I spent 6 months tinkering with vCloud Director and about a month of hardcore studying and I’m happy to say today that I successfully passed the VMware Infrastructure-as-a-Service exam which makes me a VCP-Cloud! I have to say that the anxiety involved in taking this exam was at an all time high simply because I had no idea what kind of questions were going to be on the exam, it’s such a specific topic but at the same time so much to test on. If you don’t have hands on experience with vCloud Director then this exam will pretty much be impossible to pass. I’ll be laying out the details of my exam preparation and lab structure in a post to come soon so stay tuned. It’s always good to be done with a certification, but just as soon as I feel relief, I realize VCP6-DCV will probably be dropping sooner than later… back to the drawing board.
Technology is an ever changing field, and you must constantly broaden your skill set in order to stay ahead of the curve. Aside from studying and obtaining certifications and gaining hands-on experience, attending tech conferences can be one of the best ways to get ahead. Most tech conferences have a vendor solutions exchange or partner booths you can visit to meet some of the brightest engineers in the industry. Many of them also have large hands-on lab environments, where you can test drive the latest and greatest innovations in technology today. Perhaps the most valuable part of any tech conference is the networking you will do. You’ll meet bloggers, techies and make lifelong friends. Another added bonus: If you are currently in the market for a new job, many employers hold interviews at conferences.
The problem is, there are so many tech conferences out there today, it’s hard to know which ones are worth attending. These conferences can be quite pricey, ranging anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 just to get in the door. Train Signal previously gave you a more comprehensive look at IT conferences, but now I want to share what I believe are the best ones out there and tell you what to expect from them… Read the full article here.
About two weeks ago I was speaking with Rick Vanover of Veeam about the features of vSphere 5.1 and what they bring to the table. In the middle of our chat we thought “why not make this a podcast?” So here we are, we wrapped the podcast and it’s now online for your listening pleasure. We talk about vSphere 5.1 features, what we’ve been up to and the vDestination.com VMworld Trip Giveaway. Hope you enjoy it and stay tuned for more news on the VMworld Trip Giveaway, it’s coming!! Click here to listen.
It’s important to join your ESXi host to a Windows domain if there is one present in your architecture. Why? For one, you can use your Active Directory (AD) credentials to log into the host if you have to directly. That, in and of itself, is worth joining the host to the domain. Aside from allowing your AD credentials to authenticate you, it’s a good process of hardening your ESXi host. If you join the host to the domain you can eliminate the need to constantly change the root password of your host every time one of your administrators leaves your company. By allowing AD to authenticate, you can simply delegate permissions based on your AD groups such as the ‘Domain Admins’ group. Everyone in the domain admin group will essentially have root access to the host.
Joining a Windows Server or workstation to the domain is a relatively simple process; however, joining an ESXi host to a Windows domain requires a bit more complexity… Read the full article here.
Are you new to virtualization technology? Is this something you’ve wanted to learn about but have had a hard time finding the right guide to ease you into understanding it? I’ve been there, and I can tell you it’s hard to find one book that covers the basics of virtualization in easy to understand language for the newbie. That was until I came across the book Virtualization Essentials by Matthew Portnoy. I recently received a review copy of the book and read through it in 2 days, I couldn’t put it down. That being said, I’ve been in the virtualization business for over 5 years now and I understand it on a more technical level than most newcomers will, but, I still found the book to be a great read! Most books for newcomers to technology can be a bore for readers of a more technical background, but kudos go to Matthew for putting together a very well read and comprehensive beginners guide to virtualization technology. Who is Matthew Portnoy anyways? Well here’s an excerpt from the book titled “About The Author”, this should give you a little background on who the author is and what qualifies him to write such a book:
Matt Portnoy has been an information technology professional for more than 30 years, working in organizations such as NCR, Sperry/Unisys, Stratus Computer, Oracle, and currently VMware. He has been in the center of many of the core technological trends during this period, including the birth of the PC, client-server computing, fault tolerance and availability., the rise of the Internet, and now virtualization, which is the foundation for cloud computing…. He has spoken at the industry’s largest virtualization conference, VMworld, and is a frequent speaker at user group meetings.
Coming in at 304 pages and 1.4 pounds, Virtualization Essentials is not an overwhelming book like most technical books are. This is a book you can easily slip in your backpack or a small tote bag along with your tablet. For a beginner, this book is essential to building your foundation for virtualization knowledge and giving you a good baseline to start from. It boasts and attractive blue cover and almost lays flat when opened from the middle of the book, a very flexible spine, good for keeping it open while working on your lab or practicing the exercises in the book.
This book does an excellent job of covering everything you need to know as a beginner to virtualization, VMware virtualization that is, seeing as it’s written by a VMware Sr. System Engineer. That’s ok though, if you’re looking to learn about Hyper-V or Citrix or Red Hat virtualization, this is not your book. The book starts off with the assumption that the reader has basic PC experience, an understanding of what an operating system is and does, conceptual knowledge of computing resources (CPU, memory, storage and network), and a high level understanding of how programs use resources. That being said, this book isn’t necessarily for newcomers to computers altogether, you must have had some working knowledge of those pieces of computing to fully understand the topics covered in this book. It does note in the book that “This text would not be of interest if you are already a virtualization professional and you are looking for a guidebook or reference.”
In chapter one you will start by “Understating Virtualization”, this chapter will basically introduce you the technology from a very high level view, it doesn’t get very deep, but gives you an idea of what you are getting ready to learn, a nice introduction. Further on in the book in chapter 4 it covers “Creating A Virtual Machine”, virtual machines or VMs are the reason why we love virtualization. This chapter will touch on server consolidation, converting a physical server to a virtual machine and gives you a brief overview of VMware’s free VMware Player which you can install on your PC to start creating virtual machines. It’s important that you go out and download VMware Player so you can follow along with the exercises in the book, its easy to install and best of all, its free. Chapters 5 and 6 respectively, will teach you how to install Windows and Linux on a VM. The step by step directions and screenshots really add value to this book as there are subtle differences in building VMs depending on the operating system you choose.
Chapter 9 and 10 are very important to understand as they deal with “Managing Storage for a Virtual Machine” and “Managing Networking for a Virtual Machine.” Storage is monumentally important to virtualization as it handles where your virtual machine disk files reside and what they are capable of ie. vMotion, HA, etc. Networking, obviously, is equally as important to VMs as storage is. The author does a great job of explaining how virtual networking works and even gives some practice exercises you can do to better understand it. In the back of the book there is a great glossary of terms you need to know to fully understand virtualization such as CNA-converged network adapter, and ballooning-a memory management process controlled by the hypervisor.
Should I Buy It?
Are you a seasoned virtualization veteran? Then the answer is a resounding no, not that it’s not a good read, it most definitely is but you would be better served to buy and read a book such as Scott Lowe’s Mastering VMware vSphere 5 or Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman’s VMware vSphere 5.1 Clustering Deepdive book. Are you new to VMware and virtualization as a whole? Then this is a no-brainer, buy it today! If you’ve been looking for a good book to start with, this is your book. It’s short, concise, gives exercises and helps you build your knowledge fundamentals in virtualization technology. Welcome to the world of virtualization and happy reading!
If you work in IT, you likely encounter a lot of professionals who have been in the industry for a long time. I have 14 years of experience myself—that’s a lot of time spent troubleshooting, studying and in the server room. When someone I meet for the first time asks me what I do for a living, 90 percent of the time, the next questions is, “How did you end up in IT?” It’s a question I never mind answering because it gives me a chance to tell my story.
I love IT, and I have worked hard at building my career to get where I am today. It brings back all kinds of memories when I get to tell my IT story, so what’s yours? I took some time to ask a couple of my closest colleagues about their stories. The most interesting part of my research was how much everyone loved telling their story, and while they were all different, they had the same ending: We all work in IT, and we all love it! Here’s a sampling of some of the best stories I came across. I promised not to disclose the storytellers’ names due to the nature of their current clients, but they did want me to share their current titles and their stories. Read the full post here.
This week I discovered something that’s been going on at VMware for almost a full month already, CloudCred. CloudCred or CloudCredibility is just that, a game you play to prove your credibility in the cloud. Does it really prove you have credibility with cloud related content? No probably not, but it does create a fun game you can play and track your peers to see who can rack up the most points. I’ve seen several posts on CloudCred already from the blogosphere that have slammed it and criticized VMware for making light of bloggers and tech leads experience with this game, to that I say, RELAX it’s just a game. If you want to join in the fun and play CloudCred then do, if not, then don’t go slamming it or making it out to be something more serious than it is. I just wanted to share my two cents on CloudCred and give you an idea of what it is and how to play it, hope it helps.
How Do I Play?
Joining is easy, just go to the CloudCred homepage and sign up. It’s fairly painless, you pick a log in name and password and then set some preferences and you’re off. The first thing you’ll have to do after signing up is join a team, this isn’t necessarily a mandatory task but some of the team related tasks are pretty cool, so join a team to get the full experience. Once you are signed up and have joined a team you can click on the tasks banner and start picking what tasks you want to complete. There are several task categories such as Blogger, Tech Cloud, Team, Service, Fun, Lab and many more. In each one of those categories you’ll find a task related to that category with a point value assigned to it. Most of the tasks will award you individual points and several team points as well. Here’s a screen shot of one of the tasks you’ll find under the Blogger category:
As you complete tasks your points begin to accumulate and as your points accumulate you will climb the CloudCred leaderboard. Again, don’t take this too seriously, its just a way to make giving back to the community more fun than it already is. This game is not meant to showcase you as a subject matter expert or genius by any means, just have fun with it. I’ve been at it for a week now and it’s been pretty fun finishing tasks and racking up points. You may be able to rack up a bunch of points because of all the things you’ve already done, you’d be surprised.
Yes, there are prizes.
So what do you get by racking up all these CloudCred points? Prizes of course. VMware is never stingy when it comes to swag and the CloudCred prizes are pretty cool. If you love t-shirts, then find a way to rack up 1,000 points and you’ll get the VMware CloudCred t-shirt. Rack up 10,000 points and you’ll get the CloudCred ball cap. Now, the grand prize of it all is for the top point getter overall, a free pass to VMworld Barcelona for you and a guest, 5 nights hotel, airfare for two and spending cash. Wow! That’s pretty incredible. The deadline for the grand prize is July 1, so start racking up your points now. Here’s a screen shot of the prizes you can expect to get if you get the required point values:
Get Your CloudCred On and Have Fun
Ok, so now you know how to sign up, how to play and what prizes you will win, so get to it. Leave a comment on this blog post and let me know if you signed up so I can follow your progress. Knowing VMware, I’m sure there will be some sort of integration with CloudCred and VMworld this year, so look for that, VMworld is 4 months away. If you want to follow my progress, my CloudCred user name is gregwstuart and my team name is vExperts, check out our team image below. Have fun and see you on CloudCred.