Have you thought about studying for the VCP-510 exam? Do you want to be VCP5-DCV certified? Finding a good study guide can really get you off on the right foot. The VCP5 Study Guide by Brian Atkinson is just that book. Chock full of great information on every exam objective, this book will give you the tools you need to study for and successfully pass the VCP-510 exam. Whether you are new to VMware or you have years of experience; if you really want to buckle down and study for the exam then this book will be a great ally to your efforts. Brian covers in detail all of the exam objectives and the book is laid out in a easy to read fashion. You can read this book cover to cover or simply read and study specific sections that you need to brush up on. Not only is this book a great study tool, it could also be helpful to the junior administrator to use as a tool in their everyday job and should be an addition to their desktop library. Here’s a short bio about the author, Brian Atkinson, that will give you a good idea of why he’s qualified to write such a book:
Brian Atkinson is a senior systems engineer with 15 years of experience in the IT field. For the past six years, he has been focused on virtualization and storage solutions. Brian has been awarded the VMware vExpert designation from VMware for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. He is a VMware Technology Network (VMTN) moderator and guru. He maintains his personal blog in the VMTN communities at communities.vmware.com/blogs/vmroyale/.
With 816 pages and weighing in at 2.6 pounds, this is a bigger book that will definitely make your backpack heavier and is not necessarily one you would carry around wherever you go. The book also comes with a custom test engine, over 300 flashcards and a glossary of terms in PDF format. You can also download practice exams and chapter review questions from the website along with electronic flashcards. I recommend getting this book in paperback as it reduces some of the bulk associated with this book and is easier to keep the book open when studying.
This book has 11 total chapters and each chapter covers different exam objectives. Of course you should really read this book cover to cover at least once, but several of the chapters really stand out. First and foremost you should read Chapter 1 which is titled “What’s New in vSphere 5.” This chapter covers the newer features of the vSphere 5 release and is a good place to start with your study plan, obviously placing this chapter as the first in the book. You’ll learn about the retirement of ESX server going forward with all newer versions only shipped with ESXi. Chapter one also covers the improvements to vSphere High Availability (HA) and virtual machine enhancements. With the release of vSphere 5 there’s also the new vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) and Storage DRS (sDRS) feature which is covered in the first chapter as well. Chapter two covers some really critical information as it goes over how to “Plan, Install, Configure, and Upgrade vCenter Server and VMware ESXi.” You will find information covering how to enable sizing and disabling memory compression cache as well as the ins and outs of licensing an ESXi host. You’ll learn how to handle important tasks such as updgrading from VMFS-3 to VMFS-5, upgrading VMware Tools, updgrading the virtual machine hardware and using vSphere Update Manager to upgrade an ESXi host. Like I said earlier, the book covers just about every aspect of vSphere 5 that you need to know for the exam and doubles as a guide for future installations and feature configurations.
Should I Buy It?
Yes and no. If you are studying for the VCP-510 exam trying to get your VCP5-DCV certification, then resoundingly yes. If you are new to VMware and looking for a good guide to installation and configuration of vSphere components, then yes. That being said there are better books on installation and configuration like Scott Lowe’s Mastering VMware vSphere 5 (that book is really hard to beat). If you are a seasoned vSphere veteran, already have your VCP5-DCV, then I wouldn’t buy this book. Chances are vSphere 6 or vSphere Next will be released within a year from now and you’ll be better off spending your money on the latest vSphere book at that time. Here’s a short excerpt from the book titled “Who Should Read This Book?” that will give you a good idea of the intended audience:
Any experienced vSphere administrator who is ready to pass the VCP5 exam should read this book. This book covers each objecetive of the VCP5 eaxam as listed in the exam blueprint. Using this book as you study guide for the VCP5 exam will streamline your studying process and increase your odds of passing the VCP5 exam.
Win This Book Today!
As a disclaimer I did receive a free copy of this book, but did not receive any monetary compensation for writing this post. That being said, I fall in the category of someone who alread has VCP5-DCV cert and I’m already working everyday with vSphere 5.1. This book doesn’t do much for me so I want to give it to you! If you would like a free copy of this book, leave a comment on this post with your full name and twitter handle if you have one, and I’ll pick a winner out of hat tonight, and the book is yours! All you have to say, is Greg, I want the book, and that qualifies as an entry into this contest. I’ll stop taking entries today, May 20th at 8pm Eastern time. The contest is open to anyone in the world, I’ll foot the shipping for you. Good luck and happy reading!
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.