Friday, 29 October 2010

VCAP exams user interface demos

VMware have just released Flash demos of the exam environment used for the VCAP4-DCA and VCAP4-DCD exams - I spoke with Jon Hall at VMworld Europe a couple of weeks ago and he told me then they were almost ready to be published - Jon narrates the demos himself.

You'll find the VCAP4-DCA demo in the VCAP4-DCA Resources section on the main VCAP4-DCA page, and in case you want to watch the demo straight away here's the direct link.

The VCAP-DCD page has an idential layout, so again check under the VCAP4-DCD Resources section on the VCAP4-DCD page, here's the direct link.

Friday, 22 October 2010

VCAP4-DCD beta exam

Emails have been going out in the last day or so inviting people to register for the VCAP4-DCD exam - passing this exam brings the VCAP4-DCD certification, lets you work towards VCDX4, and is also the exam that the current VCDX3 holders need to pass to gain VCDX4 status.

The beta period is short, November 8th-12th, and slots are filling incredibly quickly - I know of one guy in the UK who has had to schedule his in Amsterdam...

VMware are only offering the beta exam through the same testing centres as those currently enabled for the VCAP4-DCA exam - I've been assured by numerous people at VMware that the final VCAP4-DCD exam will be available at all testing centres.

If you want to try and register for the beta exam, send an email asap to and include your VCP ID.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

IP Expo - Exclusive training discounts

Following on from VMworld Europe 2010, the vendor/partner circus comes back to London for IP Expo 2010, the event runs on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st October, and Global Knowledge will be there...

Global Knowledge will be at booth 947 in the VMware Partner Zone, and are offering all attendees an exclusive discount on training courses and exams across multiple vendors (VMware, Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix) - pop by the stand, say "hi" to my colleagues and collect your discount flyer!

I wish I could be there myself, it was a great event last year - my "day job" prevents me from attending this year.

Friday, 15 October 2010

The first batch of VCAP4-DCA holders are here!

There's been a few messages flying around on Twitter in the last day from people reporting that they've received the results of their VCAP4-DCA beta exam, so the world has it's first VCAP4-DCAs!

Those that I've heard of so far:
Jason Boche
William Lam
Chris Dearden
Duncan Epping
Rick Boyett
Kanuj Behl
Hal Rottenburg
Rick Scherer
Mark Gabryjelski
JF Richard
David Convery
Bill Griffith

I'll keep the above list updated if I hear of any others. I met quite a few people at VMworld this week who have their exams scheduled in the coming weeks, and I'm going to book mine soon.

Congratulations to all VCAP4-DCAs!

List last updated on October 17th 2010

VMworld Europe 2010 - Day 3

OK, so I'm not in Copenhagen any more, but I still wanted to write something about what I got up to on the final day of VMworld Europe 2010...

My last day in Copenhagen started a little late, but that might be related to enjoying myself at the VMworld Party and in the bars I went to afterwards with friends... (you know who you are!)

I attended an excellent session delivered by Chad Sakac from EMC and Vaughn Stewart from NetApp - Best Practices to Increase Availability and Throughput for VMware - even though their organizations compete it's clear that they have a common interest, and the banter between them helped to make this one of the best breakout session of any VMworld or TSX I've attended before.

I also spent time in the Solutions Exchange area, talking specifically with some of the Education Services team at VMware, my friend Jane Rimmer who was there with Centrix Software, and collecting a few freebies for my kids, then it was time to head to the airport and home...

I've had a different experience at each of the four VMware events I've now attended, it really is an event that you can get whatever you want from - whether it's networking, hands-on labs, attending some of the larger breakout sessions, or participating in a group discussion or even a one-to-one.

Thanks to all those involved in making it happen, and a shout out to all those I met up with - see you next year!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

VMworld Europe 2010 - Day 2

Well, this will be a short blog post...

I've not been to the Bella Center today, I've been at a hotel with a dozen other VCIs attending a VCI Mentor Workshop. I've held Mentor status with VMware for a couple of years now, but attending this new Workshop means I will retain my status from January 2011.

Being a Mentor means I understand the technical and delivery standards expected of a VCI, so I am able to sign off prospective VCIs against those standards. The Workshop was straightforward, the framework used by VMware is similar to that used by the Institute of IT Training in the UK - and I've been a qualified IITT Assessor for about 6 months now.

It's VMworld party night tonight, I'm heading out for dinner soon with my Global Knowledge colleagues, then we'll be heading to the Forum in Copenhagen to the party - it's a party for Abba fans as Bjorn Again are the headline band. I'm looking forward to a good night, then it's back to the Bella Center tomorrow morning for Day 3 and the journey home...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

VMworld Europe 2010 - Day 1

So today was the first "proper" day of VMworld Europe 2010, and the first thing that struck me was how much work went into the Solutions Exchange area between 5pm on Monday and 10:30am on Tuesday - when the VCI day was over the area looked far from being ready and yet this morning everything was setup and ready - a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes to make that happen.

After chatting to Chris Skinner from VMware on the Metro on the way to the Bella Center, I spent the first hour "walking the floor" of the Solutions Exchange area with Linda Smith - the Business Development Director for virtualization at Global Knowledge UK. We caught up with people from VMware, Quest, and Veeam amongst others, then we split up and headed off to breakout sessions.

The first session I attended was Virtual Machines Outperforming Physical Machines with the always-impressive Scott Drummonds and Dave Korsunsky, where Scott highlighted the impressive volume of performance improvements from ESX 2.5 through to the vSphere 4. Dave and Scott then presented how those enhancements had enabled various workloads to run better in virtual machines rather than be run in the traditional physical manner. Some of the gain was related to scalability issues that are directly related to the applications themselves and other gains were realised by the VMkernel being able to take advantage of the latest hardware technologies. The session emphasised the importance of finding "the sweet spot" for each application in terms of sizing the virtual machine - and Scott highlighted that in most cases these days a 2-way or 4-way VM gave the best scalbility and performance of most virtualized workloads.

I attended my first "group discussion" session later in the afternoon, Storage with Chad Sakac, where Chad led an interactive Q&A and discussion session on storage protocols, filesystems, best practices, challenges, as well as trying to gather feedback on how VMware and storage vendors could support their customers better. Chad also discussed some potential future enhancements to vSphere that could allow some of today's limitations to be removed or circumnavigated.

I really enjoyed both sessions - I deliberately chose them based on the subject as well as the presenters and wasn't disappointed!

I also spent a little time today in the Bloggers Lounge, behind the Solutions Exchange area, where I chatted to Vladan Seget, Alex Mittell, Mike Laverick, and Simon Long to name just a few...

Whilst most people were attending the Welcome Reception in the Solutions Exchange area, I attended the CTO Reception for the current batch of vExperts - the VMware CTO is none other than Steve Herrod, and Steve brought many principal VMware staff and engineers with him. I spent my time chatting with other vExperts, and also got to meet John Troyer for the first time - John works incredibly hard with social media, the VMware community forums, the VMTN blog and podcast, as well as managing the vExpert program.

Once we had finally left the Bella Center for the day, Linda and I ate a really tasty meal, then headed back to our hotel to re-charge our batteries, ready for another busy day tomorrow!

Monday, 11 October 2010

VMworld Europe 2010 - Day 0

I arrived in Copenhagen late on Sunday afternoon, headed straight to the Bella Center on the free shuttle bus, and completed the registration process for VMworld - I love the bag! My phone wasn't working straight away, so thanks to a guy I met on the bus I managed to phone a friend of mine (Rakesh - a freelance VCI from the UK) and met up with him. We got the excellent metro into the central area, then headed to my hotel where we also met with Marcel - a colleague of mine from GK in the Netherlands. After a couple of drinks in the hotel, we eventually found somewhere to eat dinner and grab a couple more beers.

I've spent today at a VCI day, arranged by my friends Andy Cary and Undeleeb Din - it was a packed day, with presenters from the VMware Education team as well as product managers and consultants, the agenda ran like this:

- Introduction and VCI benefits
- Education update
- Certification update
- VCI program and portal update
- VCDX session with current VCDX holders
- vCloud Director Q&A
- View 4.5 Q&A

After dinner this evening, we headed to the Customs House for the VMUG event - it was busy in there when we first arrived and I met a lot of people who I've chatted with via email or online before - Kendrick Coleman, David Davis, Gregg Robertson, Vladan Seget - as well as catching up with some older friends from the virtualization world.

On to the main event, starting tomorrow morning...

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Global Knowledge UK launches in Bristol

Just in case I haven't mentioned it before, I work for Global Knowledge in the UK as their Lead Instructor for VMware ;-)

We already have a number of training centres around the UK, and have now launched a training schedule for various vendors (including VMware of course) with a partner in Bristol.

Follow these links to our schedule for Bristol, as well as a location map and directions.

We currently have two dates for the vSphere: Install Configure Manage course:
- November 8th-12th 2010
- February 21st-25th 2011

VCAP and VCDX updates

If you're a regular reader of the blog, you'll know already that registration for the VCAP4-DCA exam for vSphere 4 is now open. The VCAP4-DCA exam forms part of the up-and-coming VCDX4 certification, and is a chance for VCP4 holders to "raise the bar" in terms of their VMware certifications.

With the introduction of the VCAP4-DCA and VCAP4-DCD certifications, VMware are retiring the various components of the VCDX3 certification for VI3:

- Registration for the Enterprise Administration exam for VI3 are now closed
- Registration for the Design exam for VI3 are closed too
- Those who have already passed both the exams above for VI3 can still submit a defence to achieve VCDX3, but the design must be submitted by November 22nd 2010
- The design defence element of VCDX3 will only be available at a couple more VMware partner events, the final event being Partner Exchange in Florida in February 2011

VMware also stated previously that those that had completed elements of the VCDX3 certification would receive discounts on the equivalent exams for vSphere 4, to allow them to "upgrade" their certification. As I have previously passed the Enterprise Administration exam for VI3, and I have my VCP4, I now have a 50% discount voucher for me to use against the VCAP4-DCA exam. An equivalent voucher will be sent out to those eligible for a discount on the VCAP4-DCD exam once that exam has been released.

The VCDX4 defence application will be made available in November 2010, which suggests to me that the VCAP4-DCD exam will launch next month too - we shall see...