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Monthly Archives: February 2017

NSX, vSphere, and Virtual SAN Troubleshooting Videos Now in the Learning Zone

This month in the Learning Zone was mainly focused on troubleshooting. From vSphere to NSX to Virtual SAN, a lot of ground was covered. Standard and Premium subscribers are able to access these cloud-based videos on demand, anytime.

  • Troubleshooting vSphere 6: Tips & Tricks
  • vSphere Core 4 Performance Troubleshooting & Root Cause Analysis: An Overview
  • Troubleshooting Virtual SAN 6.2
  • Advanced NSX Troubleshooting
  • VMware Enterprise Learning Subscription: A Complete Cloud-based Training Solution
  • vRealize Automation: Abstracting the vSphere Endpoint as a Cloud Resource

Subscribe to the Learning Zone today and follow the hashtag #NewInTheZone on Twitter to get instant updates on the latest videos!

Attention VCP-DCVs in APJ: Learn how You can Advance Your Career

DCV-NVAre you VCP-DCV certified? Here’s how you can fast track to Network Virtualization.

Take advantage of your data center knowledge and gain another critical certification in the industry. Be at the forefront of the technology race.

Here’s how we can help you*:

  • Take advantage of your existing DCV certification
  • Attend a fast track NV class
  • Get FREE resources, including an exam voucher
  • Get digital recognition

Click here for details.

Don’t be left behind! Contact us today.

*For APJ customers only

Certification Insights: Multiple Accounts

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Having multiple accounts within the VMware myLearn system could result in incomplete records of your exam, training, and certification history. For example, if you attended a training course on one account, but took your VCP exams on a different account, you may not receive proper credit for meeting certification requirements.

Luckily, this situation is easily fixed. You simply need to email our support team and request a merge. Include the following information in your email to speed the processing:

  • any possible email addresses you may have used
  • which email/account you would like to keep as your Master account

Note: If you currently work for a VMware Partner company, we highly recommend that you use the account associated with your Partner email as your Master so you don’t lose any Partner privileges (like discounted training).

The Triple VCDXs: An Interview with Matt Vandenbeld, René van den Bedem, and Kalen Arndt

Anyone who’s entered the sphere of VMware certification understands the time, passion, and persistence it takes to earn a VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification. But only three people in the world know what it takes to earn not one, not two, but three VCDXs.

We recently had a chance to sit down and speak with the world’s first Triple VCDXs: Matt Vandenbeld (@TripleVCDX001), Staff Solutions Architect, VMware; René van den Bedem (@vcdx133), Practice Manager,RoundTower Technologies; and Kalen Arndt (@kalenarndt), Solutions Architect, Worldwide Technologies. In this article, Matt, René, and Kalen share their journeys in undertaking three VCDX certifications, how prospective VCDX candidates should prepare for their defenses, and what resources are available to prospects through the broader VCDX community.

 

VCDX merch

 

The VCDX journey sounds like an exhilarating but also intense process of dedication, learning, and self-discovery. What propelled you through the process three times?

René: The first time was all about validating my skills and knowing “ok, am I good enough to pass this?” It was a matter of putting in the time and effort and having a schedule so I could actually prepare the documentation and get ready to defend. The second and third times, I knew “ok, I understand the framework, I know what I need to do.”

MattFor me, the first time was very similar to René. I was validating that I had the skills to achieve the certification. Also, it’s a very prestigious certification and being a part of that select club was something that was definitely interesting to me and ultimately really accelerated my career aspirations. For instance, I would not have the job that I have now without my VCDX.

KalenI was working in support at VMware when I went for my first one. At the time, all of my friends had failed the VCDX and the general tone was “you won’t pass.” This was compelling to me, so I decided to pursue it. And then, during the entire process, I found myself becoming better at what I was doing. Towards the end, as I was going through final preparations, I realized that I was growing more as an individual than I had during any other certification process.

 

For the actual VCDX Defense, you’re presenting your design to a panel of experts. What was this experience like for you?

Kalen: I’m not the most social butterfly in the world, so giving a presentation in front of three experts was extremely nerve-wracking for me. But someone told me before I went in there that you’re here because you know what you know and you’ve proven yourself. And at the end of the day, they’re in the business of making more VCDXs. They’re here to genuinely help you.

René: For me personally, if I walk in front of the panelists and I know that I’ve done all the preparation, followed my schedule, listened to podcasts, read blogs, done mock defenses, consumed as many materials as I can, done my lab preparation, built the solution, pulled it to pieces, done all the failure scenarios — as long as I walk in knowing that I’ve done that, then there’s really no nerves; it’s just a matter of going in and doing my thing.

Matt: A decent part of the panel is how candidates communicate. That’s kind of an expected skill for a VCDX architect. I’ve been a panelist now for close to four years, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt, you can tell who’s done their preparation very early on. Within the first few minutes you can tell the people who have invested the time to do mock panels.

 

It sounds like soft skills play a big role in success. For candidates who don’t have customer-facing jobs, how do you recommend preparing for the soft skills portion?

René: Generally speaking, when you’re talking about the IT community as a whole, there’s a higher percentage of introverts versus extroverts. That’s just the kind of people that gravitate towards tech. I personally had a lot of problems with public speaking, and the way around that was just practice. You have to practice. Practice speaking to groups, practice presenting mock defenses, practice whiteboarding, practice drawing nice diagrams and explaining why you did what you did.

Matt: I agree with everything René said, and from my experience, there’s no community like the VCDX community. There are several groups that are organized for doing mock defenses. If you just go to vcdx.vmware.com you can find a mentor. There’s no shortage of people willing to assist you. I think all of us heavily participated in that community and still do. 

Kalen: One thing I did was I paired up with people who knew a technology in my design way better than I did, but maybe didn’t know that much about VMware. It was like an internal mentor program where we would actually help each other and say “Ok, in this technology, do this. In that technology, do that.”

 

One candidate mentioned to me that the best thing someone can do for you is to totally tear your presentation apart and that this will give you the better defense in the long run.

Matt: While I agree with that, something I want to bring up is that this is a design exam. So, while a good portion of it may be technical, a lot of our focus isn’t down into the nitty-gritty weeds of technology. What we care more about are the “whys” of why you chose this over something else, or what that decision had on the impact of the design.

 

How did you go about putting together a study group of peers?

René: Through Twitter and the “vcommunity.” A VCDX by the name of Gregg Robertson has created a Google and Slack channel dedicated to VCDX preparation. So basically, you reach out to Gregg via Twitter (@GreggRobertson5), he adds you to the Google study group and Slack channel, and then everyone communicates and collaborates there. 

Matt: WebEx is great and necessary for study groups, but one thing I absolutely recommend is presenting in person as much as possible. Get as many diverse opinions as you can. In the end, it will help you better articulate what you did when you actually get in front of the panel. 

Kalen: As far as the study groups go, I think they’re great, but many of them are very VMware-focused people that won’t have the background in different technologies. So, like Matt said, find various people. Even if they don’t know anything about VMware, have them look at your design, because they are going to ask questions that you didn’t think of.

 

We’re almost out of time. Any parting thoughts for VCDX candidates:

René: If you’re going to undertake this, passion should be the driving requirement. If you’re just doing it to get a salary increase or your boss told you to, probably not a good idea, because it takes lots of personal time and effort to get there.

Matt: The advice I give is just do it. Try to drop the fear of failure and just go for it. At the very least you’ll end up learning a lot about yourself and you’ll increase your skillsets. The process really offers nothing but benefits. 

Kalen: I’m with Matt. I grew more as an architect and consultant getting my VCDXs than I have doing just about anything else. It is a great opportunity to grow, and if you don’t pass, you learn from your mistakes and you can just pick back up and try again.

 

Essential Elements of Micro-segmentation

Micro-segmentation For DummiesThe free Micro‐segmentation For Dummies®, VMware Special Edition ebook by Lawrence Miller, CISSP, and Joshua Soto provides a broad overview of micro-segmentation, including how it can help you defend your data center from attack, automating security workflows, as well as steps to getting started.

But before you can get started, you need to understand the essential elements of micro-segmentation, which they explain in Chapter 2:

Micro-segmentation enables organizations to logically divide the data center into distinct security segments down to the individual workload level, and then define security controls and deliver services for each unique segment. This restricts an attacker’s ability to move laterally in the data center, even after the perimeter has been breached — much like safe deposit boxes in a bank vault protect the valuables of individual bank customers, even if the safe has been cracked….

…the network hypervisor is uniquely positioned to provide both context and isolation throughout the SDDC — not too close to the workload where it can be disabled by an attack, and not so far removed that it doesn’t have context into the workload. Thus, the network hypervisor is ideally suited to implement three key elements of micro-segmentation: persistence, ubiquity, and extensibility.

Download your free copy today.

HCI Stack

Free eBook Shows How to Advance Your Career with HCI

HCI StackMany organizations are turning to hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) as a smart alternative when architecting a modern data center due to its reduced management complexity, increased agility, and lower costs.

But while moving to HCI can help ease the burden on IT professionals, it does bring along potential job roles changes. The impact varies at every level, but this free eBook can help you anticipate and take advantage of this transition to advance your career.

The free eBook explores:

  • How HCI acts as a change agent for IT career paths
  • How HCI creates a shift in day-to-day responsibilities
  • Ideas on what your job will look like in the future
  • How you can take advantage of these changes and stay relevant

Download your copy here.

Save 20% off VCP Exams at Dell EMC World 2017

Dell EMC World 2017Making plans to attend Dell EMC World in Las Vegas this May? Include time to earn or renew your VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification while you’re there.

Start here to schedule your discounted VCP elective exam at the conference, then follow these steps:

  1. On the test center search screen, enter “Las Vegas, NV” and click Search
  2. Select “Dell EMC World Conference Attendees ONLY” from the available test centers
  3. The 20% discount will automatically be applied to your registration

This discount is exclusive for attendees of Dell EMC World 2017, and space is limited so we recommend registering early.

New Interface for On Demand Training

By Guest Author Chris Sullivan

VMware Education Services is proud to announce the roll-out of a new content interface for our On Demand courses. Built to provide the simplest, most intuitive access, the new interface offers an entirely “flat” view of the modules, lessons, and course content.

newUI[2]

You can navigate easily from module to module, lesson to lesson, without leaving the initial page. Previously, you had to navigate the lab manual console to locate the course materials. By separating the content from the lab console, we hope you now have a more fluid experience.

In addition to the new interface, we are also rolling out a new Offline Player that allows you to download your On Demand course content to your desktop for offline viewing.
OfflinePlayer[2]This app is available from the three-bar icon drop-down list in the new interface.

And finally, we are also launching a new Mobile App that also allows you to download your On Demand course content to mobile devices for offline viewing. MobileApp[2]For more information on the Mobile App, you can enroll in the VMware NSX 6.2 Install, Configure, and Manage On Demand course—our first course to launch in the new interface—and then watch the Getting Started video. For now, please take a moment to watch this short introductory video:

Going forward, all new courses will be deployed to the new interface, and we will begin migrating existing courses soon as well.