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Sign Up for vCloud Automation Center [V6] On Demand Training, Get iPad or Discounts

Our new VMware vCloud® Automation Center™ On Demand is a training course like no other. Learn how to install, configure, and manage the vCloud Automation Center platform at the convenience of your own pace at your own place. Stop, rewind, pause or replay multiple times to ensure you have the concepts down pat. By the end of the course, you’ll gain an understanding of the vCloud Automation Center architecture and its use case in today’s multivendor environments.

But there’s more!  We’re also offering the first 50 people per geographical region the option of receiving an Apple iPad Mini or 15% savings off the course price. ipad_white

Check out the promotion details. Act quickly as this special offer won’t last!

Validate your Network Virtualization Skills with our new Certification Track

VMware NSX is the network virtualization and security platform for the software-defined data center. NSX brings virtualization to your existing network and transforms network operations and economics.

To further your career in this exciting new technology we are releasing a new certification track covering Network Virtualization, including three certifications depending upon your experience level:



Earning your Network Virtualization certification from VMware will validate your vSphere and NSX skills, and make you one of the first globally-recognized Virtual Networking professionals in the industry. Get started today!

Question of the Week (vCloud Director)


A) A vSphere cluster combined with a vShield Manager
B) A vSphere resource pool tied to a cloud organization
C) A combination of vCloud Director, vShield Manager and vCenter
D) A single instance of vCloud Director

To learn more, visit our VMware vCloud Director video series.

Click through to the comments for the answer.

Follow @VMwareEducation on Instagram to see more #TechTrivia every Friday and visual updates from the VMware Education and Certification community.


Free eLearning: VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Fundamentals [V5.7]


The enterprise IT environment is dynamic and is always subject to planned and unplanned changes. IT needs a solution that can maintain configuration compliance against internal standards, security best practices, vendor hardening guidelines, and regulatory mandates. VMware vCenter Configuration Manager delivers capabilities fundamental to ensuring that virtualized and cloud computing environments are properly configured to meet operational, security, and compliance requirements.

The newest addition to our extensive library of free eLearning, VMware vCenter Configuration Manager Fundamentals [V5.7], gives you an overview of vCenter Configuration Manager and describes how it can be used for configuration and compliance management.

Learn more and register today.

What’s in your bag of tricks? Upgrade, Uplevel, Uptime in the vSphere: Optimize and Scale [5.5] course from VMware

 One thing you won’t find in this class is a rookie.

The VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [5.5] course is “perfect for a core technical person,” says Umasankar Pattnaik of WIPRO Limited – India.

Michael Susylinski agrees, “I found the class on the VMware website…and felt with my level of knowledge of VMware, this course or the Fast Track, were the best.”  Michael is a Technical Analyst for Saskatchewan Telecommunications (now called SaskTel).

“I liked the in-depth look at memory management, such as the Transition Lookaside Buffer. I liked the Auto Deploy section. I also liked the Flash Read Cache.”  Adds Michael, “[Honestly] when I first saw VMware I did not believe it was possible, and after seeing it in use for many years I have become a major advocate of virtualization and … well most of the VMware product line!”


Michael Susylinski proudly posted his VMware certificate on the wall…next to the “crazy dragon painting in my office”.

At SaskTel Michael is the VMware Administrator, Windows Administrator, and Cisco UCS Administrator.  He is also an unofficial instructor since not all his peers where able to join the training, “I shared what I learned.  We will be implementing some of the features we discussed in class….I am implementing two changes at once and my co-worker is trying to plan a VMware hardware/tools update at the same time.  What a morning!”

Advanced Learning for Advanced Professionals

Other courses offer an introduction to virtualization with VMware.  Not this one — it is built for professionals who know what they’re doing and know what they want.

One such professional is Ian Corson, Sr. Systems Engineer for a mid-sized enterprise in Pennsylvania.  “I’ve been working with VMware since 2005/2006.  I do my job well and I’ve never had a bad review.  I had a VCP4 certification and when I told my boss I wanted to update from 4 to 5 and also prepare for VCAP [VMware Certification Advanced Professional] training – he approved.”

In Ian’s words, “the vSphere: Optimize and Scale [5.5] course is like killing two birds with one stone.”  Designed for experienced VMware vSphere® personnel, the course teaches advanced skills for configuring and maintaining a highly available and scalable virtual infrastructure. (The course is based on VMware® ESXi™ 5.5 and VMware® vCenter Server™ 5.5.)  Completion of the course satisfies the prerequisite for taking the VMware® Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) exam and also prepares students for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Administration 5 (VCAP5-DCA) certification.

“I report directly to our Architecture and Engineering Manager and we report up through the Director of Operation Services.  You can bet they’ll ask about my test after I take the VCAP certification exam next month,” says Ian.

Hand’s-on Labs = “Prepared for Production!”

There are so many ways to optimize vSphere performance and to configure ESXi networking and storage in large, sophisticated enterprises.  The best way for students to prepare is through hands-on labs.

“The instructors were great. I’m a computer guy and I like to sit in front of my computer.  I’ve taken a lot of online classes.  This was the perfect format for me,” says Ian.

On the flipside, Michael’s team joined forces and brought in an instructor onsite.  “Our company had a number of people ready to take the course and another company had a couple interested as well so we were able to bring in an instructor.”

Through onsite, online and instructor-led learning students can practice a wide-range of hands-on labs with the safety of an instructor and peers to guide the way, including:

  • Network and Storage Scalability
  • Network, Storage, CPU, Memory, Virtual Machine, Cluster Optimization
  • Host and Management Scalability

” Because I like the class so much I am going back for “The Beast” – the vCloud Automation training. I’ve done automation before but this is a new product and I am bringing my associate with me; we want to have a few fingers in the pie so there isn’t a single funnel or failure point,” says Ian.

Join VMware Community for skills and entertainment

Of course, once you are certified connecting with other VMware professionals can be a great way to keep skills fresh and up the entertainment factor for senior engineers.  “I am a member of VMware User’s Group (VMUG) for Eastern Pennsylvania and the VMware Community Forums,” says Ian.  “Usually I am just trolling posts.  I’m a lurker.  Unless someone says something completely asinine — then I’ll jump in and stoke the flames!”

That’s just the kind of response we’ve come to expect from a smart and savvy Senior Systems Engineer like Ian.  When asked if Ian would mind sharing a picture he quipped, “Oh I don’t do photos, though I did update my LinkedIn profile – that makes me money!”


Instead of a self-portrait, Ian Colson sent us his “bag of tricks”.  Bravo!

Hopefully we’ll have another couple VMware Certified Advanced Professionals joining the ranks soon.

Take the test, Michael!
Good luck with your exam, Ian!

We’ll see you both in VMware’s VMUG Communities!

For more on VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [5.5] and to check the various class formats, visit the course page.

Congratulations to the newest VCDXs and double VCDXs in Network Virtualization

Please join us in congratulating the newest VCDXs and double VCDXs who have successfully defended their vSphere and NSX designs and are the first group to attain the new VMware Certified Design Expert – Network Virtualization (VCDX-NV) certification!


  • Dustin Spinhirne, VCDX144
  • Joe Keegan, VCDX145
  • Ray Budavari, VCDX146
  • Max Ardica, VCDX147
  • Sai Chaitanya, VCDX148
  • Eric Lopez, VCDX149
  • Deepesh Govindan, VCDX150
  • Victor Sandoval, VCDX151
  • Darrell Lizotte, VCDX152
  • David Jennings, VCDX153
  • Elver Sena, VCDX154
  • Gregory Stemberger, VCDX155
  • James Brown, VCDX156
  • Satvinder Lall, VCDX157
  • Michael Larsen, VCDX158
  • Paul Mancuso, VCDX159
  • Richard Sillito, VCDX160
  • Tao Yu, VCDX161
  • Anthony Siano, VCDX162
  • Chris Miller, VCDX163
  • Luke Youngblood, VCDX164
  • Mark Barker, VCDX165
  • Ron Flax, VCDX166
  • Jason Edelman, VCDX167
  • Nemtallah Daher, VCDX168
  • Ryan Kiste, VCDX169
  • Manuel Mendez Cano, VCDX170
  • Roberto Mari, VCDX171
  • Francis Guillier, VCDX172
  • Yves Fauser, VCDX173


  • Scott Lowe, VCDX039
  • Chris McCain, VCDX079
  • Ben Lin, VCDX045
  • Thomas, VCDX032
  • Jason Horn, VCDX113
  • John Hays, VCDX108
  • Nicolas Vermande, VCDX055
  • Jason Nash, VCDX049
  • Chris Wahl, VCDX104

VCDX-NV requires enterprise-class networking and network virtualization skills with a focus on VMware NSX. If you’re interested in learning more about the NSX certification program, check out our on-demand Introduction to NSX webcast, lead by Chris McCain – VCDX and Director of Technical Certification. Chris will also be at VMworld, leading a session titled NSX Certification – the Next Step in Your Networking Career (NET1214) on Monday, August 25, 2014.

Kudos again NSX Ninjas!

Infrastructure Architect and VCDX Candidate Enablement

VMware efforts to enable you 
by John Arrasjid

VCDX merch

Over the years many have experienced and benefited from the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) Boot Camp and VCAP Boot Camps. We are now entering the 8th year of the program and I’d like to share what VMware is doing to help you as an existing or aspiring architect.

Although the ‘V’ in VCDX stands for VMware, the certification goes beyond VMware technologies. Individuals at this level are recognized for taking a vendor agnostic approach during conceptual and logical design phases, then applying the appropriate technologies to the physical architecture.

In my work I meet with two types of architects; those who develop a design that is a subset to a full infrastructure, and those who develop a complete infrastructure design. For comparison we could compare this to designing a house versus designing a city.

The following are the 2014 programs we are offering for VCDX candidates and Infrastructure Architects.

VCDX Boot Camp Capture
These boot camps have been offered since 2008 and have been used to train several hundred candidates a year, including those not yet achieving VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification. Students are a mix of people planning to apply for the VCDX certification in the future, and those interested learning more about the program and the expectations of a candidate.

These Boot Camps are free and are supported by volunteers around the world through official offerings and independent study, such as those run by VMUG teams globally.

The next VCDX Boot Camp will be offered at EMC facilities in San Francisco the weekend before VMworld. Registration is filling up quickly, but there are spaces available if you sign up soon.

Due to this being a weekend offering, students must arrive no later than 1pm sharp. There is no receptionist so we will staff the front door and let individuals in, then locking the outside door at 1pm sharp to support the class. If you know you will be late, please contact me as soon as possible with your planned arrival time and your cell phone number. If sending an email please use ‘VCDX Boot Camp SF 2014’ in the subject line. If sending me a direct twitter message, include ‘#VCDX-SF-2014’.

VCDX Mentoring Program
We are now in our second round of the VCDX Mentor Program. Originally planned for 10-12 weeks, we have discovered that this can be completed in 5-8 weeks and are adjusting the program with that schedule. The deadline for October defenses (September 8) is the cutoff for mentoring sign up due to the limited number of volunteers.

This program includes a Design Review Readiness Assessment (DRRA), Design Decisions Workbook (DDW), example survey questions, and example table of contents. During the course of the mentoring program, mentors provide a maximum of 1 hour per week and candidates spend 1-6 hours per week. The mentors will NOT do your work but will guide you through what you need to do and respond to questions.

At the end of the mentoring we include a mock defense and scenarios similar to what we do in the VCDX boot camp.

This is a free offering by VMware and by the volunteers. Please respect their time and follow their advice. Many candidates assume they know what is expected, but many also discover that following advice of an existing VCDX is extremely valuable and can be the difference between pass and fail.

Invitations are sent to those who register for a defense. I also will post how to register on Twitter at the start of each mentoring window.

VCDX Fast Track
This is a new program that I spent several years developing. It includes components of the Boot Camp, the Mentoring Program, and the work I’ve done at VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) for infrastructure design workshops (vSphere, SRM, and vCloud).

VCDX Fast Track will be launched with special pricing the week of September 15. This will run from Monday afternoon to Friday at noon, with opportunities for a few extra hours of Q&A in the afternoon on Friday. This initial class is reserved for VMware partners and customers. Internally we will offer this course at specific locations aligned with VMware corporate offices and local team schedules as appropriate.

In addition to the tools listed in the VCDX Mentoring Program outline above, this course also includes training on the VCDX methodology for Infrastructure Design. This is meant to compliment other enterprise architect training, methodologies, and frameworks. Infrastructure Design has similarity to System Design, but is based on the role of the VCDX for developing infrastructure solutions.

Students will assess their designs for readiness, will construct a workbook of discovery phase questions, design decisions, design patterns, and create a presentation.

We highly recommend including a design as every working session is tied to that. We will NOT be providing an example design.

  • If you work with others that have a design and will be attending, you are welcome to attend as well. In this case you will need to understand the full details of the design and will work on the exercises using this design.
  • If you do NOT have a design, you will not achieve full benefit but are permitted to participate if you have colleagues who have a design you can also use for class. You will need to study this design before class.

The initial class has a list price similar to that of a 5-day training class, or $4595 [Correction: Price is $4495].

Infrastructure Design Workshop
This workshop is designed to be a half-day session. I have used previous workshops I’ve done for VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) including vCloud Design Workshop, SRM Design Workshop, and vSphere Design Workshop. If you are a partner that attended these sessions, you will see a lot of similarity in the structure.

A case study is provided with customer requirements, constraints, risks, and other details on the existing company and infrastructure. Students learn the VCDX methodology for infrastructure design and also work with tools like the Design Decision Workbook (DDW). This is an accelerated way to learn what the methodology is about and to work through an exercise with a team of other students.

Art of Infrastructure Design Book
This book is for existing and aspiring IT architects focused on infrastructure design and for VCDX candidates. I co-authored this book with Mark Gabryjelski (VCDX 23) and Benjamin Troch, to include the perspective of a partner and a customer, one a VCDX and one a candidate for VCDX. This will be released in 2015.

Art of Infrastructure Design compliments existing classes and training on design. We include methodology, example design documents for a VCDX defense (or for a customer), and a set of tools to help both existing architects and architects in training.

This book compliments the VCDX Boot Camp book from VMware Press.

Next Steps
If you haven’t looked at the VCDX program, I encourage you to consider it as the industry needs more architects focused on building infrastructure with integrated technologies. Converged infrastructure continues to grow but there are still integration considerations that are critical for success.

I encourage candidates and architects to consider attending the VCDX Fast Track offering the week of September 15-19. We will have Mostafa Khalil (VCDX 002), Ben Lin (VCDX 045), Martijn Baecke (VCDX 103), Linus Bourque (desktop specialist), Deji Akomolafe (datacenter virtualization and business critical applications specialist), and Joe Sarabia (cloud and vCenter Operations specialist). There is special pricing for this first offering of the class with an extra team to drive success and to help scale out this program to multiple regions in the future.

My goal is to develop infrastructure architects, or IT systems architects, through these and other programs in development.

John Yani Arrasjid
Principal Architect, VCDX 001 at VMware
Vice President USENIX Association Board of Directors

VMware Certified Instructor of the Quarter Award for EMEA Region Announced

The EMEA VMware Certified Instructor (VCI) of the quarter award is a regular prize given to those VCIs that aspire to be the best of the best.  The awards are our version of the “Oscars,” identifying and rewarding excellence.  The award recognises outstanding VMware Certified Instructors from the EMEA region who share their expertise about VMware technologies with others.  The award is designed to support, promote and develop VCIs by inspiring them to continually raise the standards of training.

The EMEA VCI of the Quarter Award for the period of April to June 2014 is Sascha BAS_2197_CDMilic of Switzerland.  Over the quarter he delivered several new and existing classes, and on several of them, all the students gave him perfect scores along with outstanding feedback such as “Sascha provided us with an excellent learning experience providing additional background information to support the course materials. Context was provided and guidance around the our implementation of vCAC. Questions answered expansively. Highly commendable effort.”

Not only was Sascha amongst the top VCIs in terms of number of days teaching he was also running the some of the most challenging courses of any of the candidates shortlisted.  He delivered the brand new class on vCloud Automation as well as more established vSphere and Orchestrator course.  He was the lead instructor on the vCloud Automation course which meant he delivered the first class anywhere in the world as well as enabling other instructors across the region in a train the trainer event.

Thanks also to the other candidates who were shortlisted. The decision by Undeleeb Din and Andy Cary this quarter, as always, has been very difficult.  All of the other instructors had very high standards and we value your achievements and even though you did not win this time, you can consider it an achievement to make the shortlist of 10 from the community of several hundred.

Look out for the invitation for nominations in October and you too could win an iPad, a plaque, and a mention on the VMware Education site.


New Course: vCenter Configuration Manager: Install, Configure, Manage

vmw-vcm_full_featured_config_280x180We’ve released a new course, vCenter Configuration Manager: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.7], that focuses on installing, configuring, and managing VMware vCenter Configuration Manager™ 5.7.

This hands-on course for Virtual infrastructure administrators and managers provides you with the knowledge and skills to install and configure vCenter Configuration Manager, navigate the user interface, manage compliance, and perform administrative and configuration tasks against your infrastructure.

This course is available in classrooms, via live online delivery, or it can be brought onsite to your location.

Keeping Skills Current by Recertifying

Byron Schaller


“I was surprised how much things had changed, much more than I thought they would between two versions,” Byron Schaller notes of the VCP exam he took last year. (He was certified as a VCP3 years ago and recently got recertified and moved up to VCP5-DCV.)

“I was kind of shocked by how much I didn’t know, but [recertifying] really made me such a better architect and engineer by having to prepare for those exams,” he said. Plus, the exams keep him from going off of old notes and keep him current in an industry that changes often.

Byron works for VMware partner Pomeroy as a National Solutions Architect for Virtualization and Enterprise Design, living in Minneapolis, MN. In his day-to-day work, his role doesn’t expose him to everything he would necessarily learn for an exam, so he finds the exams to be an incredibly useful tool for maintaining his knowledge.

He found the VCP recertification process to be quite straightforward. As a partner in the Accelerate program, he took the classes he felt would benefit his career, though they were not required of him – putting in four to five nights per week in a lab to maintain his knowledge.

The Upside of Recertification

When Byron heard about VMware’s recertification policy, he noticed a backlash within the community, specifically from people who didn’t want to lose their certification numbers—many of whom have had their numbers for many years.

“The [VMware] community management folks did a nice job of allaying those fears. It’s not the end of the world!” Byron saw how community leaders helped people see the ways in which recertification would be good for the community and inspired them get more advanced certifications.

Byron sees certifications and recertification as a good thing, not just for the community and VMware, but for customers as well.

“VMware vSphere is easy to set up and install, but very hard to do it right,” he said. “Without [the exams] you aren’t going to know these things: the systems won’t work well. So then you won’t know why things aren’t running well; you’ll miss stuff. Once you fill those gaps, you’re better at your job and a better engineer. The certifications are worth that alone.”

For those who don’t want to take the exams or are nervous about recertifying, Byron says, “Worrying never hurt anyone. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. Even if you don’t want to study, these exams will help make you better at your job.”


Looking Ahead to VCDX

Currently, Byron is looking ahead to his next step: studying for his VCDX exam with a couple of his peers. He is constantly amazed by how much he’s learning as he studies—and not just technical knowledge.

While the exams and certifications have made Byron stronger as a technical architect, the added benefits he says are, “I’m more confident with my clients, I design better, and my ability to execute has improved.”

Check out more on Byron’s journey and get advice from his blog.

For more information on the recertification policy, please visit http://www.vmwarerecertification.com/ or contact certification@vmware.com.

Do you have a story to share about your certification (or recertification) journey? Please send us tweets, post comments here on the blog, and share your thoughts.