Designing VMware Infrastructure by @scott_lowe and @trainsignal

Are you ready?  Let’s go!  That seemed to be the catch phrase that presenter Scott Lowe (blog/twitter) rhymed off before starting off the awesomesauce that is each lesson of Trainsignal’s Designing VMware Infrastructure video training.  Now I know the word awesomesauce is overused, I’ve even used it multiple times but in this case there is just no other way to describe the content and how Scott delivers this content throughout this course.  And speaking of content there is a lot of it, over 6 hours of training at your fingertips and in true TrainSignal fashion available in multiple formats (DVD, iPOD/iPAD, Online).  Don’t trust my word that Scott’s presentation and knowledge is awesomesauce?  Check out a little (1 hour) teaser called VMware vSphere Design 101 over on TrainSignals site.  Its a great example (minus the audio) of how well of a speaker and how knowledgeable Scott is in the realm of design.   Below you can see how the course is laid out in the form of lesson content and as you can see it covers a wide variety of details.

Lesson 1 

Getting Started with Designing VMware Infrastructure

Lesson 2 

Designing vSphere Environments in the Real World

Lesson 3 

Understanding vSphere Design Terminology

Lesson 4 

Determining vSphere Design Factors

Lesson 5 

Defining a Logical Design

Lesson 6 

Defining a Logical Compute Design

Lesson 7 

Creating a Logical Network Design

Lesson 8 

Creating a Logical Storage Design

Lesson 9 

Building Security Into the Logical Design

Lesson 10 

Specifying Backup and Availability in the Logical Design

Lesson 11 

Designing the Management Layer

Lesson 12 

Mapping the Logical Design to Actual Solutions

Lesson 13 

Creating a Physical Storage Design

Lesson 14 

Creating a Physical Network Design

Lesson 15 

Sizing Hosts, Clusters, and Resource Pools

Lesson 16 

Defining VM Attributes

Lesson 17 

Incorporating Implementation and Test Plans

Lesson 18 

Bringing It All Together

Lesson 19 

Preparing for Your VCAP-DCD Certification Exam

Lesson 20 

Next Steps

So on to the meat and potatoes.  This course covers everything you need to know about vSphere Design.  Scott described vSphere design as a holistic design, meaning everything is connected and interlinked.  Even the way he delivered the course was holistic, meaning in almost every lesson Scott went back and stressed the importance of how the four main design factors (Requirements, Assumptions, Risks, and Constraints) affect the area being discussed and how they are interlinked to every step of the design process.  Now I can’t go through every single lesson, I’ll let you do that, the outline is listed above but what I can do is highlight some of my favorite items…

  • Throughout the course Scott frequently accesses and references a couple real design documents.  One being the VMware Cloud Infrastructure Case Study (available online), but here’s the exciting part, the other being Scott’s actual design he used during his VCDX defense.  Very cool to have that high level of an example embedded into the course
  • Secondly I love the flow of this course – meaning in a large number of lessons Scott will often reflect on some learning from another lesson and show you how everything is related and how any decisions made in one part of the design phase can most likely affect decisions made in another and inevitably affect your overall design.
  • Scott does an awesome job at explaining the four key factors in vSphere design and repeatedly refers to them and shows how four simple terms basically define your complete design.

In my current role I’m more adapted to a sysadmin, you know, the guy that’s primarily responsible for maintaining and implementing everything…not the architect, not the designer – but – after watching this course I’ve gotten excited about design and excited about architecting solutions.  Heck, I’m now thinking about maybe tackling the VCAP-DCD.  So I’m not going to say that this course is only for the designers and architects because it’s not.  This is a great course for anyone working within a vSphere environment, anyone with passion for VMware’s technology, or how would TrainSignal put it..any vNerd!  As with all of TrainSignal’s VMware Training I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would most certainly recommend this to anyone!

And guess what?!?!  It’s that special time of year again to say Happy New Sphere to everyone and maybe get yourself a copy of this training for yourself complements of Trainsignal!  Watch this space closely for details as mwpreston.net along with Trainsignal will be giving away a copy of this along with a few other prizes (hopefully).  Are you ready, Let’s go!