Tag Archives: Training

5 Reasons you need to attend VeeamON

If you haven’t heard already Veeam is setting the stage for a backup extravaganza in sin city on October 6th through the 8th.  That’s right!  The long time leader in modern data center availability have locked down the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas to host their (and the worlds) first data center availability event – VeeamON!  Personally, a Veeam conference is something that really excites me.  Being a long time Veeam customer I’ve seen them grow from a quite a small company into the powerhouse they are now, and release after release, they have been consistent in delving groundbreaking features into their products that never fail to surprise me!  I mean, who ever though I would be using my backup software to run intrusion tests on applications?

Veeam On

So what’s the deal with VeeamON and why should you go?  Well, hopefully my handful of reasons is compelling enough to convince you to attend!

Reason 1 – Content is King

Honestly you shouldn’t need to read the remaining 4 reasons after reviewing the content line-up that Veeam has in store for us.  With over 50 breakout sessions, broken down into two three main tracks (Technical, Business, Partner) there will most definitely be enough Veeam goodness to fill anybodies schedule.  Whether you are a customer just starting out or a long time Veeam user looking to dive deeper into the technology, a partner looking to better understand the Veeam solution in order to help with customer needs or a value add re-seller needing a little sales guidance I’m sure you will be able to find value in the session catalog.

veeamtracks

I think we can sum up the VeeamON conference content with one word – Technical!  Looking at the sessions that are available I can honestly say I’m interested in attending almost every single one.  Most breakouts tend to lean more towards the IT professional like myself, someone who wants to skip all of the FUD and dive deep into the technology and learn how it works, how I can better my environment, and common mistakes that are made.  Want an example?  Here are some of sessions that really caught my attention.

Backup Bottleneck Technical Deep Dive

This session is a guide to detect and fix performance issues in your backup infrastructure. This session will focus on a prepared lab and real cases with common bottlenecks and recommendations on how to fix them. Built-in tools from Veeam® Backup & Replication™, Hyper-V and vSphere are used to analyze performance bottlenecks. This session is based on many aspects of real-world examples and deep analysis. Specific topics include:

  • The data flow process
  • Considerations for CPU, I/O and network usage during jobs
  • Considerations on WAN cache and IOPs
  • Performance log deep dive
PowerShell and RestFUL API: Ten Things That You Cannot Do with the GUI

Have you ever faced an issue that you were not able to solve using the Graphical User Interface (GUI)? Your vCenter has a new IP address or DNS name, and jobs started failing immediately? You introduced a new vCenter to your environment, registered hosts and VMs under it, and backup jobs started creating new full backups, instead of incrementals―the situation you would like to avoid? This session will discuss some problems the GUI cannot address and will provide real-life examples of how you can automatically bypass these limitations. This breakout session will feature:

  • Problems that can’t be addressed with the GUI
  • Scripting examples
  • Tips for service providers
  • Customer-submitted scripts
Top 10 Most Common Misconfigurations in Veeam Backup & Replication

Why make a mistake that someone else already made? Attend this breakout session from Veeam® Tech Support to hear the top 10 misconfigurations with Veeam Backup & Replication™. While you may not have these configuration issues, everyone can benefit from how support has corrected the most common mistakes. Attend this breakout session to learn about:

  • Top architecture mistakes and resolution paths
  • Top proxy and repository configuration mistakes and how to fix them
  • Resources for ongoing optimization as environments grow
  • Tips for installing new versions of Veeam software
Top 10 Reports for your Veeam Backup and Virtual Infrastructures

All virtual and backup infrastructures have common configuration flaws. This session will show how you can address these flaws easily with Veeam® Backup Management Suite™. Have you ever wondered which virtual machines (VMs) are (and are not) backed up? Can you ensure all of your critical VMs have the requisite number of restore points? What about the underlying virtualization infrastructure storage? Is it healthy and performing to expected levels? This session will cover the most critical reports for your backup and virtual infrastructures, including:

  • Identifying VMs with potential configuration issues that can prevent you from backing them up
  • How to manage storage the right way, identify wasted space and plan future usage growth
  • Identify protected and unprotected VMs
VMware Backup Best Practices for 2014 using Veeam

Are you looking for the best way to back up your vSphere environment? Attend this session for the latest strategy for VMware backup best practices using VMware vStorage API-based backup solutions. Attend this session to see how the vStorage API has changes over the years. This includes any gotchas and new technologies like VMware Virtual SAN. There are a lot of details around sizing vCPU and storage hardware that can improve your backup strategy. Also you’ll get an exclusive tool that you can use to simulate repeatable workloads. Additional areas covered in this breakout session include how to:

  • Identify the popular processing modes and best practices (Hot Add, NBD, SAN)
  • Identify the most neglected VMware backup steps that cause the most problems during disaster recovery
  • Perform periodic health checks of your backup infrastructure

Aside from the technical sessions expect to hear some keynotes and general sessions as well.   The speakers as it stands today are listed here.  You know, small time guys like Doug Hazelman, Dave Russell, Jason Buffington, Ratmir Timashev, and Anton Gostev.  I’ve seen most of these people speak at previous conferences and I can tell you that we are all in for a treat when they take the stage.

Reason 2 – Get Certified

certified Content not enough to get you there?  How about hefty discount on the newly minted Veeam VMCE training and certification.  Throughout the week the required training course for the VMCE certification will also be taking place, allowing you not only gain the skills and knowledge required to design, architect, configure, install and deploy Veeam, but to tick that box saying the required training has been completed.  Normally this training runs upwards of $3000, but at VeeamON, how’s $650 sound? Not too shabby of a discount for VeeamON attendees!  Oh, and to top that off let’s throw in a voucher for the actual certification itself!  They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas but in this case, the VMCE certification knowledge and voucher can follow you home.

Reason 3 – Lab Warz

Still not convinced?  Well, how’s $10,000 sound?  That caught your attention didn’t it?!?  You can have the chance to win $10,000 by participating in Lab Warz!  Onsite at the conference you will find 48 different scenario based hands on labs available to take.  Each lab is 15 minutes and as you can see below, progress through levels starting at beginner through all the way through to architecture.

labwarz

Scenarios such as troubleshooting, designing, configuration and installation will all be covered.  Go ahead and register now, compete against your peers and prove your skills for the chance to take home $10,000 – That’s a lot of zeros!!!!

Reason 4 – Networking

veeamusergroupAnyone who has been to a conference knows that the “hallway” track is one of the most beneficial session you can attend – and the way Veeam has supported the community over the years you can bet that there will be plenty of places and chances for you to network with your peers!  One official event being the Veeam User Groups.  User group meetings will take place on the Monday of the conference and no doubt they will be hugely beneficial to anyone running Veeam products.  You can expect to see technical experts walk you through items such as setting up your environment, upgrading to the latest and greatest Veeam Backup and Replication v8 as well as technical enablement in many different areas.  Discuss all of this with Veeam experts and other end-users.  There’s nothing better than hearing it from your peers and other users that are “in the trenches” with the software.  Aside from the official user group meetings you can expect to see a lot of industry experts on the floor at VeeamON.  Rockstars like Rick Vanover, Anton Gostev, and Doug Hazelman are just a few that I know for sure will be attending, but you can bet that there will be many many more.

Reason 5 – Party!

veeampartyIf money, content, certification, and networking has not been enough to get you to book that flight to Vegas I’ll leave you with two words – Free Beer!  Those that have been lucky enough to attend one of the infamous Veeam parties at VMworld know that they are EPIC!  Well, take that party and multiply it by a thousand since this is Veeam’s event we can be sure the party will be done the “Veeam way”.  Take a moment to put the hustle and bustle of the conference behind you and relax with your peers, industry experts, and Veeam rockstars in a more laid back fashion over a beverage or two!  Also, what better place to have a glowing green party other than fabulous Las Vegas!

So hopefully I’ve given you enough information to convince you to get registered for VeeamON.  Hey, even if you need a little help convincing your boss Veeam has you covered here with this letter template that you can modify to your hearts delight.  Don’t forget to mention the jam packed agenda shown below as well!

veeamonagenda

But wait if that’s not enough how’s a discount sound?  Use the promo code VEEAMONSN14 when registering and you can get yourself a cool 100 dollars off the registration fee!  Here’s hoping I’m lucky enough to to get there myself so we can all get our VeeamON!

@Pluralsight Introduction to OpenStack by @discoposse

openstack-logo512There are definitely many perks that come with being designated a vExpert but one of the most beneficial in my mind is the complete access to the Trainsignal, now Pluralsight library.  Pluralsight has an extensive library of online self-paced training videos – and I mean extensive…I stopped counting at roughly 600!!!  The library consists of everything and anything tech based; whether you are looking brush up on your vSphere networking skills, start podcasting, or learn Ruby Pluralsight has a course for that!   It’s awesome and I definitely would recommend to anyone to check it out!

But on to the real reason this post exists.  When I heard that Eric Wright aka DiscoPosse (blog/twitter) had authored a Pluralsight course titled “Introduction to OpenStack” I was very excited.  One, Eric is a great friend, fellow Toronto VMUG Leader and all around great guy and I was excited for him.  Two, one of my goals this year was to dip my toes into the OpenStack waters to see what all the fuss was about – and an introduction course was a great way for me to start!

So whats it all aboot eh!

To start things off Eric briefly describes some of the concepts evolving around clouds, as well as the as a service mentality that IT is shifting towards.  From there, Eric introduces us to OpenStack; where it came from, how its released, how its deployed and what is exactly required to run OpenStack.

Eric then gives us a great explanation of OpenStacks core services; Keystone, Glance, Nova, Nova Networking and Neutron – with each service residing on its’ own section of the course.  This was key to my understanding of OpenStack as I’ve never really read up on these crazy words I’ve been hearing in the community.  Eric does a great job at explaining what they are, what they do, and how they are implemented.

From here we get a great demo of the many different types of access that are provided through the Horizon dashboard and move straight into storage.  Eric describes OpenStack’s Swift and Cinder in an easy to understand way, which allows us to really distinguish what makes them different and why we might chose one of the other.  In my opinion, this storage module is the best part of this course.

To cap everything off Eric gives us a brief overview of some of the new functionality that was introduced in Havana, and then speaks to the many different types of OpenStack distributions that exist out there today.

Honestly this course was awesome!!!  Not knowing much about OpenStack going in, I feel like I have a great general understanding of it now.  Again, this is an introduction course, and it suited me perfect!  Throughout the course Eric mentions that many of the concepts and functions he was speaking of will be covered in greater details in future courses – I can only hope this is true!  If you haven’t heard Eric, he’s got a great radio voice and kept me interested throughout the entire course!

So, if you are in the same boat as I, and are looking to begin exploring OpenStack I would definitely recommend that you go and check out Introduction to OpenStack by @DiscoPosse over on Pluralsight.com

Thanks Eric for the great course and Thank You Pluralsight for the access!!!

Friday Shorts – Log Insight, @vNoob’s tail, ViPR, Best Practices

Tigers love pepper.  They hate cinnamon.  – Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) from The Hangover

It's been a while since the last Friday Shorts – no excuses – I've been slacking 🙂  Whatever – here it is!

Log Insight jumps on the free fundamentals training bandwagon

VMW-BXSHT-vCNTR-LOG-INSIGHT_eStoreI'm certainly a huge fan of the 'fundamental' self-paced training that VMware has been offering for free.  In fact, if you go and have a look at the Top Free Courses on mylearn you will see that the fundamental series occupies the complete top 10.  Well, another on you can now add to that list is VMware Log Insight Fundamentals.  This course will give you a great introduction and overview as to what VMware Log Insight is as well as go through some installation, configuration and analysis.  Certainly a great way to get introduced to the product – oh, and for free!

vNoob Guide to Getting Tail

tailI tried to think of a catchy title here but I couldn't think of anything Conrad hasn't already said in his latest post vNoob Guide to Getting Tail.  Now I have no idea how well Conrad does with the ladies, but he certainly gives a great overview on how to use the 'tail' command, not only in Linux but in Powershell as well!!   This is most certainly not your average man page so get ready to be amused by some of Conrad's wittiness!!!  Good job!

Best Practices are only best practices until they are not!

reevaluateHere's a great example on the vSphere Blog on why you always need to re-evaluate any settings or best practices you have implemented in the past.  The fact of the matter is, with every new release comes new best practices – and things that you think you might not need to revisit you do!  Things like your power savings settings in the BIOS no longer calling for High Performance but now being recommended to be set at 'OS Controlled'.

Feel like testing out EMC's ViPR in your lab?  Go ahead!

EMC-LogoEMC has opened the flood gates for anyone to go and grab ViPR for use in a non-production environment.  That's right, if you feel like testing out EMC's take on software defined storage just head on over here, grab a copy and take it for a test drive.  I've often blogged about other companies dishing out NFR licenses for their products and how I think it is a great idea – it gives people the chance to get these bits into their labs and test them out without all of the salesy webinars, conference calls, and pestering emails :).   No matter what the play of EMC is here, I intend to get my hands on this so stay tuned!

Happy New Sphere is back!!! Win a copy of Designing VMware Infrastructure by @TrainSignal and @Scott_lowe

It’s that special time a year again, a time for family, friends, laughter, food, fixing your sister-in-laws friends computer, oh, and giving!  And that’s just what I want to do…GIVE!  Back for a second year (that’s right, I have done something twice on this blog now) is my Happy New Sphere Giveaway!  Last year we handed out a copy of Trainsignals VCP 5 Training and this year we have a copy of TrainSignals Designing VMware Infrastructure to place in somebody’s hands.  If you haven’t already you can check out a previous review of this course that I’ve done.  It’s full of great information that any VMware designer, architect, or even administrator should know.  I thought this course was awesome!   Also, to one lucky runner up we have a copy of “Administering VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0” by Mike Laverick (blog/twitter)  Because what’s a great design with a continuity/disaster recovery plan right?  Actually, it’s because I have one sitting around here from the Toronto VMUG to give away!!!!!!

So, here’s the answer to the question everyone has been asking!  How do I win?  What does it take?  Well, simply leave a comment on this post…Not really concerned about what is in it…leave your best design tip, what type of content you’d like to see on this blog in the coming year, your best #scottlowefact, a comment about either of the sponsors (Trainsignal or VMUG)…whatever you wish…

And wait, OMG a second entry!!!  Yes, just help me spread the word about the contest by sending out the following tweet.  That’s kind of a double edge sword as it actually decreases your chances of winning by the more people that sign up 🙂  Oh well, the price you pay for that precious second ballot!  Honestly, don’t be too concerned, there was only like 60 entries last year…The tweet and hash tag is below!

 

 

I’ll leave the contest open for new entries up to January 4th.  I’ll try to draw a winner sometime around then as well….don’t hold me to it though… 🙂  Either way, good luck and a big huge thanks goes out to Trainsignal and Angelo Luciani of the Toronto VMUG for graciously providing the prizes.  Oh, and Happy New Sphere!!!!!

Free VMware vSphere 5.1 What’s New Training – Yup! Free!

Once again VMware has released another self paced online piece of training for the low low cost of absolutely nothing.  Hey, if it’s free why not give it a go right?  I’ve never been one to turn down free training of any kind so I’ve started to go through the course myself…

Certainly the free courses that they release do not cover near as much or go as a deep technically as any of their official paid courses but they are a great way to learn the basic functionality and get a great overview of the products they cover. The What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 course gives you a great overview of most of the new features that were jam packed into this new release and will for sure help in your day to day administering of your environment.

The course objectives straight from mylearn are below…or the official course details are here.

•  Compute and Storage
o  Support for hardware version 9, the latest CPU performance counters and virtual shared graphics acceleration designed for enhanced performance.
o  For better space efficiency vSphere supports storage space reclamation for VDI.
•  Network
o  Support for VXLAN
o  Enhanced vSphere Distributed Switch™ that supports:
  Network health check
  Backup and restore
  Rollback and recovery
  Link Aggregation Control Protocol support
  Single-root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV)
•  Availability
o  VMware vSphere vMotion® without the need for shared storage configurations.
o  VMware vSphere Data Protection for simple and cost effective backup and recovery,
o  vSphere Replication enables efficient array-agnostic replication of virtual machine data over the LAN or WAN.
•  Security: Inclusion VMware vShield Endpoint™ to eliminate the agent footprint from the virtual machines, offload intelligence to a security virtual appliance, and run scans with minimal impact.
•  Automation: Two new methods for deploying new vSphere hosts to an environment make the Auto Deploy™ process more highly available than ever before.
•  VMware vCenter Enhancements:
o  vSphere Web Client
o  vCenter Single Sign-On
o  VSA enhancements
o  Support for Additional Disk Drives
o  Increase Storage Capacity Online
o  vCenter running on the VSA Cluster

So, if this looks like something you might want to check out head on over to mylearn.vmware.com and sign up! Again, it’s free!!!

Free Course – VMware vCenter Operations Manager Fundamentals

For those that may be interested there is a new course on the mylearn portal called vCenter Operations Manager Fundamentals.  I went though this course over the last few weeks and it is pretty awesome…  It takes you through the installation and configuration of vCOps and explains the major/minor badges, describes how to use all the tabs effectively and also walks you though setting up Smart Alerts and reporting.

So, if you get some spare time go and check it out.  It's an eLearning course so you can come and go as you please picking up right where you left off, or simply skip to the areas that are of interest to you…  And, it's free, so why not?  Head on over the mylearn.vmware.com and login and get yourself enrolled…

Below is the course outline…

Course Description

This e-learning course covers how to install and configure vCenter Operations Manager as well as how to use its many robust features. The course consists of five modules:
  • Technical Overview of vCenter Operations Manager covers the vCenter Operations Manager 5.0 vApp architecture and resource requirements, the vCenter Operations Manager 5.0 vApp installation considerations, and introduces you to the major and minor badges.
  • Installing and Configuring vCenter Operations Manager discusses how to install and configure vCenter Operations Manager.
  • Using the Dashboards and Badges explains the main function of the major and minor badges, how to interpret the badge results, and how to configure thresholds and notifications.
  • Operations and Planning describes how to use the Operations tab and the Planning tab.
  • Working with Smart Alerts and Reports covers how to configure and use smart alerts, how heat maps are used, and how to work with reports.

VMware vSphere 5 Training by #TrainSignal – Random Thoughts…

Throughout my journey in achieving my VCP 5 there have been several resources which I have utilized and wrote about when compiling my OMG VCP 5 Study Guide.  I have been trying to include a review of them all and one that I have constantly mentioned has been TrainSignal's VMware vSphere 5 training and thought that it might be beneficial to my readers to let you know what I thought about it.

I've always been a fan of TrainSignal's training and have held their VMware vSphere Troubleshooting course in high regards in my review here.  Well, the VMware vSphere 5 training is no different.  This time David Davis (blog/twitter) teams up with Elias Khnaser (blog/twitter) to push out nearly 17 hours of all that is vSphere 5.  The course takes you through a whopping 36 lessons which cover everything that is listed on the VCP 510 Exam Blueprint…and more.  As you can see from the outline below you will be exposed to everything from the core installation of ESXi/vCenter, to management, configuration, administration and even things like how to understand licensing and how to make it all happen with an iPad.

VMware vSphere 5 Training – Course Outline

Lesson 1 – Getting Started with VMware vSphere 5 Training Course

Lesson 2 – Lab Setup

Lesson 3 – Course Scenario

Lesson 4 – Overview of VMware vSphere 5

Lesson 5 – Installing VMware ESXi 5

Lesson 6 – Installing vCenter 5

Lesson 7 – Installing vCenter 5 as a Linux Appliance (vCSA)

Lesson 8 – Using the vSphere 5 Web Client

Lesson 9 – What’s New in vSphere 5

Lesson 10 – Navigating vSphere Using the vSphere Client

Lesson 11 – vCenter 5 – Configuring Your New Virtual Infrastructure

Lesson 12 – Creating and Modifying Virtual Guest Machines

Lesson 13 – Installing and Configuring VMware Tools

Lesson 14 – Understanding and Using Tasks, Events, and Alarms

Lesson 15 – Virtual Storage 101 and Storage Terminology

Lesson 16 – vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)

Lesson 17 – Creating a Free iSCSI SAN with OpenFiler

Lesson 18 – Administering VMware ESXi Server Security

Lesson 19 – vSphere Virtual Networking

Lesson 20 – Using the vSphere Distributed Virtual Switch (dvswitch)

Lesson 21 – Moving Virtual Machines with vMotion

Lesson 22 – Moving Virtual Storage with svMotion

Lesson 23 – Performance Optimization with Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)

Lesson 24 – Implementing High Availability with VMware HA (VMHA)

Lesson 25 – Super High Availability with VMware Fault Tolerance (FT)

Lesson 26 – Upgrading from VMware vSphere 4 to vSphere 5

Lesson 27 – vSphere Command Line Interface (CLI) Options

Lesson 28 – vSphere Auto Deploy

Lesson 29 – Storage DRS

Lesson 30 – Policy-driven Storage

Lesson 31 – Understanding the New vSphere 5 vRAM Pooled Pricing

Lesson 32 – Network I/O Control (NIOC)

Lesson 33 – Storage I/O Control (SIOC)

Lesson 34 – ESXi Firewall

Lesson 35 – VMware Data Recovery (VDR) 2

Lesson 36 – Administering vSphere Using an iPad

I can't go through every lesson as this post would be a mile long, but I will highlight a few of my favorite subjects from the training.

Lesson 15 – Virtual Storage 101 – Honestly, anything and everything you need to know to get you started with storage and vSphere is in this lesson.  Elias takes you through VMFS, vmdk's and all there is to know about setting up and configuring iSCSI, NFS, and Fibre Channel within vSphere 5.  

Lesson 17 – Creating a free iSCSI SAN with Openfiler – In this lesson David takes you through everything you need to know to download, install, and configure OpenFiler on a VM to get yourself an iSCSI SAN.  This is invaluable to those with limited budget for home labs.

All of the lessons dealing with new vSphere 5 features – There are a number of lessons focused around using some of the new features and enhancements in vSphere 5 such as the Web Client, vCenter Server Appliance, Storage DRS, vDR 2.0, AutoDeploy, etc…  These are all invaluable for VCP studying as you may not have the resources to put them within your lab and are all included on the VCP 510 blueprint.

As with all TrainSignal courses you get the DVD's which contain all the videos in formats to watch on your PC or iPad and additionally you get online access to the course through their website, printable pdfs of the notes/outlines/slides.  As many before me have stressed, the key to passing the VCP 5 is to practice and practice and lab and lab  If any training at all can get close to the benefits of having a home lab this is it.  You can watch tasks be performed right before your eyes.  I'd certainly recommend this course to everyone, even if you aren't pursuing the VCP 5 or already have it, these videos can be beneficial to you as an administrator.  And don't stop with just vSphere 5.  There are a slew of new courses from Trainsignal such as vSphere Advanced Networking and VMware vCloud Director Essentials. Go ahead and check out all the VMware training that TrainSignal has available.  You won't regret it 🙂

The Happy New Sphere Trainsignal Giveaway Winner!

First off I want to say sorry!  I'm pretty late on this one.  I've been very busy with my VCP notes and whatnot lately so haven't had the time to even write up this post, as small as it's going to be!  Secondly I wanted to say that a winner has been chosen at random.  I basically took every ones comments and tweets, dumped them into an excel spreadsheet, assigned a random number to a column, then sorted from smallest to largest, picked a random number from random.org and selected that row number in the spreadsheet.  So, without further ado congrats to Matthew Brender!  He has won the copy of Trainsignals VMware vSphere 5 Training.

 

 

And of course a big thank you to the sponsor Trainsignal.  I have been through several of their training DVDs and without a doubt it is some of the best video training I've seen.  So if you get a chance head on over to the VMware section of their website and see what they have to offer!  Happy New Sphere!

Scott Lowe’s Mastering VMware vSphere 5 – A Review

Throughout the holidays I had a little downtime and what better way to fill it but with some new learning.  I've had a copy of Scott Lowe's Mastering VMware vSphere 5 laying around for a few weeks and with my intents to start ramping up my VCP 5 studies I thought I would would dive right into it.

Now, I've never had the opportunity to read Scotts precursor 'Mastering VMware vSphere 4' bur from the reviews that I have read it was a smashing success.  I can honestly say that Mastering VMware vSphere 5 is the same.  A whopping 768 pages covers everything vSphere 5 has to offer and is laid out in such a fashion that it is understandable to the newbie to virtualization, yet still dives technically into subjects to provide that level of interest to an expert.  By that I mean Scott not only covers off the basics of virtualization, the basics of vSphere technology and the initial setup of common components, but he takes you deeper into the products by explaining many advanced features and how to configure them (using not only the vSphere Client but the vMA command line as well).  To top it off he does this in a fashion that is understandable and applicable to me as a vSphere Admin (If you have ever seen any of Scotts' presentations you will know what I mean).

Mastering VMware vSphere 5 covers everything you need to know to install, configure and manage a solid vSphere 5 environment covering off every aspect of the journey.  The chapter layout says it all…

  • Introducing VMware vSphere 5
  • Securing VMware vSphere
  • Planning and Installing VMware ESXi
  • Creating and Managing Virtual Machines
  • Installing and Configuring vCenter Server
  • Using Templates and vApps
  • Installing and Configuring vSphere Update Manager
  • Managing Resource Allocation
  • Creating and Configuring Virtual Networks
  • Balancing Resource Utilization
  • Creating and Configuring Storage Devices
  • Monitoring VMware vSphere Performance
  • Ensuring High Availability and Business Continuity
  • Automating VMware vSphere

For anyone looking to achieve VCP 5 status (like myself), each and every chapter contains a section at the end titled 'The Bottom Line'.  The Bottom Line contains key takeaways from the chapter and then asks you questions under a Master It heading.  To me this is a huge selling point of this book as it triggers you to think back on what you have just read, answer questions, and apply it to certain scenarios that you are presented with.  A great way to help you retain and apply knowledge!

Honestly I sat and read this book from cover to cover which I rarely do with technical books.  But that's not to say that it isn't referencable in any way.  In the few short days I've had it on my desk at work it is already peppered with post-it notes, bookmarks, and torn pieces of paper with chicken scratch and design ideas scribbled all over. This book provided me with a great resource to help with the install/upgrade and management of my vSphere environment and an excellent piece of study material to help complement all of the documentation on the VCP 5 exam blueprint, and a great technical overview of some of the functions of vSphere that I haven't had the chance to explore myself.  So, if you are looking for any or all of those things I would most certainly recommend picking up a copy of Scott Lowe's Mastering VMware vSphere 5.  The book is available directly from the publisher both in e-pub format as well as paperback.  You can also find it on iTunes, Barne's and Noble, and Amazon.  Also Scott has a fantastic blog where you can read more of his words, and don't forget to follow him on Twitter.

VMware vSphere Troubleshooting and VMware vSphere Performance Monitoring Training by TrainSignal

AND LESS WE FORGET A NICE LITTLE GIVE-AWAY AT THE BOTTOM….

Being an active member of the virtualization community I have been fortunate enough to have won a couple of Trainsignal VMware  training DVDs (Performance and Troubleshooting).  I thought I would do up this post in order to help people understand how these  dvd's have helped me, and maybe help people make a decision about picking up some TrainSignal training if they are on the fence. 

First off I want to mention the enthusiasm and energy from the presenter David Davis really makes these videos top notch.  I've  watched video training before that tends to put you to sleep and eventually results in you not even completing the courses, but the  excitement in David Davis' voice coupled with the technical quality of the content he covers really keeps you engaged in the  videos.  You can really tell that David is passionate about what he does and really takes pride in the quality of the end result.

As for the content, the Troubleshooting Training takes you through 30 lessons each broken up into a handful of subsections.  David  starts at how to setup your own lab and ends with a video outlining where to go to solve some of the most common situations  quickly.  The meat and bones of the course is in between these lessons.  David takes you through complete scenarios around  troubleshooting networking, storage (FC, NFS, and iSCSI), vCenter, ESX and ESXi, vMotion, SVMotion, DRS, HA, and VM Power On  Failures.

The Performance training is divided up into a whopping 40 lessons that again start with a lab setup and include everything and  anything you need to know about tuning and optimizing your vSphere environment to get the best possible performance out of it.  Again, every possible performance related subject is covered including Memory, CPU, Storage, and DRS.  You will not find a better performance monitoring resource out there anywhere.  This training not only touches on using VMware's monitoring products such as AppSpeed, vCenter Operations, Capacity IQ, esxtop, ESXPlot, and IO Blazer but it also covers a wide range of third party applications like Veeam Monitor, vKernel vOperations Suite, Xangati, and XtraVirt.

To be honest both of these training courses by TrainSignal are a must have for any VI Admin or anyone looking to obtain their VCAP certifications.  Both the troubleshooting and the performance monitoring along with the vSphere Security and vSphere PowerCli Training are combined in a VCAP package on TrainSignal.com.   They are jam packed full of quality content that can be viewed directly off the DVD's, on your IPAD, or even on TrainSignals Training Portal online.  They are laid out in a way where you can either sit through them from start to finish, or skip directly to your desired location.  I would recommend these to anyone looking to expand their knowledge in regards to vSphere.

AND ON WITH THE GIVE-AWAY!! YOU COULD WIN A COPY OF TRAINSIGNAL'S VMWARE VSPHERE 5 TRAINING!!!

No Way!!!

Yes Way!  Get  your hands on a copy of TrainSignal's VMware vSphere 5 Training by David Davis and Elias Khnaser.  Nearly 17 hours of jam-packed vSphere 5 training on to 3 DVDs.  This is the perfect training for anyone looking to prepare for the VCP 5 certification or even if you are just looking to expand your knowlege around what's new with vSphere 5!

How do I get my hands on this?  

Hey that's the easy part!  Simply comment in the form below and let the world know what your favorite new feature of vSphere 5 is!  To be honest you could just comment on whatever you want but I was just trying to make it interesting…!  Be sure to put your twitter handle the comment somewhere if you want that extra entry!

What!?!?  Extra entries!! OMG!

Sure, why not.  Simply follow me on twitter and send out the tweet below and I'll throw an extra ballot in for you!  If you can't see the tweet box below it is because you are just on the main page, you might need to click directly into this article…or just tweet this.. I just entered the @mwpreston @trainsignal #happynewsphere contest via http://blog.mwpreston.net/

 

 

So how do I know if I won?

On January 16th or so I'll do some sort of random number generation compared to excel spreadsheet magic hat operation and pick a winner!  From there I'll get in touch with the winner whether it be through email, twitter, facebook, telephone, telegram, etc and let them know…after I have confirmation I'll post an update here!  If for some reason I don't hear back from the winner or they don't want the prize or whatever, I'll do it all again!

Good Luck!!!