Keynote Speakers for 2015 St Louis VMUG User Conference Confirmed

usercon

Yesterday I received word that both keynote speakers for the 2015 St Louis VMUG User Conference have been confirmed.  Both speakers are vExperts and rock-stars in the virtualization world.

One of the speakers is Kendrick Coleman.  He works for VCE, has presented at VMworld and is a contributing author to VMware vSphere Design, 2nd Edition.  You can check out his website www.kendrickcoleman.com/ to see more information about Kendrick.

The second speaker is Chris Wahl.  Chris is a senior solutions architect for AHEAD and VCDX # 104.  He is one of the authors of Networking for VMware Administrators.  He has also published many courses at Pluralsight and presented at VMworld many times.  Check out his website www.wahlnetwork.com to see more information about Chris.

The User Conference is Thursday March 19th.  If you have not registered, please browse over to the St Louis VMUG User Conference page to register and see more details.

register-now

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VMware EVALExperience Released

Many years back VMware had a program called the VMTN subscription.  The VMTN subscription program was similar to MSDN and enabled you to run VMware software in your lab environment for a fixed yearly fee. Ever since the program was cancelled every now and then people asked for it to be reinstated.  A few years back Mike Laverick started a campaign to bring back the VMTN subscription.

At VMworld 2014 I attended the VMUG Leader luncheon and was told that the program was going to be released soon.  With the amount of time that has past since VMworld, I did not think it was going to happen this year.

VMware finally listened to it’s users and released something similar through the VMUG Advantage program.

VMware’s EVALExperience gives you exclusive access to nine VMware applications to test for 365 days. EVALExperience provides all of the tools you need to stay in the game and take your career to the next level, all in one place!

vmware-eval

Here is a list of software that users will have access to download and install :

  • VMware vCenter Server™ 5 Standalone for vSphere 5
  • VMware vSphere® with Operations Management™ Enterprise Plus
  • VMware vCloud Suite® Standard
  • VMware vRealize™ Operations Insight™
  • VMware vRealize Operations™ 6 Enterprise
  • VMware vRealize Log Insight™
  • VMware vRealize Operations for Horizon®
  • VMware Horizon® Advanced Edition
  • VMware Virtual SAN™

Head over to the official EVALExperience website to see all the details.

Lab users rejoice because we will finally be able to evaluate software in there labs for a full 365 days!

Now if Microsoft would just bring back the TechNet subscription.

Where to get started with VMware certification

I have people ask me all the time where to start to get certified in VMware.  VMware is one of the few certs that you need to take a class to get certified at the professional level.

VMware Certified Associate (VCA)

If you are unable to take the VCP ICM (Install Configure & Manage) class, VMware does offer the VCA (VMware Certified Associate) certification.  VMware Certified Associate (VCA) is an entry-level certification for VMware’s products.  VMware Certified Associate exams do not cover technical skills, but instead requires candidates to demonstrate an understanding of basic virtualization technology and how to apply that knowledge to VMware products. There are four separate versions of the certification:

Here is a good video that provides a good overview of the VCA certification.  Each track has a free online fundamentals course that helps you prepare for the exam.

Also, make sure you study the exam blue print for each track.  It is the best study resource for the exam.

Once you feel you are ready to take the exams you need to request authorization before taking the exam.  Just go to each tracks page (links above) and click on the “Request Exam Authorization”.  Once completed you can go to the Pearson Vue website and schedule the exam.

One nice thing about the VCA exam is that it can be taken anywhere online.  You do not have to go to a Pearson  Vue test center to take the exam.

VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

If you feel you want to take the Professional level exams, there is a requirement to take a class.  If we take a look at the VCP-Cloud for example, it shows that you have to take a “Install Configure & Manage” class before becoming a VCP-Cloud.  All of the other tracks have the same requirement, but some of the other tracks have a “Fast Track or Troubleshooting” class that could be taken instead of the “Install Configure or Manage”

There are many options to take these classes : Classroom, Live Online & On Demand.  You can schedule them directly through VMware or you can go to a training provider like Global Knowledge or New Horizons Learning Centers.  These are good options, but are the most expensive and usually the main reason why people don’t have the VCP certification.

There is another option that a lot of people don’t know about and is much cheaper.  Just like the Cisco Academy, VMware has the “IT Academy” program.  Schools and colleges offer VMware classes that will qualify you to achieve the VCP certification.  Here is a list of schools that are in the VMware IT academy program.  Sometimes IT Academy classes are almost half the cost of the commercial offerings.  I took my ICM class at an IT Academy.  It took a little longer to complete the class than the commercial offerings, but in the end the result is the same.

Just like the VCA exams, once you are ready to take the VCP exam you have to go to each tracks page and click on the “Request Exam Authorization”.  Once completed you can go to the Pearson Vue website and schedule the exam.

There is all type of study material for each tracks VCP exam, but the best thing to study is to study is the exam blue print.

All of this information and more can be found on the VMware Certification page.

This should be enough information to get you started with achieving a VMware certification.

VCP5-DV Recertification

It makes no sense at all that VMware is adding expiration dates to certs that have version numbers.  Cisco & Microsoft certs do not have versions, so it makes sense for them to have an expiration date.  I have not seen a good explanation from the certification team why an expiration has been added.

There has been so much discussion on the VMware Communities about the VCP5-DCV Delta Recertification Exam. 

Originally the exam was only going to be offered until Nov 30th 2014.  Then VMware extended the exam to March 10th 2015.  Not sure why VMware did this, but my personal opinion was not enough people were taking the exam, so VMware extended the end date to try to recoup costs of creating the exam.

I think everyone has forgotten that the Delta exam is not your only option to re-certify your VCP5-DV.

You have four options to re-certify you VCP5-DV :

  • Pass the current exam for the VCP certification you currently hold. For example, a VCP3 could recertify by passing the current VCP5-Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) exam.
  • Earn a new VCP certification in a different solution track. For example, a VCP-Cloud could recertify by earning a VCP-Desktop (VCP5-DT) certification.
  • Advance to the next level by earning a VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certification. For example, a VCP5-DCV could earn VCAP5-DCA certification.
  • For current VCP5-DCV holders who took the VCP510, there is a limted-time, streamlined exam option just for you. This exam is only available through March 10, 2015 so act fast.

You can check VMwares re-certification policy for all the official details.

In my opinion the Delta exam is a waste of time and money.  After taking the Delta exam, you are still only VCP5-DV.

I decided to learn something new and take a VCP exam in a different track – VCP-NV.  So last week I took and passed the VCP-NV exam.

vcp-nv

Now my VCP5-DV expiration date has been extended –

vcp-dv

Don’t waste your time with the Delta exam.  Push yourself to learn something new and take a VCP in a different track or take a VCAP exam!