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Monthly Archives: April 2014

Free Book Excerpt: Networking for VMware Administrators

book coverOur friends at VMware Press have provided us with another free book excerpt, this time from the new release, Networking for VMware Administrators by Steven Pantol and Christopher Wahl.

The vSphere Standard Switch

The goal of VMware’s Standard Switch is to allow network traffic to flow in any scenario. This could mean that the ESXi host is not connected to a vCenter server at all, which is typically referred to as a “standalone” or “vSphere Hypervisor” install of vSphere. In this case, there’s no higher level of management than the host itself, so the standard level switch needs to be able to function with nothing more than the host telling it what to do.

Before getting too far into how the Standard Switch works, we need to introduce a bit of terminology. When describing switch functions, we often use the terms “control plane” and “data plane.” Control plane traffic and functions can best be thought of as traffic to the
switch, and data plane traffic is traffic through the switch. Management, monitoring, and configuration traffic concerning the switch is control plane traffic. Frames passing from a virtual machine (VM) out to the rest of the world would be data plane traffic. In your typical physical, top-of-rack style switch, control and data planes live within the same piece of equipment. With virtual switches, these functions can be separated.

The control plane of a standard switch resides on the VMware host. That is, any manipulation of the vSwitch configuration, number of ports, and the way that traffic is moved around are all part of the host’s responsibilities. More specifically, it’s the job of the hypervisor kernel (called the VMkernel) to make sure that the vSwitch is configured and operational

As such, even when you cluster a bunch of VMware hosts together, each host is responsible for its own standard vSwitches. In the case of a vCenter failure, every host’s standard vSwitch would still be configurable by connecting the vSphere client directly to the host.

Every Standard vSwitch on a host is responsible for switching frames, which means that the data plane is a host’s responsibility. As data enters the host NICs, which form the uplinks for a standard vSwitch, the VMkernel makes sure that the frames get to the appropriate destination. Sometimes this means that the traffic gets ignored, especially in the case of external traffic that enters the vSwitch with an unknown destination MAC address.

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Virtual SAN Training for World-Class Storage

May 21 Update: Due to popular demand, we just added more Live Online Classes including the following dates:

Sign up today before they too sell out and because it’s remote, you can attend from anywhere!

Virtual SAN is a hot topic lately, and for good reason.  “Significant technological advancement” and “the standard bearer for a new class of storage solutions that promise to revolutionize how the world buys storage” —  that’s what the judges at Interop 2014 in Las Vegas, said when they awarded first place in the Storage category to VMware® Virtual SAN™. But the accolades don’t stop there – Virtual SAN also won the Best of Interop Audience Choice Award.

Why has Virtual SAN turned so many heads?

VMware Virtual SAN delivers a new tier of hypervisor-converged storage. Thanks to its unique architecture and policy based management approach, Virtual SAN radically simplifies storage provisioning and management by putting the application in charge.

How can you learn more?

We’ve just introduced a new FREE self-paced course: VMware Virtual SAN Fundamentals [V5.5].  In just 60 minutes, you’ll learn how Virtual SAN is used as an important component in the software-defined data center. Sign up and start learning about the award winning technology of VMware Virtual SAN.

Continue your learning with VMware Virtual SAN: Deploy and Manage [V5.5].  This two day course you’ll gain practical experience with hands-on lab practice configuring Virtual SAN clusters, scaling the Virtual SAN deployment , monitoring and troubleshooting Virtual SAN, and more.   Choose between classroom or Live Online delivery where you can attend from anywhere!

Question of the Week: vCenter Orchestrator

This week’s question comes from the vCenter Orchestrator video series.


a) The vSphere Web Client
b) The vSphere Client
c) The vCO client
d) vCenter webviews


Click through to the comments for the answer and watch Introducing vCenter Orchestrator Overview for more information.

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

New Course Available: VMware vCloud Automation Center: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.0]

Update 6/18: New classes scheduled with classes available around the world or online where you can attend from anywhere!

New Course VMware vCloud Automation Center: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.0] is now available for experienced system administrators, cloud administrators, system integrators, and operational developers. The course covers the configuration and use of the vCloud Automation Center platform, including self-service provisioning and the creation of multivendor cloud services. This 5 day course is currently available in two cities as an instructor-led workshop or globally, as a live online class where you can attend remotely from anywhere that’s most convenient for you. Check course prerequisite requirements, choose your delivery method, and sign up here.

Train at your pace and Save 15% off On Demand Classroom

VMware’s On Demand Classroom is a robust self-paced learning solution that delivers modular training combined with hands-on practice lab. You gain access to the course and labs immediately after purchase and you have 90 days to complete the course. For a limited time, you can save on VMware’s On Demand Classroom and take advantage of its

  • Flexible training schedule
  • Powerful alternative to the traditional instructor-led classroom training
  • Interactive design that lets you stop, rewind, pause, or view content multiple times

Purchase your class by June 20, 2014 to save:

  • 15% off VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manager [V5.5]
  • 15% off VMware vCloud Director: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.5]
  • 15% off VMware Horizon View: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.2]
  • 50% off VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.1]

Learn more

Save 15% on VMware vSphere v5.5 Training

VMware vSphere is the industry-leading infrastructure platform for building cloud infrastructures. VMware training has one of the highest course satisfaction ratings in the industry* and can help you get the most from your vSphere solution.

We recently added several new courses to our vSphere v5.5 lineup:

  • VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V5.5]
  • VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V5.5]
  • VMware vSphere: Skills for Operators [V5.5]
  • VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting Workshop [V5.5]
  • VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.5]

And if you register and complete your class by June 20th you can:

  • Save 15% off the course price, and
  • Get a free VCP certification exam voucher

See offer details and available dates depending on your location:


*VMware training has a 94% customer satisfaction rating based on course surveys.

New vCloud Director and vSphere Offerings Added to VMware Lab Connect

It’s no secret that hands on experience is better for retention. With VMware Lab Connect™, you can take what you’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world scenarios that replicate on the job training and allow you to better prepare for certification.

Two new VMware Lab Connect offerings have released:

This VMware cloud-based, self-paced, technical lab environment extends the classroom experience for 30 days or 30 hours active time, whichever comes first. Access the labs from anywhere, anytime, on your preferred device. It’s a perfect way to extend your hands-on practice time to solidify your knowledge. Check out the full list of VMware Lab Connect™ offerings.

Welcome Two New VCDXs

VCDX merch

We are happy to welcome two new members to the VCDX (VMware Certified Design Expert) community: Rene Van Den Bedem (VCDX 133) and Alessandro Bruno (VCDX 134).

Both were awarded the exclusive VCDX-DCV certification after successfully presenting and defending a production-ready VMware solution before a panel of veteran VCDX-DCV holders.

VCDX is the highest level of VMware certification. This elite group is comprised of design architects highly-skilled in VMware enterprise deployments and the program is designed for veteran professionals who want to validate and demonstrate their expertise in VMware technology.

Congratulations Rene and Alessandro!

First Time for Non-VMware Employees: SDDC Intensive Workshop

Now you can immerse yourself in a week-long product integration solutions-based course previously reserved only for VMware employees. If you’re an experienced administrator, architect, or engineer, consider attending the SDDC Intensive Workshop – a five-day workshop including architectural discussions, best practice sharing, workshops, and rich demonstrations.

This isn’t a traditional instructor-led course. Instead, it’s an expert-to-expert training with more than 525 pages of lab exercises. Expect to be called upon to participate, build proof of concepts, share best practices, and deliver solutions.

Hear more about the SDDC Intensive Workshop.

Completing this workshop accelerates your skills in becoming a Solutions Expert.

Currently only available in the United States. Prerequisites are required including extensive real-world product knowledge with VMware vCloud Suite, and specific training courses. For more information on prerequisites, locations, and dates, visit this SDDC Workshop page, then speak to a Learning Specialist if you are ready to sign up for this powerful workshop.

New Webinar Series! First stop: Troubleshooting VMware vSphere [v5.5]

5/6 Update: You can still access the Troubleshooting webinar replay.  Visit the VMware ViewPoint Webinar Series page to access the Troubleshooting vSphere [V5.5] webinar replay OR sign up for the Introduction to NSX webinar coming in June.

Troubleshooting is an art that requires patience, understanding, and sometimes a little luck. The first webinar of our new free training series connects you directly to an expert who helps you master that process and save a little time.

Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 4.21.12 PMLinus Bourque, a Senior Technical Instructor for the VMware Education Americas Tech Team, will lead a troubleshooting webcast for VMware vSphere [V5.5] on April 29, 2014, covering:

  • SSL certificates
  • Networking
  • Storage
  • VMware vCenter™ Single Sign-On™
  • VMware vCenter Server
  • VMware ESXi host
  • VMware vSphere Cluster
  • VMware vSphere® vMotion®
  • Virtual Machine

His presentation is ideal for anyone wanting to learn best practices around VMware® ESXi™ 5.5, VMware® vCenter Server™ 5.5, and vCloud Director.

This new free webinar series is the latest addition to VMware’s free training library that aims to help you get the most out of VMware’s products, including data center virtualization, hybrid cloud, the software defined data center, and in this case, vSphere 5.5.

Linus has more than 12 years of technical training experience, and has been with VMware for over 8 years. His certifications include CISSP, VCI, VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DTD and VCP-DT. Learn vSphere troubleshooting from an expert and register today!