Wednesday, June 27, 2012

VMworld Session rejected, now What?

Few days back I saw my Twitter feed full of VMworld Session submissions and requesting to vote them to get accepted.

AFAIK its a 5 day event in US and 3 day event in Europe.

Each presenter will get about 20-45 minutes for their presentation and I could be wrong for this duration.

Within 5 days may be 200 or so people will be invited whose presentations got accepted and those are the lucky ones whose trip will be worth to SF. And last I heard about the submissions for this year were around 1600.

So definitely if we say 200 people should be invited then 1400 should be rejected as well. So there should not be any hate or sorrow for being rejected as any one who is going to present has other 1599 presentations to defeat (in a sense of quality and content of the presentation). Now this is not a cup of tea for everyone. I am aware about the nature of presentations got accepted at VMworld and by whom. They are top notch professionals with lots of experience with VMware and associated partners products which goes together. If you have focused only one area in your presentation then it will definitely competing with one which has more than one are covered. Very simple mechanism but very hard to incorporate.

One day I thought about how to use this uncovered knowledge within the community for a better cause to spread it out further. Means giving a second chance to a person to share his knowledge and experience through his/her presentation which could not make it to VMworld approval. And I Tweeted about it too with a Dropbox folder link.

Now you will ask why you are not using Octopus, so my answer for now will be it still in BETA and getting qualified for every success it can achieve so to save the time I decided to go with Dropbox for now.

I did not attend a single VMworld till date (its a surprise but a Fact) and while seeing blogs and Tweets about the experience of the person who is attending, giving me a feeling that one day I will attend it.

So my suggestion to those people is to get ready and pull your sleeves for VMworld 2013 from today itself.

But first share the knowledge you have which will be obsolete by 2013. Sharing is caring.

Thanks for the support as I have received few inquiries on the same subject on how to upload the presentation and I have contacted them offline too as there is no easy way I can share the folder where people can upload anything directly to a Dropbox folder.

So I need the email of the person only to which I can send this link and they can upload to it.

I will suggest to do two things with your presentation before you upload

1) Watermark it, if you want to do so as the person would know who is the contributor or you can leave the presentation without water marking

2) Do it in PPT or PDF so that the person can view it offline at any time by downloading it.

If you don't have an account with dropbox then use this link to create one.

Hope this will help you spread the knowledge within VMware Community.

Thanks again to make this happen and prove an example of being a part of community where knowledge does not stay within one location but travels faster across various regions


Friday, June 22, 2012

First Impression of VCP-IaaS (VCPVCD511)

I was one of the selected candidates who were invited for the upcoming VMware VCP-IaaS (VCP-Infrastrcture-as-a-Service) certification which is based on VMware vCloud Director 1.5 version.

Today was the last day for the BETA period for this Exam. I finished the exam with 2:00 minutes to spare.

I spent almost 2 hours everyday for last one week to prepare for this BETA Exam. As per the information I have received only 500 or so people (with VCP5 certification) were invited to appear for this BETA. I have tried to get some people on this BETA who were not invited initially but for some I succeed and for some I didn't. Well, I did whatever I can but its not in my control anyway.

First of all, as the time was so short after appearing for the VCAP5-DCA BETA, I find it difficult to shock the family within a week's time that I will be an invisible man again for few hours every day. With our new born, it is very hard to read till late night and then wake up in the middle of the night and go to work next day. But I have managed to spare some time each day by grace of my superiors at work and this is the privilege of working at such company like VMware. 
To start with the preparation I reviewed the blue print in detail. Made a word document outlining the main subjects and the areas to watch carefully which needs more attention. I find this easy to read this word document at the last moment on the day of the exam as a final review. I am putting one copy each on my Touchpad and Playbook too so that I can read it whenever I find spare time. 

For me, I never worked on vShield, vCloud Connector or Chargeback so those were my weak points. vCloud Director as a whole is a challenging area itself. With my networking background I felt it little relaxed while reading about the vShield Edge, vShield Manager, NAT, VPN etc. etc.

I focused mainly on these two areas and one of my colleague Jeremy Sage (@thesage11) has given me some idea about what to prepare and where to put more weight while preparing and it was bang on.

Even if this exam is the initial level of the certification hierarchy (VCP) I decided not to run out of time as one needs to finish 115 questions in 130 minutes or so. But due to the complexity of some questions, they lead me to read them again to determine the correct answer or flag them to review later. As this area was not discovered before by me I took that as a challenge and referred all the possible guides and other official documentations with some few online videos on the public training portal. These all came very handy  when you have to visualize the GUI of vCloud Director or vCenter Chargeback or vCloud Connector.

For the preparation I looked at and found one FREE self-paced course on vCloud Director 1.5 about which I Tweeted few days back and very critically recommended course Deploy and Manage the VMware vCloud {Ver 1.5}. Subsequently I found some vShield related FREE self-paced courses as well.  (@artur_ka has blogged about it here). One recommended course "VMware vCloud: Deploy and Manage [1.5]" is now available which will help preparing for this exam.

So far I found the exam following the blue print very closely as other exams such as VCAPs. If you have not worked on the vCloud Director or any other components which are integrated with it, then you may want to spend some more time playing around with it in real life or at least in your home lab. You will find the blogs on creating vCloud Lab at home using various methods so it won't be hard at all. To be frank, I have downloaded all the bits and thinking to develop one lab using Workstation at home but "Time" just beat me to it. Now before I decide about giving any other exam on the list (yeah yeah, this is never ending process) I have to finish building the home lab with vCloud and View environment sitting side by side with SRM (if I could) to see how the backup and restore works for the vCloud using SRM.

As I mentioned I had only 2 minutes to review all the flagged questions so you don't need to stress at all as by the time the Exam goes GA there may be a change in the number of questions or if there won't be any then you have enough time to prepare if you start reading/preparing on the subjects mentioned above.

Looking at this BETA, I can say that future certifications on vCloud will be unique for sure.

You can also find the similar exam experiences posted and blogged by Tomas Fojta(@fojta) here and by Tomi Hakala (@tphakala) here. @arjantim has listed all the necessary study guides for this certification.

You can also register for VCP-IaaS on

GA Blue print is available here. You can also try the mock exam for VCP5-IaaS

@jshiplett has blogged about the study guide objective here.

@lhjartarson has blogged about the study guide objective here.

@davidmdavis and @jakerobinson have created vCloud Director Essential Training on

Good Luck for VCPVCD511 to all who were waiting to appear for the GA release.

I have to dedicate this name VCP-IaaS to my dear friend @PunchingClouds very heavy heartedly and I know he will forgive everyone for that.  :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Remote Office Brance Office (ROBO) and Stretched Cluster Resources using vSphere/vCloud


Now a days people are very cautious about their RPO and RTO which directly deals with the BC/DR Strategy and with stretched cluster configurations they are bringing down both the metrics with achievable targets for number of 9s.

I have put here some links for those who wants to Design such environment for various VMware ESX/ESXi/VC versions with 3rd party clustered solutions e.g. VPLEX, Metro Cluster etc.

These links includes recent Remote offices and Branch Offices and also the Stretched Clustered Solutions offered by EMC, NetApp, HP and IBM using VMware vSphere as the foundation.

Hope you will pass these to others by doing a nice RT on Twitter. :-)

Share the knowledge !!

Monday, June 18, 2012

VMware vCloud Solutions Infographic

While attending the selfpaced training for vCloud Director 1.5 I found out this #Cool (Courtesy @esloof) Infographic about all the solutions provided by VMware for mainly all the vCloud components such as IaaS, Paas and SaaS.

As you can see by going from bottom to Top you will find the solution for each layer starting with
Foundation of Cloud Computing.

This image is part of this FREE online Self-Paced Course  "VMware vCloud Director Fundamentals [V1.5]" which is for 3.5 hours and which is completely worth attending.

I would suggest this course to all the people who are new to VMware vCloud and also to those who would like to take a challenge to Pass the VCPVCD511 (aka VCP-IaaS) certification when it becomes GA later this year as a first stepping stone for the Cloud Certification.

Good Luck and hope this helps.

vCOPS Analyze and Predict Course

Hi all,

VMware Education has released this new course called "VMware vCenter Operations Manager: Analyze and Predict [V5.0]".

You can register for the same by clicking the link below.

Here is the course outline for those who are interested in attending

1  Course Introduction
•  Introductions and course logistics
•  Course objectives
2  Introduction to VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite
•  Understand the role of operations management in the cloud era
•  Understand the vCenter Operations Management Suite and its packaging
3  Architecture and Concepts
•  Understand the data collection methodology of the vCenter Operations Manager architecture
•  Learn how vCenter Operations Manager collects data
•  Master the main components of the dashboard view
•  Navigate the objects tree and understand the badge pane
4  Working with Dashboards and Badges
•  Understand the functions of major and minor badges
•  Use the Health major badge
•  Use the Risk major badge
•  Use the Efficiency major badge
•  Use the Operations tab to navigate to details
5  Analyzing with Heat Maps
•  Work with predefined and custom heat maps through the Analysis tab
6  Working with Smart Alerts
•  Configure and use smart alerts
•  Set up email notifications
7  Working with Capacity Planning and Reports
•  Schedule, use, and export predefined capacity management reports
•  Perform what-if analyses
8  Installing and Configuring VMware vCenter Operations Manager
•  Understand and meet preinstallation requirements
•  Install vCenter Operations Manager
•  Configure vCenter Operations Manager to gather data from its environment

The class is available in two formats - In Class and Online.

Check the schedule near your location and register at your earliest so that you won't miss the chance to attend as one of the first ones who will get a chance to explore more about vCOPS and how to use the product more effectively.

Enjoy vCOPS!

Monday, June 11, 2012

VCDX Path - for both vSphere versions


I was thinking to do this while back but could not get time to do it but today I just put some raw information in a form of Flow chart for both VCDX versions based on vSphere 4 and vSphere 5

This will help people determining and planning for their defenses at either SF or Barcelona.

Please watch this space with updates shortly.

Thanks for your time.

Friday, June 8, 2012

VMware Visio Stencils for VCDX Design

Recently I was thinking to start drawing on the whiteboard for each design component in vSphere e.g. Virtual Machine Design, Cluster Design, Storage Design, Virtual Center Server etc. etc. but then I need few whiteboards as the design grows or a bigger Desk like @FrankDenneman

Thought about using the Bamboo Tablet also as inspired by @Scott_Lowe but that requires a bigger monitor to dedicate the space.

So looking at the cost involved I am staying with Visio and just split the designs in to various pages and can work across multiple monitors.

After doing some research found out that there are Visio Stencils available at various scattered places and one needs to visit various sites to see the content.

So for all the VCDX aspirants, I have gathered all the links from VMware community forums and also referred to the posts by some of our own community members such as @maishsk @rick_vmwaretips etc. etc.

There are two Zip files with which you can download them directly but you have to go to each link to download the files.

NSX Icons

Hope you find all these links useful while preparing your VCDX Design and Good Luck to you all who are going to defend at SF and Barcelona VMworld 2012.


@joshuatownsend has blogged about Visio stencils for vSphere and View Horizon which you find here.

Please share your designing skills which can help others to become a better presenter. :-)



Monday, June 4, 2012

VCDX 4 - One more chance at VMworlds


@markbrunstand has announced today that there will be two VCDX 4 defenses at each VMworld events. One in US - San Francisco (August) and then Europe - Barcelona (October).

So whoever is preparing or left the hope can now get your arms and ammunition ready as there will be two opportunities.

Details can be found here

You can register for both on mylearn using the links below.

August Defense at San Francisco

October Defense at Barcelona

Good Luck with your Defense as I will be targeting on Version 5 for now.