t seen more information until the past couple weeks. I should do a separate article to dive more into this topic. Josh Townsend presented the last VMware session I attended which was on VMware Cloud Foundation. Not really a product I would use, but interesting to see how far it was come. Definitely a much easier way for a company to get into virtualization. Can have vCenter, vSAN, and NSX up and running in a day without too much effort. Comparably speaking to someone setting up and configuring all that in a traditional way.

The VMUG leaders hosted another great event. Many thanks to all that are involved in organizing the event and to all the sponsors. Always great to network with my peers, see what vendor’s are offering, and have a change at winning a raffle prize. Speaking of the latter, I was not as lucky as I have been in the past, but there was a lot of cool stuff being given away. As always, everyone walked away with a bag full of swag. I absolutely enjoyed my time at the Potomac Regional VMUG UserCon and looking forward to the next event.