VMware badges – Acclaim

So my digital badges came through today from Acclaim….

A little part of me wishes that I had the time to do more VMware training and exams…… then reality sets in and I remember that I have a full time job, a mortgage to pay and a 14 month old baby!!

….. maybe in 18 years time when I get shot of the little one! ;oP

Guess these will sit nicely alongside my vExpert Badges!

VCP5 Delta Exam Extended Again……

I can’t believe after all the rush to get re-certified last year (original deadline was 30th Nov 2014) VMware are extending the deadline yet again…….

New deadline for taking the delta exam and re-certifying as a VCP5-DCV is now 8th May 2015.

Since my most popular blog entry was how to study for the Delta exam, you can find all the goodness on what to study for here.

At least they’re rewarding all the people who took the exam early by giving them a 65% discount on the VCP6 migration exam!! Yay…!

More info here: http://blogs.vmware.com/education/2015/03/vcp-recertification-deadline-extended.html

VMware VCP 5.5 Delta Exam (#VCP550D) Passed!

So having spent weeks months procrastinating, I finally got round to studying for my VCP 5.5 delta exam (VCP550D) and actually breezed the exam on Monday (think I scored 430 or something) – which is great as it means I’m safe for another 2 years! =)

Self-studying for exams can be quite daunting as you never know if you’re covering the right material. Having obtained my VCP5 back in 2012, I had to think carefully what the exam would contain. The blueprint to the delta exam wasn’t exactly helpful as it just looks like the VCP5.5 exam blueprint…. Plus from what a lot of people were saying online, it seemed that the majority of the exam would actually be on the new stuff!

I practically read through a heck of a lot of technical white papers over the weekend and played around with web client in order to understand how to navigate through it.
So when it came to sitting the exam on Monday, I was quietly confident that I knew enough to pass…….

Much to my surprise, my exam was just crammed full of ‘support and administration’ type questions….. I think I got about 2-3 questions on SSO, 2-3 questions on vSAN, 1 question on vFRC and quite a few (4-5) on vSOM and vDP. The rest were pretty much generic VCP exam questions – I was a little disappointed given how much I had read up on all the new stuff!! Anyways, a pass is a pass, can’t complain!

Now that I’ve passed the delta exam, I thought I’d share some of the material that I had used to study – hopefully it’ll help other people out!

What’s New in vSphere 5.5 – Platform – this was a very helpful document that explains everything new in vSphere 5.5…. whilst it doesn’t go into great detail, it does help you structure your learning by giving you topics to go off and research on!

vSphere Pricing – definitely worth understanding what each version looks like and what features are available on each version of vSphere.

vCenter Server 5.5 Deployment Guide – helps you to understand how to install vCenter Server (especially the installation process). If you don’t do this regularly then make sure you read this!
It’s good to gain an understanding of SSO and how it’s different in 5.5…. so worth reading the SSO FAQ as well as the installation process.

Virtual SAN:
The two biggest names in the community with regards to VSAN is Duncan Epping and Cormac Hogan… so there’s no better way of learning about it than to visit their blogs!
I pretty much sat through a whole evening reading up on VSAN, and I must say their blogs made far easier reading than the VMware documentation! =)
(Focus on VSAN architecture, how it’s deployed and the failure tolerance aspects)

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/virtual-san/
http://cormachogan.com/vsan/

Other docs read:
VSAN Design and Sizing Guide
VSAN What’s New

vFlash Read Cache:
vFRC white paper – good overview on what vFRC is and also how it is used.
I would also recommend you reading Duncan’s article as he gives a decent overview of the feature!

Other docs read:
vFlash Read Cache FAQ

vRealize Operations (or Ops Mgr/vSOM):
I’m fortunate enough to have deployed vRO loads of times during the vSphere Optimization Assessments that I run for my customers. As such I’m quite clued up around vRO so didn’t really read any white papers on the product. It is definitely worth having a demo environment to play around with. Read up on the badges, what they mean and what type of reports can be run.

App HA:
I didn’t get any questions on AppHA, but I did read up on the subject given it’s a new feature. I found Vladan’s overview quite useful. I also read through the Users Guide to understand how it is deployed and configured.

VDP:
Again, because I’ve deployed this quite a number of times I didn’t need to read up on it. However it’s worth referring to the white paper on VDP.

Finally, because it’s an online exam I found it useful to have my demo environment up and running (so Web Client open and vCOPs open) as it did help me answer some questions.

Anyways, best of luck….. the delta exam will be withdrawn on the 30th November 2014, so only 2.5 weeks left!! Stop procrastinating and take the exam!

EDIT: The Delta Exam deadline has been extended to 10th March 2015…. get learning! =)