Posts Tagged ‘vcdx’

VMworld 2011 Session Submission

May 9th, 2011

This year I have boldly put forward for a couple of sessions at VMworld. I’d love the opportunity to share some of my thoughts, knowledge and experience with a wider audience, so please feel free to put a vote forward towards me! I’ll be covering off 3 different topics…

2621 The Secret to a Successful Cloud – People!

This covers a bit more detail in Cloud architectures. Everyone can now give you the dictionary term for what a “Cloud” is, but I still think very few people are helping you translate that into how to actual put together your own Cloud. It isn’t about software, or services, it’s about people and procedures. You can have a fully functional Cloud environment very easily if you sit down and work out what you want to achieve and what processes/procedures need to be put in place. I’ll be talking a little about frameworks and continual service improvement models as well as IT maturity. The key takeaway is that you and your colleagues are the key to you successfully deploying a Cloud infrastructure!

2141 Future vAdmins

This follows on from a successful topic I covered at the last Northern UK VMUG which covered some of the skills required to be a successful vAdmin and where the industry is taking us. It’s been easy to get by in IT over the past 5-10 years with a small subset of skills, but with virtualisation you need a much wider remit. As a VCDX I know this all too well!!! I’ll cover some key industry certifications, how this can benefit your employer, and some key complimentary areas such as soft skills (which I think are hugely important).

2142 Questions to Ask Your Design Authority

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December 12th, 2010

I’ve been meaning to post something regarding the VCAP-DCD beta since I took it last month, but time has eluded me!

 I am a design architect as my day job, so this exam should be pretty complimentary to what I do. Going through the study material in the blueprint was an experience all by itself. I downloaded around 130 papers, probably over 5000 pages in total. I don’t believe there is any easy way to study for this exam if you are not already doing this role. From the experience of doing the exam, 95% of the questions I answered based on experience (or guessing), and 5% was thanks to studying before the exam. I have to say the VMworld 2010 material has been very useful, and the session by Chad Sakac and Vaughn Stewart helped me through at least 1 question!

If you want to transition into a design role, then the blueprint is essential reading to get you focused and get an idea of what you’ll be doing. I think a lot of people would benefit from the study material of this exam. A course that covers all the topics would be essential (the current Design Workshop course is not quite detailed enough).

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September 7th, 2010

I arrived home today, after waiting for 2 weeks, to the following email…

“Congratulations!  You have achieved the VMware Certified Design Expert on VI3 (VCDX3) certification.   

 Your VCDX number is: VCDX47″

I can’t really express how truly happy I am at making it passed the final gate! I would love to get some level of feedback from the panelists, but being awarded the certification is more than enough for me! It validates the past year of hard work I have put into this!

So what does this mean to me and my job?

Well first of all for me personally this a huge achievement for myself! This helps me validate my hard work and justify the recommendations I make to customers daily. It takes away some of that personal doubt around whether or not I am capable of truly being an VMware / storage architect. For my job it gives me the confidence to make firm recommendations to my customers, and to assist my colleagues with their projects.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the VCDX journey is a fantastic opportunity to improve your own methodology and processes around VMware project work. Completing the journey is the icing on the cake!

I’m hoping to take this and put it to good use. What I started on this blog over a year ago, I need to put more effort into and continue (thank you all for contributing to my current 1000+ visitors per day). I need to continue showing my face over at the NetApp communities, and I’m long overdue getting involved in the VMware communities. Sounds like a lot of work, I hope I can put aside the time to keep being involved!

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VCDX Journey

August 31st, 2010


Some of you may be aware that I have been working hard through the VCDX journey over the past year / 18 months. I’m not usually a VMware blogger as I think that space is more than filled, so I usually concentrate on the storage side. However the VCDX is still fairly exclusive, so I wanted to share this journey with everyone. It’s been a really good time, and I have learnt a hell of a lot! It’s helped me better understand the solutions and help my company as a whole put together better VMware solutions, so it’s been hugely beneficial. I’d recommend anyone that is focused on VMware for their company to go down the VCDX route. Even if you don’t get onto the final Defense, it’s a fantastic journey and you will learn a lot.

I won’t go into too much detail about my experience of the Enterprise Admin or Design exams as these have been replaced by the VCAP ones. They are obviously pre-req’s anyway, but I’d say after going through the rest of the journey that they are essential training to get you ready anyway. I’ll probably be sitting both the VCAP exams in the next few months just to make sure my skills are kept up to date.

The Defense Application

Make sure you free your diary for at least a week of solid work. People have said be prepared to do 30-40 hours of work on this, but I think I spent closer to 70 or 80! I had a full week off work, and used both weekends too. I had a lot of work to do as I haven’t really done many fully structured deployments as expected in the Defense application before, so I had to make one up. This is definitely a lot harder as you have to visual everything, including limitations and obstacles. If you make something up, you don’t usually make up challenges for yourself. To compensate, I think I ended up making my scenario a little more complex and I had to do a lot of checking through support docs which added to my work load.

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