Tag Archives: Trainsignal

Happy New Sphere Winners Announcement!!!!

winnerannouncementFirst off I wanted to say a big huge Thank You to the sponsors for my Happy New Sphere contest this year; Trainsignal for the Designing VMware Infrastructure training and Angelo Luciani and the Toronto VMUG for the Administering VMware Site Recovery 5.0 book.  It’s companies and people like this that help me to help others by giving away some awesome knowledge and swag, so Thank You!!!!

So on to the draw and my overly complicated way of determining the winners

trainsignal winner excel

I took every tweet and comment and put them into a spreadsheet, then assigned a random number to them, then sorted from smallest to largest, then went and got two random numbers from random.org, the first, the Trainsignal winner, second, the book winner…So without further ado here are the winners….Rex Choi ended up securing himself a copy of Trainsignals Designing VMware Infrastructure by Scott Lowe (blog/twitter) and Mike Baranski got himself a copy of Mike Lavericks Administering VMware Site Recovery 5 – Congrats to both of you and thanks for all of the entries, comments, tweets and retweets from everyone….

Also, Mike Baranski, if you are reading this please send your shipping info over to me ( mwpreston@mwpreston.net )  I’ve yet to hear back from you 😉

Happy New Sphere everyone ( I know, it’s a cheesie tag line 🙂 )

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!!!!!

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!

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!

Top Virtualization Blogs Voting Is Now Open (and little ol’ mwpreston is on the list)

Once again Eric Siebert has put in the time and effort to coral a ton of VMware/Virtualization blogs and opened up the polls to find the top 25..  This is something that I have participated in before but never as a blogger.  To be honest when I first started this blog I never expected it to grow as big as it has.  Although it's not that big when compared against the rock star blogs that are on the list, it's definitely receiving more traffic than I have anticipated and never did I think I would be sponsored this quick.  I know that I received one vote for the top 10, but completely understand that this is probably the only vote in that category that I will get.  I'm still new to this and am trying to do my best to at the very least have consistency on this blog.  So, nonetheless, get over to Eric's blog post on vsphere-land and cast your vote and while your at it have a look at the 'Best New Blog' and 'Best Independent Blog' and see if you can't find mwpreston.net amongst all the other giants.  Not that I expect to receive a lot of votes, really, it's an honor just to have my blog listed amongst the giants that are there.

Looking back from now I'm happy with the content I have provided over the last 6 months.  When I started I had no idea how much work this actually is.  I've tried to put together relevant and accurate posts with walkthroughs and information centered around all that virtualization has to offer.   I've put countless hours into trying to put together a somewhat deep-dive of the VCP 5 Exam Blueprint in efforts to help myself and others achieve their certification as well as lobbied for a giveaway of Trainsignal's VMware vSphere 5 Training.  Blogging certainly takes up a lot of your time, your spare time at that.  That's why its important that you vote and show the bloggers that dedicate their time to providing you with great content that it is appreciated.   Happy Voting 🙂  And if you get a chance, thank Eric for putting it all together.  He not only stops at a voting system, but he puts together RSS feeds and Twitter lists.  The vLaunchPad is truly a work of art and a one stop shop to the Virtualization/VMware blogosphere!

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 https://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!!!

Christmas comes early for the VMware Community

Well that special time of year is coming around again.  Family, friends, turkey, beer, rum, excited kids, and more rum.  At least that is what Christmas is like for me.  Anyways, it seems as if the VMware community is starting to celebrate a little early this year with a couple of contests and great giveaways happening right now.  So, without further ado….

Vladan Seget (@vladan) over at ESX Virtualization has what he calls The biggest Contest ever organized at ESX Virtualization happening right now!  The grand prize being handed out there is a couple of NFR lisenses of the upcoming release of Veeam Backup and Replication v6.  Along with the licenses he is also handing out a copy of Trainsignals' VMware vSphere 5 training and a copy of Scott Lowes Mastering VMware vSphere 5.  So don't miss out on this one…head on over to ESX Virtualization now and get yourself entered.

And then there is the ever so entertaining Chad Sakac (@sakacc) who is handing out quite the slew of prizes over at his blog Virtual Geek.  Honestly, there is too much stuff to even list that he is handing out but just a short list includes some SSD's, Iomega IX2's, IPADs…there was one more give-away….oh yah, and EMC VNXe 3300…Wow!  Get over to Virtual Geek and complete the survey before it's too late..

Good Luck & Merry vXMAS