Tag Archives: Certification

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.


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.


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!


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!

VCP now coming with an expiry date

vcp-expiredJust as you check the expiry on a carton of milk, employers will now have to be keen on checking the expiry of the VMware Certified Profession (VCP) holders they are seeking to employ.  Effective March 10, VMware will begin expiring all of their current and any new VMware Certified Professionals, granting them a period of two years to re-certify in order to maintain their VCP status.

VCP recertification can be achieved in a few different ways; the first being simply take the newest VCP certification in your current track.  Alternatively by achieving VCP status in another solution track can also re-certify your current VCP.  Lastly, achieving the next level VCAP certification will in turn recertify your VCP status.  So, what does all this mean.  Let’s take a look an example of each recertification option

  1. A VCP4-DCV certification is set to expire in 2015.  By passing the requirements for the VCP5-DCV, the VCP-DCV status will be extended 2 years from the the completion date of the VCP5-DCV
  2. A VCP4-DCV certification is set to expire in 2015.  By passing the requirements for the VCP5-Cloud, both the VCP-DCV and the VCP-Cloud certification status will be extended 2 years from the completion date of the VCP5-Cloud.
  3. A VCP4-DCV certification is set to expire in 2014.  By completing the VCAP5-DCA, the VCP-DCV certification status will be extended 2 years from the completion of the VCAP5-DCA.

Hey, it's not as bad as I initially thought…

Honestly I feel that this is a good change from VMware’s part.  Past practice has shown that VMware will release a new version of their flagship hypervisor every year around VMworld.  Recertification allows the certification to maintain credibility, ensuring that any VCP holder is at least certified under one of the latest two releases.  In the past, VMware has given a grace period to VCP holders, allowing them a period of time where they can upgrade to the most current VCP status, without having to partake in any required training classes.  This grace period was most certainly not 2 years, so recertifying on new versions of the VCP, in my opinion, just got a bit easier.

Just don't forget to get new milk…

Failing to recertify within the two years however will essentially result in all access being stripped from the VCP portal, and the rights to market yourself as a VCP and usage the VCP logos will be be revoked.  At this point, anyone looking to recertify will need to start from square one.  Meaning you will not only need to pass the most current exam again, but you will have to obtain a credit in one of the mandatory classes as well – not a very cost effective solution.

Any change to certifications is always a touchy subject through tech communities so it will be entertaining none the less to see how this one plays out.  That said, by setting a two year/no training grace period, it appears as if VMware has just made it easier for those VCP’s who wish to recertify on a more current version to do so.  Also, the change will help to ensure that those that are VCP’s, are at the very least certified within the last two years adding credibility and proficiency to anyone who calls them self a VCP.  This, along with the recent addition of the VCA certification, seems like another response to the community uproar over the mandatory training requirements inside of the VCP certification.

VCP expiry dates are now live within the mylearn portal.  Just note that the dates displayed do not reflect those that have essentially already met the recertification requirements by complaining a VCAP level exam.  This functionality is expected to roll into the portal in the near future.

8 weeks of #VCAP – Random Storage Scenarios (Section 1 – Part 1)

So my 8 weeks of #VCAP is quickly turning into just under 4 weeks of #VCAP so as I attempt to learn and practice everything on the blueprint you might find that I'm jumping around quite a bit.  Also, I thought I would try presenting myself with a scenario with this post.  Now all of the prep for the scenario is made by myself, therefore it's a pretty simple thing for me to solve, but none the less it will help get me into the act of reading a scenario and performing the tasks that are on it.  So, this post will cover a bunch of random storage skills listed in Objective 1 of the blueprint – without ado, the scenario

Scenario 1

Let's say we've been tasked with the following.  We have an iSCSI datastore (iSCSI2) which utlizes iSCSI port bonding to provide multiple paths to our array.  We want to change the default PSP for iSCSI2 from mru to fixed, and set the preferred path to travel down CO:T1:L0 – only one problem, C0:T1:L0 doesn't seem to be available at the moment.  Fix the issues with C0:T1:L0 and change the PSP on iSCSI2 and set the preferred path.

​Alright, so to start this one off let's have a look first why we can't see that second path to our datastore.  If browsing through the GUI you aren't even seeing the path at all, the first place I would look at is claimrules (now how did I know that 🙂 ) and make sure that the path isn't masked away – remember the LUN Masking section.  So ssh on into your host and run the following command.

esxcli storage core claimrule list


As you can see from my output lun masking is most certainly the cause of why we can't see the path.  Rule 5001 loads the MASK_PATH plugin on the exact path that is in question.  So, do you remember from the LUN Masking post how we get rid of it?  If not, we are going to go ahead and do it here again.

First step, we need to remove that rule.  That's done using the following command.

esxcli storage core claimrule remove -r 5001

Now that its gone we can load that current list into runtime with the following command

esxcli storage core claimrule load

But we aren't done yet!  Instead of waiting for the next reclaim to happen or the next reboot, let's go ahead and unclaim that path from the MASK_PATH plugin.  Again, we use esxcli to do so

esxcli storage core claiming unclaim -t location -A vmhba33 -C 0 -T 1 -L 0

And rescan that hba in question – why not just do it via command line since we are already there…

esxcfg-rescan vmhba33

And voila – flip back into your Manage Paths section of iSCSI2 and you should see both paths are now available.  Now we can move on to the next task, which is switching the PSP on iSCSI2 from MRU to Fixed.  Now we will be doing this a bit later via the command line, and if you went into the GUI to check your path status, and since we are only doing it on one LUN we probably can get away with simply changing this via the vSphere Client.  Honestly, it's all about just selecting a dropdown at this point – see below.

managepathsI circled the 'Change' button on this screenshot because it's pretty easy to simply select from the drop down and go and hit close.  Nothing will happen until you actually press 'Change' so don't forget that.  Also, remember, PSP is done on a per-host basis.  So if you have more than one host and the VCAP didn't specify to do it on only one host, you will have to go and duplicate everything you did on the other host.  Oh, and setting the preferred path is as easy as right-clicking the desired path and marking it as preferred.  And, this scenario is completed!

​Scenario 2

The storage team thanks you very much for doing that but requirements have changed and they now wish for all of the iSCSI datastores, both current and any newly added datastores, to utilize the Round Robin PSP.  How real life is that, people changing their mind 🙂

No problem you might say!  We can simply change the PSP on each and every iSCSI datastore – not a big deal, there's only three of them.  Well, you could do this, but the question specifically mentions that we need to have the PSP set to Round Robin on all newly added iSCSI datastores as well, so there's a bit of command line work we have to do.  And, since we used the vSphere Client to set the PSP in the last scenario, we'll do it via command line in this one.

First up, let's switch over our existing iSCSI datastores (iSCSI1, iSCSI2, iSCSI3).  To do this we will need their identifier which we can get from the GUI, however since we are doing the work inside the CLI, why not utilize it to do the mappings.  To have a look at identifiers and their corresponding datastore names we can run the following

esxcfg-scsidevs -m

maptodatastoreAs you can see there are three datastores we will be targeting here.  The identifier that we need will be the first string field listed beginning with t10 and ending with :1 (although we don't need the :1).  Once you have the string identifier of the device we want to alter we can change its' PSP with the following command.

esxcli storage nmp device set -d t10.FreeBSD_iSCSI_Disk______000c299f1aec010_________________ -P VMW_PSP_RR

​So, just do this three times, once for each datastore.  Now, to handle any newly added datastores to defaulr to round robin we need to first figure out what SATP the iSCSI datastores are utilizing, then associate the VMW_PSP_RR PSP to it.  We can use the following command to see which SATP is associated with our devices.

esxcli storage nmp device list

defaultsatpAs you can see, our iSCSI datastores are being claimed by the VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA SATP.  So, our next step would be to associate the VMW_PSP_RR PSP with this SATP – I know, crazy acronyms!  To do that we can use the following command.

esxcli storage nmp satp set -s VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA -P VMW_PSP_RR

This command will ensure that any newly added iSCSI datastores claimed by the default AA SATP will get the round robin PSP.

At this point we are done this scenario but while I was doing this I realized there might be a quicker way to to change those PSP's on our existing LUNs.  If we set associate our SATP with our PSP first then we can simply utilized the following command on each of our datastores to force them to change their PSP back to default (which will be RR since we just changed it).

esxcli storage nmp device set -d t10.FreeBSD_iSCSI_Disk______000c299f1aec010_________________ -E

Of course we have to run this on each datastore as well – oh, and on every host 😉

Scenario 3

Big Joe, your coworker just finished reading a ton of vSphere related material because his poor little SQL server on his iSCSI datastore just isn't cutting it in terms of performance.  He read some best practices which stated that the max IOPs for the Round Robin policy should be changed to 1.  He requested that you do so for his datastore (iSCSI1).  The storage team has given you the go ahead but said not to touch any of the other datastores or your fired.

Nice, so there is really only one thing to do in this scenario – change our default max IOPs setting for the SCSI1 device.  So, first off, let's get our identifier for SCSI1

​esxcfg-scsidevs -m

Once we have our identifier we can take a look on the roundrobin settings for that device with the following command

esxcli storage nmp psp roundrobin deviceconfig get -d t10.FreeBSD_iSCSI_Disk______000c299f1aec000_________________

rr-getinfoAs we can see, the IOOperation Limit is 1000, meaning it will send 1000 IOPs down each path before switching to the next.  The storage team is pretty adamant we switch this to 1, so let's go ahead and do that with the following command.

esxcli storage nmp psp roundrobin deviceconfig set -d t10.FreeBSD_iSCSI_Disk______000c299f1aec000_________________ -t iops -I 1

Basically what we define with the above command is that we will change that 1000 to 1, and specify that the type of switching we will use is iops (-t).  This could also be set with a -t bytes and entering the number of bytes to send before switching.

So, that's basically it for this post!  Let me know if you like the scenario based posts over me just rambling on about how to do a certain task!  I've still got lots more to cover so I'd rather put it out there in a format that you all prefer!  Use the comments box below!  Good Luck!

8 weeks of #VCAP – Host Profiles

As I build up my knowledge for the VCAP5-DCA one item that I realize I have no clue about is AutoDeploy.  AutoDeploy basically has a couple of prerequisites; one being Image Builder, which we have already covered and the second is Host Profiles.  Auto Deploy uses Host Profiles in order to configure the host once it has loaded it's image.  Configuring things like datastores, networking, etc..

First, we need to create a Host Profile.  Browse to your Host Profiles view in vCenter and select the 'Create Profile' button. There are a couple of options for creating, you can either import one or create one from what will be called a reference host (A host that you have setup perfectly that you would like to duplicate).  In this example we will create a profile from an existing host.  The wizard is pretty simple, select a host and give your profile a name.

HP-1-createNow that the profile is created we can go and explore the settings inside it by selecting the profile and clicking 'Edit Profile' along the top bar.  Within the Edit Profile screen there is a ton of information and this where the blueprints skills mostly reference to.  One of the skills to to use Host Profiles to create sub profiles. As you can see there is already a number of sub-profiles in our main profile.  For instance, the NFS sub profiles are shown below; the three 'NFS Storage configuration' options are actually mount points to certain NFS datastores that will be deployed with the profile.  If we wanted to add another we could simply right-click on the NFS storage configuration folder and select 'Add Profile' and then fill in the required information for another NFS mount.

HP-1-createsubThe blueprint also mentions deploying vSphere Distributed Switches with host profiles.  This is something that I have never done so I will try and fumble through it here 🙂  There is a great whitepaper which outlines the process as well here.  First off, I've already done most the work as I had a vDS already setup on my reference host when I created the profile from it.  If you didn't, you would need to go back to that reference host, create the vDS, attach the host and the re-create your Host Profile from it.  From there it simply just looks as if you need to attach the profile to a host and provide some answeres around the networking and IP information, however, in the case of AutoDeploy we would probably want to use an answer file which we will discuss a bit later.

The blueprint also mentions storage configuration settings within Host Profiles as well so it's best to go over some of these.  Aside from the NFS scenarios I mentioned earlier you may want to have a look at some of the below sub profiles

Native Multipathing -> SATP default PSP configuration – this is used to define a default path selection policy for a given SATP.  A very real world scenario – you may want to set your EVA up to default to Round Robin, etc…

Pluggable Storage Architecture -> PSA Claimrule – Remember a week or so ago when we discussed creating claim rules for LUN Masking, well, these are in Host Profiles as well in the case you need to apply a claim rule to multiple hosts.

iSCSI Intiator Configuration – Software iSCSI Initiator –  explore around in here as this too is a real-world scenario.  You may want to prepopulate your discovery IP address, ensure the software initator is always vmhba##, CHAP settings, etc…

Attaching, checking for compliance and applying host profiles is pretty simple and can be done by right clicking a host and naviging through the Host Profile context menus.  You will see when you apply a profile the host needs to be in maintenance mode and a lot of the time you will be prompted for input in regards to passwords, IP addresses, etc…To get around having to enter this input that is unique to a host (and for use with AutoDeploy) we can generate answer files.

Answer files are managed through the Hosts and Clusters tab in the Host Profile settings in vCenter.  As you can see below I have a couple of hosts that have an answer file status of unknown – meaning it has no idea about the answer file.

HP-3-AFIn order to update these answer files it's as simple as right clicking on the host and selecting 'Update Answer File'.  From there you will be prompted to enter in all of the information that requires user input such as IP Addresses, etc…

That's really it for Host Profiles.  I don't expect the exam to quiz you on every possible sub process as there is a lot of them but the blueprint does specifically call out vSphere Distributed Switches and the storage configuration sections, so I would definitely have a poke around the lab in those two sections.  The security section may also be a good one to explore as I tend to use it the most when dealing with Host Profiles.

8 weeks of #VCAP – Private VLANS

While we are on the topic of vSphere Distributed Switches why not just cover Private VLANs.  Private VLANs is something I've never used in production, thus the reason I'm covering it in this series.  Honestly, this lazy Sunday night is the first time I've even touched them and they are very very easy to configure technically so long as you understand the concepts first.

What is a PVLAN?

A Private VLAN is essentially a VLAN within a VLAN!  Can somebody say inception!!  Basically they allow us to take one VLAN and split it into three different private VLANs each containing restrictions in regards to connectivity to each other.   As far as use cases, the most common I can see is in a DMZ type scenario where lots of restrictions and security is in place. The three types are promiscuous, community, and isolated and are explained below.

Promiscuous PVLAN.

A Promiscuous VLAN has the same VLAN ID as your main VLAN.  Meaning if you wanted to setup some Private VLANs on VLAN 200, the promiscuous vlan would have an ID of 200.  VMs attached to the promiscuous VLAN can see all other VMs on other PVLANs, and all other VMs on the PVLAN can see any VMs on the promiscuous VLAN.  In the DMZ scenario, Firewalls and network devices are normally placed on the promiscuous VLAN as all VMs normally need to to see them.

Community PVLAN

​VMs that are a member of the Community PVLAN can see each other, as well as see VMs in the promiscuous VLAN.  They cannot see any VMs in the Isolated PVLAN.  Again, in the DMZ scenario a Community PVLAN could house VMs that need inter connectivity to each other, such as a web and database server.

Isolated PVLAN

​VMs in an isolated PVLAN are just that; isolated!  The only other VMs they would be able to communicate with are those in promiscuous VLAN.  They cannot see any VMs that are in the community VLAN, nor can they see any other VMs that might be in the Isolated VLAN.  A good spot to put a service that only needs connectivity to the firewall and nothing else.

PVLANs in vSphere

PVLANs can be implemented within vSphere only on a vSphere Distributed Switch.  Before we can assign a VM to a PVLAN there is a little leg work that needs to be done on the switch itself in terms of configuring the PVLAN.  To do so, right-click your dvSwitch and select 'Edit Settings'.  On the Private VLAN tab (shown below) is where you initially setup your PVLAN.  As you can see, I've setup my main private VLAN ID as 200, therefore my promiscuous PVLAN is also 200.  Then, I have an isolated and community PVLAN configured with and ID of 201 and 202 respectively.

pvlan1Now our Private VLAN is setup to be consumed.  The only thing left to do is create some port groups that contain the Private VLAN.  We need the port groups in order to assign VMs on the respective network.  Again, right-click your dvSwitch and select 'New Port Group'.  Give your port group a name, and set the VLAN type to Private VLAN.  Once this happens you will see another box appear where we can select either the Promiscuous, Isolated, or Community entry of our PVLAN.  Go ahead and make three port groups, each one being assigned to either 200, 201, or 202.

pvlan2Now it is as simple as attaching your VMs network adapters to the desired port group.  For my testing I created 4 small Linux instances; a firewall, a web server, a database server and a video streaming server.  Trying to recreate a DMZ type scenario I assigned the web and database server to the community PVLAN as they needed to communicate with each other.  I assigned the video streaming server to an isolated PVLAN as it has no need to communicate with either the web or db server.  And I assigned the firewall to the promiscuous PVLAN, as all VMs need to be able to communicate with it in order to gain access to the outside world.  After 'much a pinging' I found that everything was working as expected.  So try it out for yourself.  Try reassigning VMs to different port groups and watch how the ping responses stop.  Like I said, these are very easy to setup technically, just understand the implications of what happens when VMs do not belong to the proper PVLAN.  Good Luck!

Is October the month of certification? – The price is right!

vcaIt's pretty well known that the fact you need to attend that week long training course in order to even qualify to become a VMware Certified Professional was a big pain point among the virtualization community.  In fact, the VCP, which what used to be VMware's entry level certification could end up costing IT pros looking to get certified well over $1500 by the time it was all said and done.  Although I always though that the training was a great way to help hold the certification in high regard I understand how it could also discourage a lot of smart people from taking the exam, people who's companies don't have the training budget or don't have the will to send them on the course.

That said, VMware has listened and once again responded (Remember vRAM – sorry).  During VMworld, amongst all of the software defined storage, network virtualization, rainbows, clouds, and Hyper-V custard announcements VMware's Education and Certification team slipped in their own little announcement centered around the new VCA (Virtual Certified Associate) certification track.  

What is VCA?

VCA is essentially the little brother of the VCP.  The VCA requires no required training, simply recommending that you take the free foundation classes online that correspond with the respective VCA track.  Also, just like the VCP has branched out into Data Center Virtualization, End User Computing (Workforce mobility) and Cloud; so has the VCA.  Now I wrote my VCA-DCV yesterday and passed.  It was certainly not as up to par technical wise as the VCP is, but it's not really supposed to be.  As far as I can see it's really there to satisfy those who want to get some sort of certification with VMware but want to do it affordably and without the training requirement.  The exam comes in with a price tag of $120.00 and is currently 50% off.

So what about October and why is the price right?

Oh yah, before you go and spend the what is now $60.00 on your VCA, stop, look at that voucher/promo code box and type 'VCA13ICS' into the text box.  Why?  Well that will take the initial 50% off and then give you another 100% off of the balance!  Yes, that makes your exam FREE!   Yes, Free as in beer!  So no reason not to try it.  As far as I know this will last all through the month of October so I guess the year of VDI will have to wait!  Anyways get over to mylearn.vmware.com and sign up!  Good Luck!   And who can really say or think about the price is right without thinking of the epic Happy Gilmour fight!  Bob must be habs fan!

Adam Sandler Happy Gilmore movie image

Once again – register and write you VCA for free during October by using the promo code VCA13ICS