Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Another excellent VCAP4-DCA study resource

Whilst the new VCAP4-DCA exam is 100% live labs, so hands-on practice and experience are a really key part of any preparation for the exam, there are already a number of key study resources available.

I have various other blog posts on VCAP4-DCA already, with links to the key official and unofficial resources such as the exam blueprint and some experiences of those who took the beta version of the exam.

Sean Crookston over at vFAIL.NET has been busy collecting together information about most of the elements covered in the VCAP-DCA exam into a set of posts on his site, so here is his VCAP4-DCA Index.

Update: October 15th 2010
The vFAIL.NET Study Guide is now complete, and will be available soon as a downloadable PDF

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

vSphere-land "Top 25" VMware blogs

I blogged recently about the vSphere-land "Top 25" VMware blogs, voting was open for a couple of weeks and Eric Seibert who runs the site had my blog in the list of those you could vote for - and I'm proud and humbled to say that whilst I didn't make the Top 25 (I never thought for a minute that I would), I did make the Top 50!

Here's the full results:

Personally, I voted for 10 of the blogs in my "blog roll" down the right-hand side of this very page - if I could have voted for all of them I would have. This blog gained a respectable 263 points, and is listed 42 in the list - Duncan Epping's Yellow Bricks was the clear winner of the poll - I direct an awful lot of my students at Duncan's posts on HA and DRS, and he got my vote too. I shall be meeting Duncan at VMworld in a couple of weeks too, as well as many other bloggers from the list.

One interesting article that I read in relation to the Top 25 was published this morning by Tom Howarth over at PlanetVM - a very different perspective on the Top 25 -

Thanks to all those who voted for this blog, I really appreciate it :-)

Monday, 27 September 2010

Free "What's New in vSphere 4.1" e-learning

The vSphere: Install Configure Manage course was recently updated for the vSphere 4.1 release, see the course outline and my earlier blog post on that. Other vSphere courses such as the Troubleshooting and Manage for Performance courses were designed around the vSphere 4.0 release, and have yet to be updated.

VMware have created an e-learning course titled What's New in vSphere 4.1, and sell it as part of their All-Access subscription - it is also made available to VMware partners.

The part of this that's of interest to me in particular is that VMware have also now decided to make the e-learning available at no charge to those students who attend any one of the following instructor-led courses:

vSphere: What's New
vSphere: Troubleshooting
vSphere: Manage for Performance

If you have completed any of the above courses since July 28th, VMware will email you a token (a free voucher) that can be used against the e-learning course. The token has to be used within 90 days of being issued, and the course subscription then lasts for 365 days.

The course includes an overview of new 4.1 features including:

- ESXi enhancements/changes
- Support for Active Directory authentication
- vCLI enhancements
- vCenter Server enhancement/changes
- Host Profiles enhancements
- Increased cluster maximums
- New DRS affinitiy rules
- vMotion enhancements vSphere 4.1 installation and upgrade options
- An introduction to storage I/O controll and VAAI
- An introduction to Network I/O control
- Information about ESX/ESXi memory compression

Update - September 29th 2010
I can confirm that only the courses highlighted above qualify for this offer. Those attending the vSphere: Fast Track course could have attended the new vSphere: Install Configure Manage course which is already based on 4.1.

50% VCAP4 exam discount

VMware are currently running a promotion around the exams for the VCAP4-DCA and VCAP4-DCD certifications - a 50% discount voucher to anyone who attends one of the recommended training courses.

It's not compulsory to attend any training courses to take a VCAP4 exam, you do have to be VCP4-certified (which does have training requirements) but you can then self-study in terms of preparation for the VCAP4 exams.

There are recommended courses for each of the two certifications, and if you review the exam blueprint documents for either of the certifications (VCAP4-DCA blueprint, VCAP4-DCD blueprint) you will see the strength of the relationship between these courses and the exams:

vSphere: Troubleshooting
vSphere: Manage for Performance
vSphere: Automation with PowerCLI
vSphere: Manage and Design for Security

vSphere: Design Workshop

Attend any of the above instructor-led courses between now and November 30th and the week after your course VMware will email you the 50% discount voucher. For further information, follow the link to the VMware Education Services page and click the Learn More icon under VMware Training and Advanced Certification - here's the direct link too.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

VMworld Europe 2010 - See you in Copenhagen

I'm sure most of you will be aware that VMware's annual conference is titled VMworld, and each year they run an event in the US and one in Europe - I'm a regular attendee of the Europe event, and will be in Copenhagen next month along with however many other thousands of people decide to go!

I'll be joined there by a number of key colleagues from Global Knowledge around the EMEA region, and have a fairly hectic schedule already:

Sunday October 10th
Fly in from London

Monday October 11th
VCI day - Various roadmap sessions with VMware Education, and some Q&A sessions with VMware experts

Tuesday October 12th
Main conference

Wednesday October 13th
VCI Mentor Workshop - A chance to refresh my Mentor status as a VCI, so I can continue to sign off new VCIs

Thursday October 14th
Main conference
Fly back to London

I love going to VMworld - I've got plenty of people that I'll be seeing while I'm there and will no doubt bump into many other ex-students and ex-colleagues there too - if you've not been before and this will be your first time take advantage of all the different activities there:

Breakout sessions
Hands-on labs
Solutions exchange

I'll try and do some blogging while I'm there too about what I've seen and who I've seen, and generally sharing my experiences of the event. I will be spending my days wearing a Global Knowledge shirt, well they are paying for me to go, so look out for me and come and say "Hi" if you see me :-)

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Certification Updates - September 16th 2010

Lots of small pieces of certification news to cover in this post:

VCAP4-DCA exam
Registration is now open as of September 13th, as I revealed recently - register here
I registered on Monday, and have already had a follow-up email from the Certification team
VMware have published a list of the testing centres where the VCAP4-DCA exam can be taken - here's the list

VCP4 study sites
Forbes Guthrie has updated his excellent vSphere reference card for the 4.1 release - download it from here
Simon Long has been updating his VCP4 study notes and practice questions for 4.1, the study notes are work in progress but then he has just started a job at VMware so I'll let him off - access The SLOG

VCP4 exam prep workshop
I've now completed an overhaul of the unique VCP4 exam prep workshop that Global Knowledge run in the UK, mainly by updating and enhancing the practice questions we go through on the day - click here for details on the workshop

VCP4 books
There are now a number of VCP4 study books on the market, I'm hoping to be able to review each of them here soon:
VMware Certified Professional vSphere 4 Study Guide by Robert Schmidt
VMware Certified Professional on vSphere 4 Study Guide by Brian Perry, Chris Huss, Jeantet Fields
VCP4 Exam Cram by Elias Khnaser

Phew, lots of new things to take a look at there!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

vSphere-land Top 25 Blogs

Eric Siebert's vSphere-land site is one that is well-known within the virtualization community as a place to gain access to masses of information related to all things vSphere and VMware, and his vLaunchPad has an excellent list of links to other blogs and sites.

Eric was kind enough to add this little blog of mine under the "News and Info Websites" section a while ago, and on a regular basis he opens up the voting for the much-coveted "Top 25 Blogs" - voting has just opened again for that list.

I'll be casting my votes for the blogs I have in my "Key Blogs" section on the right of this very page... Of course, if you wish to vote for my blog that's entirely up to you... ;-)

Good luck everyone :-)

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Exclusive: VCAP4-DCA exam release date

Here's a little piece of exclusive information, and one that a lot of people have been asking about for a few weeks now...

VMware will make the final VCAP4-DCA exam available from September 13th 2010.

So, grab the blueprint, get yourself prepared, not long to wait now...

UPDATE - September 13th
Exactly as I'd learned, registration for the VCAP4-DCA is now open, via this link.