The VMUG Advantage subscription is an awesome benefit for members of the VMware User Group, and just got more awesomer with the addition of a new benefit – full access to all of the VMworld content, including breakout session recordings and slide decks, labs, and general sessions. Normally a VMworld.com subscription for online access to content is $699. The VMUG Advantage subscription is only $200 (or less if you got the 15% discount codes from yesterday’s Potomac Regional VMUG in Washington DC), and VMworld content is free with the VMUG Advantage subscription.
The VMworld session benefit is available for new and existing VMUG Advantage subscriptions!
1. All access e-learning courses provide year-round VMware training. There are over 20 courses available and VMUG Advantage subscribers will get access to all of them. Examples of popular on-demand courses include:
vCenter Configuration Manager
VMware Site Recovery Manager
vSphere What’s New (V4)
vSphere Manage Availability
2. Instructor Led Training: Get 20% discount on VMware Training. The most popular courses VMUG Advantage subscribers are saving on are:
VMware vSphere: What’s New [V5.0] – with savings of $300 per course
VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V5.0] – saving of $700 per course
VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V4.1] with savings of $700 per course
VMware vSphere: Fundamentals [V4.0] with savings ranging of $60 per course
VMware vSphere: Advanced Fast Track [V4.x] with savings of $1020 per course
3. 20% on all VMware Certification Exams, including VCP5, VCP5-DT, VCP5-IaaS, VCAP
4. VMworld Admission discount: Save $100 on admission to VMworld conferences (and can now combined with other VMworld discounts).
5. 30% Discount on Software Licenses
VMware Workstation – now with richer graphics, increased power and tighter Windows 7 integration
VMware Fusion – now 35% faster and includes all of the software tools you need to switch to Mac
6. Global Knowledge discounts:
Global Knowledge Training Courses
Free access to the White Paper Library
Free VCP Exam Retake Voucher
There are corporate discounts available on the VMUG Advantage subscription.
With the release of VMware’s new Cloud Suite, and increased focus on true cloud building, VMware’s Education division has announced changes to their VMware Certification program, including new certification tracks and exams. We learned in today’s VMworld General Session that the total number of VMware Certified Professionals (VCP) is now over 125,000. The announced changes will help to differentiate skill levels and specialties for VMware professionals. The new certification structure should help to test individuals in line with their job role (Architect, Engineer Administrator, Developer, & Governance/Operator) and solution focus (Cloud, Datacenter Virtualization, End User Computing, & Cloud Application Platform).
Here’s what the new certification roadmap look like:
The complete list of current and pending VMware certifications under this new program is as follows:
VCAP-Cloud Infrastructure Administrator
VCAP-Cloud Infrastructure Design
End User Computing
Cloud Application Platform
Web Application Developer
Enterprise Integration Specialist
I think the new certification strategy is good overall, but I don’t relish the thought of more tests to take. Visit the VMware Certification site to learn more.
Assess your knowledge with chapter-opening quizzes
Review key concepts with exam preparation tasks
Practice with realistic exam questions on the DVD
I probably won’t add this one to my bookshelf as I am already VCP3, 4 and 5, but I think it would be a very valuable resource for anyone not already certified.
The second book just released by VMware Press is VMware vSphere 5® Building a Virtual Datacenter by Eric Maillé and René-François Mennecier. With the increased talk lately of the ‘Software Defined Datacenter’, this title is very time-appropriate. According to the book’s description, “VMware vSphere® 5: Building a Virtual Datacenter brings together all the practical knowledge you need to evaluate, plan, implement, and manage vSphere 5 in your datacenter environment.”
The book covers the following topics:
Assessing the potential benefits of datacenter virtualization in your environment
Organizing and managing a smooth migration to the virtualized datacenter
Anticipating specific challenges and risks associated with datacenter virtualization
Making tradeoffs to optimize stability, elasticity, scalability, and cost
Choosing the best installation/configuration options for your environment
Effectively linking vSphere 5 virtualization to existing datacenter elements
Driving more value from vSphere 5’s powerful new datacenter features
Providing storage to efficiently support your hosted VMs, now and in the future
Managing limited memory and other server constraints
Leveraging new options for service continuity and high availability
Using backup architecture as a lever to reduce costs
This is a good book for anyone starting on a vSphere 5 project, as it covers details on budgeting, scheduling, and planning; choosing the right architecture; and integrating vSphere with existing datacenter elements, including servers, storage, clusters, network infrastructure, and business continuity plans. I’ll most likely add this one to my bookshelf once I clear my current backlog of reading.
Grab both books from Amazon now, or pick them up at VMworld next week!
I just saw that the Amazon Kindle DX 9.7″ eReader (Kindle DX, Free 3G, 9.7″ E Ink Display, 3G Works Globally) got a pretty deep price cut, down to $269. The eReader doesn’t have the full-blown color screen or Android experience of the Kindle Fire, but I’ve found that it is awesome for reading technical documentation. The large, no glare, black & white screen is distraction free, helping me to focus on the (let’s be honest, sometimes boring) technical documentation and publications I’m reading. I carry my DX in my backpack, loaded with technical books, formal documentation, and the occasional bit of pleasure reading. The battery life is great and 3G access on the DX guarantees that I have my documents ready to go when I’m on a flight, subway, or at a client site. The large screen easily displays diagrams, charts, and graphs without scrolling or funky resizing like you see on a smaller screen. I also like being able to highlight and notate sections of text for later reference – the full keyboard on the DX model makes this easy.
Here’s a pic of my Kindle DX (on top of my VMworld 2011 backpack) with the VMware View 5.1 Administration document open with a big chart of View GPO policies displayed. Not too shabby!
The price drop probably indicates some newer Kindle and or Kindle Fire models are soon to be released, but for the price and abuse the thing can take in the old backpack I don’t mind having a slightly older piece of technology for this use case.
VMware makes much of their documentation available in .mobi and .epub format, as well as PDF. Head over to https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/ and grab the .mobi file. Connect your Kindle DX to your computer and drop & drag the files to the Kindle’s storage. If you are getting technical docs from another vendor in .epub format, grab a free copy of Calibre (available for PC, Mac, or Linux) and convert the files from .epub to .mobi. You can also load PDF documents in the same way, although formatting can sometimes get a bit funny. If formatting is off, email the PDF to your @kindle.com address and Amazon will convert it for you and deliver it over 3G or WiFi to your Kindle within minutes.
I’ve been asked several times recently to recommend training resources for VMware, so I thought I might write my responses up in a blog post to help out folks in the community who are looking for the best resources to gain VMware knowledge, prepare for their VCP and other certifications, and continue on their journey to becoming a virtualization rockstar.
I’ve picked up a bunch of certifications over the past 10 years. For me, certification is not the means to an end, but the end of some long, intensive studying and lab work, then doing some deep dive studying and doing. By the time I get to the test, passing should be a forgone conclusion. I’ll save details of my lab for a future post and focus on the books and other learning resources that I use. When getting into a new or updated technology, I start out my studying with a good overall survey of the technology I want to learn. I like a good book that hits all of the major components, provides background information to help explain why the technology, component, or module really matters and how it fits into the big picture. Then I get into technology specific books – deep dives, command line references, and architecture books.
My go-to book for VMware vSphere has been Scott Lowe’sMastering VMware vSphere 4 . Scott’s updated book, Mastering VMware vSphere 5 started shipping yesterday. Scott covers everything from the basics of what a hypervisor is to VMware vSphere best practices. This is a great book to accompany lab work as it includes licensing, planning and installation, setting up virtual networking, storage basics, security, resource allocation, HA, DRS, and even some automation with the CLI and PowerCLI (PowerShell). The book is well written, taking you methodically through vSphere, while providing plenty of helpful hints along the way. Do yourself a favor and click the picture to the left to order it from Amazon now (paperback or Kindle format). This book is a great way to get started with studying for your VCP certification.
Once I have the basics down, I get into the deep dive work. The first deep-dive book for VMware vSphere 5 is VMware vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive, by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman. This is Duncan and Frank’s second book that focuses on the clustering and high availability technologies available in VMware vSphere. Readers of Duncan and Frank’s first book, VMware vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS Technical deepdive (Volume 1), got an incredibly deep look at how to configure VMware HA and DRS. The new vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive includes Storage DRS as well. I’ve talked to several readers of both these books and Duncan and Frank’s blogs who have remarked that 1.) I’ve been doing it wrong all along, 2.) I totally understand how HA and DRS work after reading this, and 3.) My environment really is resilient and reliable thanks to this book.
Pearson and VMware teamed up earlier this year to create VMware Press. There are several books coming from VMware Press, as well as other authors/publishers that are now available for pre-order from Amazon.com. These include:
There are not many vSphere 5 specific books out yet, but many of the vSphere 4 resources are still very useful. My library includes these:
If you are not a big reader or you are looking for additional topics, check out TrainSignal’s VMware Training Videos. TrainSignal offers a whole slew of courses (many taught by VMware vExperts), including:
vSphere 5 Training
VMware View Administration Training
vSphere Performance Monitoring
vSphere Security Design
I have a couple of TrainSignal DVD’s and found them to be good quality with deep technical content.
Finally, once you are all read up, head to a VMware Education instructor led class. You need to take a VMware Authorized Training course to qualify to sit for the VMware Certified Professional (VCP) certification exam. VMware also offers a nice catalog of eLearning courses. If you want to get a discount on eLearning, Instructor-Led training, and certification exams from VMware, check out the VMUG Advantage program.