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VMware Certified Advanced Professional – VCAP

May 24th, 2010

After a couple of weeks of speculation VMware have today announced their latest VCAP certifications.  VMware have introduced two VMware Certified Advanced Professional exams for holders of the current VCP4 certification. These two new exams cover administration and design and are pre-requisites of the new VCDX4-DCD qualification.  I’ve been waiting for this announcement for a month now as I’ve been keen to work towards VCDX, however wasn’t keen to do it on VI3. To find out more information on the two new certifications as well as the VCDX4 qualification click the links below, or see the updated FAQ page on VMware’s site.

VCAP – Datacenter Administration

The VCAP4-DCA is directed toward System Administrators, Consultants and Technical Support Engineers who can demonstrate their skills in VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter technologies in relation to the datacenter, as well as their knowledge of application and physical-infrastructure services and their integration with the virtual infrastructure.

VCAP4-DCA

VCAP – Datacenter Design

The VCAP-DCD is directed toward IT Architects and Consulting Architects who are capable of designing VMware solutions in a multi-site, large enterprise environment.  They have a deep understanding both of VMware core components and their relation to storage and networking, and also of datacenter design methodologies. They also possess knowledge of applications and physical infrastructure, as well as their relationship to the virtual infrastructure

VCAP4-DCD

VCDX4 – Datacenter Design

VMware Certified Design Expert (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 virtual infrastructure.

VCDX4-DCD

Certifications, VMware , , , , , , , ,

EMC Navisphere Simulator Download

August 14th, 2009

I’m currently revising for an EMC exam and part of the course material involves doing some training on the Navisphere simulator. No problems, except where on earth do you download the simulator software? I searched for ages before finding out that you only get access to it on EMC PowerLink if you are an EMC employee, partner or you have bought the relevant training.  I had done the latter but still couldn’t get it downloaded for some reason,  that’s when a google search turned up a link to the following page which required no credentials, EMC Education Services product simulators.  ** SEE UPDATE BELOW **

Navisphere

I managed to download the latest version for EMC Flare release 28 without issue.  I was however asked for my EMC PowerLink credentials when I first opened the simulator so perhaps that’s how it’s authenticated against the training purchased. It’s a really good learning aid and I’ve been able to find out how to do things on it that I wouldn’t have dared to attempt on our actual CLARiiON implementation. Hope this link helps someone who’s searching for this,  took me ages to find it.

**UPDATE**

It would appear that the link I had included in the original article is no longer working. Thanks to Mike for commenting on the post to alert me to the issue.  I’ve had a search around and Bas Raayman, one of my fellow GestaltIT authors has also written an article on the subject.  He has come up with an alternative means of downloading the simulators.

Basically go to the EMC Information and Storage Management web site by clicking the link.  Next click on one of the learning aids links,  you will now need to fill in some survey information but it’s a small price to pay to get free access to the simulators for both Navisphere, CLARiiON CX Series and Centera. Once the survey has been completed you can download various learning resources including the above mentioned simulators.  The registration step still exists when you first log on to the simulator,  you will at the very least require an EMC Powerlink logon to complete this step.

Certifications, Storage , ,

vSphere VCP – Official certification paths

April 30th, 2009

Following the completion of my post last night about the potential paths that the VMware certification was going to take,  VMware have made an official announcement on the vSphere VCP.

To see the official VMware VCP certification path diagram click the link

For more information check out the following VMware education services page. This confirms that existing VCP’s can sit the exam without sitting the “what’s new in vSphere” course, which is great news !!

Certifications, VMware, vSphere , ,

vSphere VCP Certification Paths

April 29th, 2009

I’ve been trying to find out a bit more information on what is going to happen to the VCP qualification now that vSphere has been launched. Way back in January this year I blogged about the impending changes to the VCP exam and since then there have been a number of posts speculating as to what will be involved in retaining or obtaining vSphere VCP status.

The best post by far,  which I admit I only stumbled upon today, is by a gentleman by the name of Arnim van lieshout .  This was originally published back at the beginning of March and refers to vSphere as NGen4 (Next Generation 4). Now, it’s very detailed and official looking,  I’m not sure he did this himself and I have actually seen a few blog posts suggesting that this material is covered by the VMware NDA.  However the cat is out of the bag so I’m going to share it with you anyway,  luckily I’m not covered by any NDA agreement because I’m not a VMware beta tester (though I would like to be one).

What Arnim’s diagram tells us is that there will be a new vSphere Install, Configure and manage course exactly like there was for VI3.  There will also be a what’s new course,  this designed for existing VCP’s who want to upgrade to the new vSphere VCP.  It would also appear that VMWare is keen to maintain the quality of their certification and will continue enforcing the courses as part of the certification path. This is something I am happy to see as it protects my own personal investment in gaining VCP status and makes it mean something.

What’s most interesting is that Arnim’s then describe’s the differences between the coloured lines in the diagram.  Orange lines relate to shortcuts available in the first 9 months from the general release of vSphere and the black lines relate to the mandatory path you must take after 9 months when the shortcuts have been removed. Seeing as it’s been a long day I’ve included out takes from Arnim’s blog post which describe it better than I do.

The options (black arrows):

Everybody new to VMware MUST attend the NGen4 ICM training

Everybody who attended the VI3 training (I&C or DSA only), but didn’t passed the exam MUST  attend the NGen4 ICM training again

If you are a VCP on ESX 2.x you MUST attend the NGen4 training

If you are a VCP on VI3 you MUST attend the NGen4 What’s New training

The shortcut options (orange arrows):

From the date of general release VMware will offer the shortcut paths for 9 months

If you are VCP on VI3 than you are allowed to take the new NGen4 exam WITHOUT attending the NGen4 “What’s New” training

If you are VCP on ESX 2.x you are still allowed to take the VI3 exam in order to become VCP on VI3 and then take the NGen4 exam

If you attended the VI3 training (I&C or DSA only) but didn’t passed the VI3 exam, you are offered 2 options:

Take the VI3 exam, and become VCP on VI3 and then take the NGen4 exam

Attend the NGen4 “What’s New” training and take the NGen4 exam

I wonder how much of this will materialise into hard fact,  we obviously await the official VMware announcements regarding certification.

Another post that I found quite interesting and one that is quite recent was from VMware certified instructor Scott Vessey.  He kindly informs us that once the vSphere launch is done VMware will start beta testing the exam in preperation for wider distribution.  He estimates that Pearson Vue will be offering the exam within 6-8 weeks of the product release.  Personally I will be trying to sit the upgrade exam without the course as my work won’t pay for it this year and I can’t afford it myself. Better get studying hadn’t I !!!!

Certifications, VMware, vSphere , ,

VMware Certified Professional – VCP vSphere

January 7th, 2009

It would appear that with the upcoming release of VMware vSphere (VI4) there will be an update to the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification.

Eric Sloof over at NTPRO.NL has posted an article on his site about this news.  He references a post on the vmware communities site which has the following comments from John Hall (Technical Certification Developer)

There is no time limit between when you take the class and when you take the exam. The only thing I will say is that at some point this year we will announce a new VCP certification that will apply to the new release of our datacenter product. The training you took will apply to the VCP on VI3 certification exam, but there may be some additional requirements in order to apply your training to the newer certification. Even after we announce the new certification, you can still achieve the VCP on VI3 certification using your existing training.

Jon C. Hall
Technical Certification Developer

This was always likely to happen as the next release of Virtual Infrastructure is a major release with many new features included.  I will be very interested in finding out what the upgrade path will be for going from VCP VI3 to VCP vSphere.  Will there be a requirement to attend an upgrade class or will you be able to just sit the exam straight away. Keep your eyes peeled for more news later in the year.

Certifications, VMware, vSphere , ,

Free Hyper-V training and exam discount

December 20th, 2008

Mark Wilson over at Markwilson.it has posted a great post on free Microsoft virtualisation training and a discount for the exam.

Go to the following page on the eLearning website and enter the code 9350-Y2W6-3676. This will give you access to 10 hours of free training worth approximately £100. 

I used this as part of my studying for the 70-652 exam,  what I didn’t get though was a discount when i booked the exam.  When booking the 70-652 exam you can use the promotional code USHYPERV to recieve a discount (apologies I don’t know what the discount percentage rate actually is)

See my previous post on 70-652 study tips,  which will give you some other pointers and resources to look at when studying for the exam. 

  • Course 6320: Introducing the Hyper-V technology.
  • Course 6321: Configuring a virtual environment.
  • Course 6322: Deploying systems in a virtual environment.
  • Course 6323: Optimising a virtual environment.
  • Course 6324: Managing a virtual environment by using SCVMM.
  •  

    Certifications, Hyper-V, Microsoft ,

    MCTS 70-652 – Study tips and links

    November 17th, 2008

    I’ve just this afternoon passed the Microsoft 70-652 exam, making me an MCTS for Windows Server Virtualisation.

    I didn’t get a lot of time to study and basically spent the best part of yesterday and this morning using the exam preperation guide, technet and google to piece together everything I needed to know. There is not a lot of published material out there at the moment,  most of the books on amazon, etc appear to be due out later this month, so it was a bit of a struggle.

    With this in mind I thought it would beneficial to publish some of the websites that I used for studying and clarifying specific points.

     

    Other pointers I can give you,  well brush up on the following especially

    • Disks – know the different types and how they work, IDE and SCSI controllers
    • Snapshots – really know this, even snapshots for deployment?
    • Networking – know the different types and how they work.
    • Larger Networks – Think of ISCSI host connections and cluster heartbeats.
    • Failover Clustering – It’s key to Hyper-V availability so make sure you know it.
    • SVCMM – SCOM integration and migrating VMs between hosts.
    • Hyper-V – know how to install both full and server core versions.

     

    I’m glad I took the time and did the exam, unfortunately I won’t get much of a chance to use the skills in the day job as we currently utilise VMWare.  However I have seen enough during my revision and lab testing to see that Microsoft have got themselves a very good base product.  With the Windows 2008 R2 release being worked on I can only imagine it will get better.  Enjoy studying…. (if that’s possible!!)

    Certifications, Microsoft , , ,