Tuesday, 22 December 2009

VCP4 2nd-shot free re-take promo extended too!

To co-incide with extending the VCP3 to VCP4 "upgrade" until the end of January 2010, VMware have also extended the 2nd-shot promotion for VCP4 until the same date. The promotion was originally launched at the start of October, and was supposed to run until the end of 2009 - I announced the promotion here.

Here's the all important dates:
January 15th 2010 = last day to register for the 2nd-shot voucher (before 5pm PST)
January 22nd 2010 = last day for 1st attempt at VCP4 exam if the free re-take is required
January 31st 2010 = last day for 2nd attempt at VCP4 exam using free re-take

Remember, if you need some help with the VCP4 exam, I run a VCP4 exam prep workshop which will maximize your chances of passing, 1st time or 2nd time! Global Knowledge UK are scheduling another workshop in London mid-January, email me for more information.

VCP3 to VCP4 "upgrade" deadline extended!

VMware have extended the deadline for VCP3 holders to qualify for VCP4 certification without having to attend an official vSphere training course, you now have until January 31st 2010.

This move has been taken as many are finding it difficult to find a seat at a Pearson Vue testing centre before the previous deadline, December 31st 2009. In other words, in a similar fashion to Christmas shopping, too many people have left it until the last minute. VMware announced the VCP3 to VCP4 path back in the summer, and the exam has been available since the end of August.

Four of the Global Knowledge UK training centres are also Pearson Vue testing centres, and I know at the minute there are a huge number of people doing their VCP3 and VCP4 exams at our centres.

I've just finished delivering another VCP4 exam prep workshop, and we are now looking at scheduling another in London in January 2010, send me an email if you would be interested in attending our intensive 1-day prep session.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

VMware vSphere clips for Global Knowledge UK's "YouTube Tuesday"

The initial set of 4 videos that I recorded for Global Knowledge UK's "YouTube Tuesday" campaign have all now been published, here's the links if you wish to view them:

New VCP4 information
vSphere storage features
vSphere high availability features
vSphere GUI improvements

I'm going to record more videos in early 2010, if there's anything in particular you want to know about leave a comment or send me an email.

Friday, 11 December 2009

New vSphere Troubleshooting course qualifies for VCP4 certification

VMware have announced that the new vSphere: Troubleshooting course also now meets the vSphere training requirement for the VCP4 certification.

That now means you have three training course that meet the requirement for VCP4:
vSphere: Install Configure Manage
vSphere: Fast Track
vSphere: Troubleshooting

Although all three of the courses qualify, be aware that the Troubleshooting course assumes that you already have at least the equivalent knowledge of the other two courses (and indeed the VCP4 itself).

The best of the three courses to attend in terms of which one is most closely aligned with the exam topics is currently the Fast Track. Global Knowledge UK already run the Install Configure Manage and Fast Track courses, and will start running the new Troubleshooting course from January 2010.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Free VCP4 re-take promotion ends soon!

If you want to take the VCP4 exam before the end of 2009, and you want a free re-take (just in case you need it!) then VMware have announced that the last day for applying for the re-take voucher is December 18th.

Register for the voucher by following this link.

Remember that if you need to make use of the free re-take then you must have your first attempt at the VCP4 exam by December 22nd, as you must have your second attempt no later than December 31st - so you'd better be quick!

VCP3 retirement date is now March 31st 2010

In a surprise move, VMware have extended the availability of the VCP on VI3 (VCP3) exam until March 31st 2010. The qualification requirements for the certification remain the same, so you'll still have to already be a VCP2 or have trained on one of the three qualifying VI3 courses, but the exam will not now disappear from the Pearson Vue schedule on December 31st 2009 as was previously announced. VI3 courses are disappearing from training company schedules fast, so if you want the VCP3 you'd better act quickly - but at least you now have an extra 3 months to take the exam.....

The Certification page on vmware.com has the news.

Be warned though, if you are using the VCP3 to get to the VCP4 without attending an official vSphere training course - that deadline of December 31st has NOT changed.

Monday, 7 December 2009

VCP4 Exam Prep Workshop

I have developed a unique 1-day VCP4 Exam Preparation Workshop for Global Knowledge UK, designed to give away as many secrets as possible about the VCP4 exam without upsetting the VMware NDA police.

As you will probably know if you've read other posts here or seen me post information online on other sites, I have some excellent connections within the Certification team at VMware, which allows me to have great insight into how the VCP4 exam items are designed and what sort of techniques are best for getting a great score!

I'm in the privileged position of having worked intimately with ESX/vCenter for over 4 years now, and hold all 3 of the VCP certifications possible. I appreciate that most people who attempt the VCP4 exam are not instructors like me, they're generally people who don't get prep time or study time for an exam like I get, people who work with vSphere but aren't expected to recite facts and figures about it like I am.

We start the day by reviewing the exam format and giving lots of study and exam tips, then we go through the all-important exam blueprint, section by section, and ask you over 100 practice questions that I've written myself - and I've tried really hard to pull all the same tricks as the real exam questions will! Each question comes with an explanation of the question and answer(s), and items can be discussed with the instructor and other attendees.

I recommend attending the workshop a few days or so before attempting the real exam, to highlight areas that need improvement, enhance your exam-taking technique, or to provide additional focus as the "big day" gets close.

Feel free to drop me an email if you want to know more....

UPDATE: 20th January 2011
Global Knowledge are now also offering the workshop in a live-online style, and at a time of the day that might be more suitable for you - click here for more.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

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The views expressed anywhere on this site are strictly mine and not the opinions and views of VMware.

Scott Vessey.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

New Course: vSphere VCP4 Exam Preparation Workshop

VMware are going to be releasing their own VCP4 prep workshop, but rather than wait for theirs I've written my own for Global Knowledge. It contains an essential set of exam tips, a full review of the exam blueprint, and masses of practice questions written by myself.

When I sat down to write the practice questions, I deliberately wanted to use all the same techniques as in the real exam, and try and pull all the same stunts and tricks that the real exam will. I'm very proud of the quality of the questions, they really do push you hard, and get you into the right mindset.

By the end of the Workshop, you will have learned the right technique for you to do yourself justice when you take the real exam, and have a much better chance of getting a great score!

Here's the link to the Workshop outline.

If you want to know more, please feel free to drop me an email.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

VMware Partner Accreditation

Is your employer a current VMware partner? If so, you may need to update the certifications within your organization to continue to hold your partner status, VMware have placed a deadline for Enterprise and Premier partners to update their certifications to vSphere 4 by February 15th 2010!

Whether it's your Sales people who need their VMware Sales Professional (VSP) accreditation, your Pre-Sales people who need their VMware Technical Sales Professional (VTSP) accreditation, or your architects/designers/implementers that need their VMware Certified Professional (VCP), Global Knowledge can help.

We offer all the mandatory training elements for the technical accreditations including VCP, as well as workshops on the VSP and VTSP.

For further information, follow this link.

Monday, 16 November 2009

VCP4 holders will get a Workstation 7 license

Jon Hall from the Certification team at VMware has confirmed today that holders of the VCP4 certification will get a new license for VMware Workstation 7. There is a process that has to be finished internally within VMware, then the licenses will be released.

VCP3 holders will still receive a license for VMware Workstation 6, as as always been the case with VCP3.

New vSphere courses - Troubleshooting and Manage Scalability

Two new vSphere courses have been announced, vSphere: Manage Scalability and vSphere: Troubleshooting.

The 1-day Manage Scalability course covers the specific features of vSphere related to scalability, such as Host Profiles, Distributed Power Management, and vCenter Linked Mode. This course is available now, and the same material can already be found in the vSphere Fast Track. Here's the course outline:

The 4-day Troubleshooting course looks very interesting, I've been helping VMware with the material for this course, and it's very lab-intensive. You arm yourself with all the necessary tools to troubleshoot ESX/ESXi and vCenter problems, and then use them to fix your system which keeps being broken for you! The course is in the final stages of development, and will be available in the next month or so. Here's the outline:

VMware are also developing courses on the new versions of Site Recovery Manager and View, keep checking back for news on those.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

VCP3 Exam Retirement

VMware have today confirmed that the VCP3 exam for VMware Infrastructure 3 will only be available to take until 31st December 2009. Originally, they had stated that they expected it to be available until early 2010, but I'm not at all surprised to see it go at the end of 2009.

The end of 2009 now sees a number of milestones for the VCP:
- Retirement of the VCP3 exam
- End of the free-retake promotion for the VCP4 exam
- End of the period where VCP3 holders can get their VCP4 without having to attend official vSphere training

If you want to be a VCP3, act now before it's too late!

Global Knowledge UK are still running some VI3 courses and exam preparation workshops, as well as all the available courses for vSphere 4. Take a look at their VMware training page and VMware certification page for the details.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Global Knowledge UK - You Tube Tuesday

Global Knowledge UK have now launched their own channel on YouTube, just this week they launched their YouTube Tuesday program - a new video will be released every Tuesday from now onwards, on a variety of subjects related to Cisco, Microsoft, as well as VMware.

Here's the link to the new channel: click here

The first clip to be released features me talking about the VCP4 certification. I've already recorded a few other VMware-related videos too, keep checking the channel on Tuesdays for those...

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

vSphere Webinar - 2nd run

I'm running a vSphere webinar on October 23rd, which is being publicised across the whole of the Global Knowledge EMEA region - it starts at 10:00 UK time, 11:00 CET. Last time I ran this sesssion for Global Knowledge UK, and the response was huge, so we've decided to run it again, and across EMEA this time.

The session will cover all the most important aspects of vSphere, some new and some old, as well as the latest certification information. The presentation portion will last roughly 50 minutes, followed by an open Q&A session - the session will remain open for as long as the questions keep coming in!

For further information, and to register, follow this link.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Free re-take for VCP4 exam

Between now and the end of 2009 VMware are offering you a free re-take of the VCP4 exam if you don't pass first time! This was announced on the VMware Certification portal and on this Pearson Vue page yesterday.

I think this is great for current VCP3 holders who have been wondering whether to take the VCP4 exam now or later, for those who don't know whether they are 100% ready for the exam, and for those that don't necessarily think the VCP is for them.

1. Go to the VMware Certification portal and follow the link to enrol in the 2nd Shot/Upgrade Program
2. By the end of the week that you do that you will receive an email that contains a voucher number
3. Go to this Pearson Vue page, book the exam, and apply the voucher number
4. Take the exam as per your exam booking

If you don't pass the exam, go back to the Pearson Vue site, book the exam again, and apply a promotion code to the registration to get the re-take at no cost.

You have to book and take your VCP4 exam, and if you need it, the re-take before 31st December 2009.

Follow the above links above for all the terms, and official confirmation of the processes outlined here.

Update 1 - 11th October: There is a problem on the VMware site with registering for the voucher - I have alerted VMware. See update 3 below.

Update 2 - 12th October: When you have successfully registered for the promotion, you will get an email from VMware that includes your voucher (which is specific to each individual) with confirmation of how to use it when booking your first and (if necessary) second attempt at the exam.

Update 3 - 12th October: The link to use now appears to be (link removed, see update 4 below), but only until 16th October - maybe VMware will be launching a new link weekly.....

Update 4 - 12th October: VMware have rectified the problem reported in update 1 above, and recommend to start the registration process via the Certification portal, as per the main article above.

Monday, 5 October 2009

My new web site - Think Virtually

Since I launched this blog back in March 2009, I've been amazed by the feedback I've received from those of you that read it - and stunned to see the number of visitors grow to the level it has reached! I always planned that once I got into the habit of posting regularly, and that I'd seen interest in my content grow, that I'd create my own web site - so I have and wanted to take this chance to direct you there....

http://www.thinkvirtually.co.uk will take you there...

You might recognise some of the content under the VCP4 menu, I must stress though that some parts of the site are not yet complete. I'm also still debating the menu items and structure - what you see today is at least the fourth version!!

I'm open to ideas, and also to any feedback - you can contact me using any of the methods on the blog here, or there is a Contact form under the About menu on the site.

For the forseeable future, I will be updating this blog and the web site side-by-side.

I hope you find the site useful!


Friday, 2 October 2009

VCP4 beta exam - results are out!

Finally, after weeks of waiting, the results for the VCP4 beta exam are out! It appears as though the PearsonVUE accounts of those who took the beta exam have been updated - previously your exam history listed VCP411 as having been "taken", that record has been changed to VCP410 and hopefully your status says "pass"!!

So, if you did the beta exam, go and have a look at your account over at pearsonvue.com.... I've got my fingers crossed for you!


Thursday, 1 October 2009

Review of VCP4 exam

I know I've posted other things about the VCP4 exam over the last couple of months, but now I've had the chance to take it for myself - so here's my thoughts on it:

The format is familiar to anyone who's done a VCP exam before, in terms of the exam interface and the question/answer style, see my VCP3 posts for the detail on that. As with previous VCP exams, it's a "rapid fire" type of exam: read the question > think of the answer(s) > select the answer(s) on the screen > next question please!

What I would say is that there are a large number of questions that require multiple answers - you are always told how many answers are needed, and you can normally tell why some of the "wrong" answers have been included relative to the correct answers, but some of those questions are still quite challenging.

The single biggest tip, as I've been saying for a long time about VCP exams, is study the things in the Blueprint document!

I can confirm:
  • You WILL get tested on the topics in the blueprint document, all of them
  • You WILL need to know some very detailed and specific pieces of information
  • You DO need to understand the products in the vSphere suite

As others have said on their blogs and the VMware community forum, VCP4 is a tougher exam than VCP3 - it does require a broader, but also deeper level of knowledge than before. VCP4 is a lot less about memorizing facts and figures (like those in the Configuration Maximums document) and a lot more about actually knowing how a particular feature works, or what it's designed to do. I like it, I think it's a good exam that will really show that you know your stuff about virtualization, and of course about vSphere.

For the record, I passed, but then as I've been a VCI for over 3 years and I work with the technology every day I fully expected to, my students rely on me being able to do what I do, and know what I know! Whilst the regular passing score is 300, I needed to achieve the instructor passing score of 350 - and I was delighted to do that with ease - I'm a fully-paid up member of the 400+ club!

My other VCP4 posts on here will REALLY help you to get yourself ready for the exam. There is one other new page that has just been published on the Global Knowledge site, the content of which was created by me: VCP4 Certification

Don't forget that I also run VCP exam preparation workshops for Global Knowledge too - packed full of exam tips and tricks!

Best of luck to all those doing their VCP4!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Studying for the VCP on vSphere 4

Now that the VCP on vSphere 4 exam is finally live, VMware have released a number of official resources to help those who want to obtain what will quickly become the new "industry standard" virtualization certification.

The exam blueprint is THE document to base all your study on as it tells you exactly what you get tested on, if you're studying something that's not in the blueprint you're wasting your time. VMware also have an official mock exam, to help you get used to the question format and style. You'll find both of these under the VCP pages on the VMware website:

So the blueprint will tell you what you need to know, and the official documentation is the best material to study from as the questions are written from the documents you will find at:

There are also a number of unofficial resources which can be very useful too. Fellow blogger Simon Long has some excellent practice questions and a version of the exam blueprint with hyperlinks taking you directly to study resources:

Forbes Guthrie is well-known for producing a leaflet-style reference card for the VI3 exam, he's produced a new version specifically for the vSphere 4 exam:

Update - 1st December 2009
Global Knowledge also offer a VCP4 Exam Preparation Workshop, written by me:

I've also recently been made aware of a new, unofficial, comprehensive study guide:

Update - 23rd July 2010
Links updated to reflect current exam blueprint and vSphere documentation.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

GK first to deliver vSphere Fast Track in the UK

Global Knowledge will be the first VMware Authorized Training Center (VATC) in the UK to run the new vSphere: Fast Track course, in their London Old Broad Street training centre, from September 28th to October 2nd.

The course material will be hot off the press, but we know a lot of customers have been waiting for this course so we wanted to offer it as soon as it became available.

Here's the course outline, and our schedule:

Monday, 24 August 2009

VCP on VI3 Success

One of the students on my VI3: Install & Configure course last week stayed on to attend our VCP Exam Preparation Workshop on Friday - then passed his VCP on VI3 exam on Saturday!

Congratulations to Ernest on an excellent achievement.

Here's the link for our VCP Exam Preparation Workshop:

Global Knowledge currently run the Workshop for the VCP on VI3, but will be updating the content for the new VCP on vSphere 4 exam in the coming weeks. We also offer bundled pricing for attending a regular course and a Workshop, just like Ernest did!

New vSphere and View Courses

VMware have just launched a number of new classroom-based courses on vSphere 4 and View.

vSphere: Fast Track: 5-days, instructor-led, extended hours


vSphere: Manage Availability: 1-day, instructor-led, also covered in Fast Trackhttp://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/Default.aspx?page=461&coursecode=VSMA

vSphere: Overview: 1-day, instructor-led

View: Design Best Practices: 1-day, instructor-ledhttp://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/Default.aspx?page=461&coursecode=VMVD

Global Knowledge UK's full VMware portfolio is available at http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/courses%20%20certifications/vmware%20training.aspx

I'll be delivering all of these courses at Global Knowledge around the UK, we will have our full schedule for all the above courses published in the next few days.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

VCDX exams available to take at VMWorld 2009

I've just heard from Jon Hall at VMware that it will be possible to take the Enterprise Administration or Design exams for VCDX at VMWorld in San Francisco later this month, as well as the VCP on vSphere 4 exam.

You still have to be registered with VMware for the VCDX program, that will pre-authorize you for taking the exam.


If you're going to VMWorld, enjoy yourself! If you're taking an exam there, best of luck!

Friday, 14 August 2009

New virtualization community - VDI.com

Eric Sloof from NTPRO.NL has been blogging away about talking with David Bieneman (currently with Liquidware Labs, previously at Vizioncore). A new community is born, centered around VDI but also about virtualization generally - and it looks similar to Facebook.

I've just signed up as a member, there are groups to join, polls to vote on, forums to post in.....

Take a look for yourself at http://www.vdi.com

Eric's blog post can be found at http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/1226-You-want-to-know-whats-up-with-VDI.COM-Just-Skype-David-Bieneman.html


Thursday, 13 August 2009

Review of July 2009 vSphere Webinar

Following on from the success of the VMware vSphere 4 seminars that I presented for Global Knowledge around the UK, we decided that we should also offer a version of my presentation as a Webex webinar session.

The live session went out on July 31st, and it was the first time I'd presented using Webex. We intended for the session to last for an hour, with my presentation lasting 50 minutes, leaving 10 minutes for Q&A at the end.

In spite of publicising the webinar at short notice, the number of registrations and live attendees was very impressive. I received an email from one live attendee a few days later who told me that he had my session broadcast in an auditorium at his location and there were over 100 people in attendance there - wow!

In the end, my presentation ran over for a few minutes as I covered a lot of material, but the Q&A time at the end ran over by 30 minutes - the questions just kept coming and coming. My colleagues at Global Knowledge, Ryan Fowles and Rosanna Clarke, helped to record the live session as well as the questions asked during the Q&A.

We have now published a recording of the live session, the presentation slides used, and a comprehensive Q&A document that I spent some time on completing - you can find all of those resources on our web site:

We have a lot of interest from our colleagues across EMEA to run another session very soon, we are hoping to announce the date/time and the session content in the next week or so - watch this space!


Review of July 2009 UK vSphere Seminars

I posted an entry here a few weeks ago, letting you that I would be presenting at a series of VMware vSphere 4 seminars around the UK for Global Knowledge.

Here's the Global Knowledge page for the events:

From my perspective, the seminars were hugely rewarding, it was great to get out on the road and talk to lots of people from a wide variety of organizations all with one thing in common - an interest in virtualization and vSphere 4 specifically. We had a mixture of technical and non-technical folk at the seminars, some of whom were existing VMware customers, some were not currently using virtualization or just starting to "dip their toes", some were current customers of Microsoft and Citrix who wanted to hear what VMware and I had to say.

We had a good turnout at the events too, and most importantly for me, I performed live demos of loads of different elements of vSphere 4 which all went without a hitch:

  • VMFS volume grow
  • Hot-add and hot-plug of VM hardware
  • vApps
  • VMotion
  • Storage VMotion
  • Distributed Resource Scheduler, including Distributed Power Management
  • High Availability, including VM Monitoring and Fault Tolerance

If you were an attendee, thanks for coming. If you registered but couldn't make it, thanks for your interest. If you didn't register and wish you had, there is a possibility that we may run more sessions later in the year.

I also recently ran a vSphere webinar, I'm going to post another review of that here shortly. There are plans to make webinars a much more regular thing, and for each session to focus on a specific product area or subject each time.


Monday, 10 August 2009

Official - VCP on vSphere 4 exam date!

VMware have now finally announced the exact dates as to when the new VCP on vSphere 4 exam will be available, both in terms of registration, and taking the exam.

Registration through Pearson VUE opens on August 14th.

The first date the exam can be taken is August 25th.

If you're lucky enough to be going to San Francisco for VMWorld, you can take it there and enjoy a discount too!

Here's the link that confirms the above dates:

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Effect of vSphere 4 Release on VCDX

I swapped emails with Jon Hall this evening, Jon is a Technical Certification Developer at VMware - in other words, he's the guys that writes the VCP and VCDX exams!

I asked Jon what the implications are on VCDX on the release of vSphere 4, and this was his reply:

"Just as we have announced a new exam and an upgrade path for existing VCP on VI3s who want to upgrade to VCP on vSphere 4, we intend to announce new exams and an upgrade path for the VCDX certification. As the VCP on vSphere 4 exam has just completed beta, it will be later this year before you could expect an Enterprise Administration on vSphere 4 Exam or a Design on vSphere 4 Exam. Only after those exams are available would we announce the upgrade path for existing VCDXs."

It's exactly what I was expecting to hear, but it's great to actually hear it.

I think the big questions is going to be "Is it worth doing the VCDX on VI3?" - well I think it is. To me, the VCDX is such a high-level certification for anyone to hold, that the version you hold it in is a lot less important than it is for the VCP.

It remains to be seen exactly what the upgrade process will be for VCDX, but if you compare it to other higher-level vendor certifications like MCSE (or MCITP as it is now) then some sort of single-exam upgrade process would be good to see.

Watch this space....

New Resources Available for Enterprise Administration Exam

Jon Hall, Technical Certification Developer at VMware, has just announced two new resources to help those studying for the Enterprise Administration Exam of VCDX:

1. An official Mock Exam:

2. A demonstration of a live lab, along with an explanation of the exam format:

As someone who has taken (and passed!) the exam, I would have to say that these are excellent resources - well done VMware!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

New Course - VMware View: Design Best Practices

This is another course that is not yet listed on the VMware Education site, but the Datasheet is available at:


The course covers a variety of design aspects around VMware View, and whilst it is aimed primarily at VMware partners it is available to all. This course is expected to be available from the end of August.

New Course - vSphere 4: Fast Track

You won't find this listed publicly yet on the VMware Education web site, but the Fast Track course for vSphere 4 now has an official Datasheet. You'll find it at:


The additional content over and above the recently launched Install, Configure, Manage course is as follows:

  • vSphere Management Assistant
  • Network and storage troubleshooting
  • Resource monitoring through the CLI
  • vCenter Server Linked Mode
  • Distributed Power Management
  • Fault Tolerance
  • vCenter Server Heartbeat
  • Host Profiles
  • Scripted installations of ESX

It is my understanding that the course will be available from this August, but I'm still waiting for the release date to be made official. I know that a lot of folk are waiting to attend this.

Global Knowledge will be creating a full schedule of dates for the vSphere Fast Track in due course, and I'll be the first of our VMware instructors to deliver it - watch this space!

UPDATE: Global Knowledge are running the first vSphere Fast Track in the UK on September 28th in London:

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

VMware Training on Facebook

After my recent arrival on Twitter, I decided tonight that Facebook was also lacking a little bit of VMware Training....

I've created a page which complements what I do here, and just gives me another opportunity to spread the word about what I do - I know many people find it useful to hear about what's going on in the world of VMware Training and Certification.

If you want to take a look, maybe even become a "fan", get yourself logged into Facebook then click this link:

Alternatively, login to Facebook and search for "VMware Training".

I've also created a work-specific Facebook account:

Friday, 3 July 2009

vSphere Seminars - July 2009

Global Knowledge are running a number of seminars on vSphere 4 around the UK in a couple of weeks time. The morning session is a business-related briefing, presented by guest speakers from VMware, the afternoon session is technical and will be delivered by myself.

For further details, follow this link:

Places are already filling fast!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

vSphere 4 VCP Exam Beta

I had an email in my inbox this morning from the VMware Certification team, inviting me to register and take the beta exam for the VCP on vSphere 4. It listed a number of rules that apply ONLY to the beta exam:

  • You have to answer every item, you cannot return to items
  • You don't get your score when you finish, that comes 6-8 weeks later
  • You get 240 minutes to complete the exam
  • You still have to pay 30% of the regular exam price
  • You only get to take the beta exam once
  • You have until July 17th to take the exam

The rules for the final exam will be the same as they are for the VI3 VCP exam.

Now I've just got to find the time to prepare for it, and take it before the 17th!

UPDATE: The comment from Cody (below) reminded me to link to the exam blueprint:


UPDATE 1: Jon Hall from VMware tells me that the beta exams have been processed, and the results will be sent out to those who took the beta exam by the time the final exam can be taken, which is August 25th!

UPDATE 2: Jon Hall from VMware has now confirmed that the beta results will be sent out by email at the same time as the final exam goes live, so check your Inbox next week if you took the beta exam! Best of luck!

UPDATE 3: Unfortunately I've just heard that the beta exam results will not now be sent out until the week after VMWorld, so scores should be sent out during the week of September 7th. If you're attending VMWorld, it is worth popping by the testing centre and talking to the VMWare and PearsonVUE staff there though....

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

VMotion across the WAN?

VMware have just published a new article on their Networking blog around the subject of using VMotion between DataCenters - it's something that has been on the wish-list of VMware administrators for as long as I've been "doing" VMware:


It's currently a "proof of concept" between VMware and Cisco, and some of the details are sketchy at best, hopefully they will either release more information on the link speed/quality/latency between the 2 locations, or perhaps this will turn into a fully-supported configuration.

I've delivered a series of VMware VI3 Fast Track courses to a variety of Cisco techies over the last year or so, and VMotion not being supported across sites, even though technically it is possible, has been a discussion I've had with Cisco techies many times.

VMotion itself is an amazing piece of technology, even within a single location, the concept of relocating an entire workload across onto another x86 system allows administrators so much more flexibility. Taking that same technology out of the datacentre opens up masses of other possibilities in the longer term.

It might not be too far into the future that organisations really start using both their internal IT and external IT as a single entity, all regardless of geographical boundaries - maybe "The Cloud" will happen, and in the way that organisations want it to, after all.

UPDATE: VMware have now announced official support for VMotion up to a maximum distance of 200 kilometres: http://erikzandboer.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/long-distance-vmotion-a-fact/

Friday, 19 June 2009

Virtualisation training - the key to success?

The British Computer Society have just published an article on the demand and value in virtualization training, you can find it here:

One of the contributors is Janet Way, who is the Sales and Marketing Director of Global Knowledge UK, as she mentions we offer training on VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft virtualization technologies.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

VCDX Design Defence

The first holders of the VCDX certification have now appeared. The initial batch are all VMware employees, as they went through each step of the process when each step was in beta.

One of them was Duncan Epping, a Senior PSO Consultant for VMware in the Netherlands. Duncan was VCDX number 7, and is well-known in the VMware community. He is a regular contributor to the VMware community forums, and runs his own blog, Yellow Bricks.

Duncan has just posted this thoughts on the final element of the VCDX, the Design Defence. This is as much information as I've yet seen around this element, so I thought I'd post it here too.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

vSphere Courses are Here!

Last week I received my Instructor manual for vSphere 4: What's New, and yesterday I got my vSphere 4: Install Configure Manage manual.

Let the fun begin!

Global Knowledge are offering the What's New course NOW, and our first Install Configure Manage course is on the very first day that VMware will allow us to run it - 29th June.

My colleague Mark Elliott has been busy designing our labs, he's done a superb job with the What's New lab - a 6 hour process when completed manually is all done in under 45 minutes thanks to much scripting and automation.

The What's New lab manual assumes that all of the following is already in place for each lab team:

1. ESX 3.5 Update 3 host, complete with virtual switch configuration for VMs and the VMkernel, connection to an NFS datastore, and 2 Windows VMs running.

2. VirtualCenter 2.5 Update 3, along with Update Manager.

Good job Mark. We pride ourselves at Global Knowledge for having VMware training labs which are the best in the business, ours are easier to access and easier to use than any other I've used - even VMware's own labs :-)

Mark is now busy building the lab for Install Configure Manage ready for the 29th, and on top of that he still has to support running classes, and is also in the middle of adding another rack of kit to our ever-growing labs!

Monday, 8 June 2009

VI3 and vSphere Course Names

As the vSphere 4 courses begin to appear, I thought I'd create a specific post on the current VI3 course names and what the vSphere 4 equivalent courses will be.

VI3: Install & Configure > vSphere 4: Install Configure Manage
VI3: Deploy Secure & Analyze > vSphere4: ???? (name yet to be announced)
VI3: Fast Track > vSphere 4: Fast Track

The ICM will still be the standard 4-day class, suitable for the VCP on vSphere 4.
The DSA replacement will contain content on Scripting and Automation, Scalbility, Availability, Troubleshooting, and will also be 4-days.
The FT will contain the ICM material, and the "DSA" material, in a 5-day accelerated class.

As I've already posted before, Global Knowledge will be running all of these classes as soon as they are available. ICM delivery starts on 29th June, FT starts in August, and "DSA" should be available in September: http://vmwaretraining.blogspot.com/2009/05/availability-of-official-vsphere-4.html

It may be that attending the "DSA" and FT will be the only way of being trained on the "DSA" topics (as above), or they may be available as shorter, modular classes. There will also be a set of "Design" classes too, see this post for details: http://vmwaretraining.blogspot.com/2009/06/role-specific-vsphere-training.html

Don't forget, if you already know VI3 you could attend the vSphere 4: What's New class from 15th June, as I've posted about previously.


Friday, 5 June 2009

Global Knowledge running early vSphere 4 courses

Global Knowledge UK will be running their first vSphere 4: Install Configure Manage course on 29th June, the first delivery outside of VMware. A full schedule of dates has already been created, events are available around the UK:

Eric Sloof is running an event for Global Knowledge Netherlands on 6th July:

The full schedule of courses in the Netherlands is available at:

Thursday, 4 June 2009

GK wins Cisco Awards

OK, I know this has nothing to do with VMware, but it's great news for the company:

Global Knowledge have won 3 Cisco awards:

  • Global Learning Partner of the Year - GK Worldwide
  • Channel Excellence in Acceleration (for emerging markets) - GK MEA team
  • Excellence in Collaboration - GK Europe

It's a fantastic achievement. Here's the press release:

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


I've joined Twitter!

Find me at http://twitter.com/vmtraining

Find Global Knowledge UK at http://twitter.com/GKUnitedKingdom

I've just added a Twitter gadget on the right of this page too.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Role-specific vSphere Training

VMware are grouping the selection of training courses for vSphere 4 to match the job roles of individuals who work with and around the product. Each of the following programs is designed to give individuals the chance to follow-up their foundation training on the product with role-specific courses.

Virtualization Generalist
VMware vSphere: Install Configure Manage
VMware vSphere: Script & Automate *
VMware vSphere: Manage Scalability *
VMware vSphere: Manage Availbility *
VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting *
VMware vSphere: Design

* These courses will be available separately, and as a bundle

Accelerated Learning
VMware vSphere: Fast Track
VMware vSphere: Design

Security Specialists
VMware vSphere: Install Configure Manage
VMware vSphere: Manage and Design for Security

Performance Specialists
VMware vSphere: Install Configure Manage
VMware vSphere: Manage and Design for Performance

Virtual Desktop Administrators
VMware vSphere: Install Configure Manage OR VI3: Install & Configure
VMware View: Install Configure Manage
VMware View: Design

Availability Specialists
VMware vSphere: Install Configure Manage OR VI3: Install & Configure
VMware vSphere: Manage Availbility OR VMware Site Recovery Manager: Install Configure Test
Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery: Design

Will the above programs also lead to role-specific certifications? That's yet to be seen, but I hope they do. We in the VATC community are now waiting to get started with delivering the above as soon as the material is available.

I full expect that Global Knowledge will look to offer as broad a portfolio of the above courses as we possibly can. I should also mention that some of the above names are still to be finalised.


Thursday, 28 May 2009

Availability of official vSphere 4 training courses

Now that the vSphere 4 software has been released, the Education team at VMware are just putting the finishing touches to the training material.

From June 15th, the 2-day What's New course will be available from Global Knowledge:

From June 29th, the 4-day Install Configure Manage course will also be available from Global Knowledge:

The 2-day course is only for those who already know VI3, to VCP or equivalent level. The 4-day course is the standard course whether you know VI3 or not.

The Fast Track course for vSphere 4 will be available 4-6 weeks later.

Availability of VCP on vSphere 4 exam

I've just discovered when the beta and final VCP on vSphere 4 exams will be available.

The beta exam for vSphere 4 will be available June 29th, 2009. Candidates eligible for the beta exam will automatically be contacted by VMware. These candidates must be VCP3 certified and beta product users.

The final release of the VCP on vSphere 4 exam will be available publicly on August 1st, 2009.

Sorry for the lack of updates over the last couple of weeks, I've been to Spain on holiday!


Friday, 8 May 2009

Why VMware?

VMware have already published a decent amount of information onto vmware.com around vSphere 4, in anticipation of May 21st when it will become possible to purchase licenses for the software for the first time.

The Upgrade Center for vSphere 4 contains resources around the new capabilities in the product, strategies for upgrading from VI3, the new license pricing and packaging, links to various migration videos, and more. Here's the link:


We still don't know exactly when the software will be available for download, but we do know that the VCP exam will be available shortly after, and that training will be available from the end of June.

I'm away on holiday for the next couple of weeks, hopefully by the time I'm back the GA date will have passed and I'll have a whole load of new information I can publish :-)

Friday, 1 May 2009

Result for Enterprise Admin Exam

As per earlier posts, the Enterprise Admin exam is currently Step 2 of the VCDX certification, and at some point it will form the second portion of the "Master VCP" certification.

I took the exam on April 17th, and have been waiting for my result, well yesterday I got it.... and I passed!

I received an email with my score report attached as a .pdf. There's no breakdown of any kind on the score report, just your score and the overall result.

The minimum score is 100, the maximum is 500, and the passing score is 300 - I scored 382 which I'm really happy with!

Thursday, 30 April 2009

How do you get to be a VCP on vSphere 4?

VMware have now officially announced the variety of ways in which people can obtain the new VCP on vSphere 4 certification. As I mentioned in previous posts, the path for each person depends on whether they've attended official VI3 training (like we provide at Global Knowledge) and/or their current status as a VCP.

The various "upgrade" paths are:

Current VCP on VI3 (until 31st December 2009)
1. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam - either attend the vSphere 4 : What's New course to gain the necessary skills and knowledge, or self-study

Current VCP on VI3 (from 1st January 2010)
1. Attend the vSphere 4 : What's New course
2. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam

Attended official VI3 course, but not yet taken VCP on VI3 exam
1. Pass the VCP on VI3 exam (only available until early 2010) OR attend the vSphere 4 : What's New course
2. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam
Current VCP on ESX 2.x (until 31st December 2009)
1. Pass the VCP on VI3 exam
2. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam
Current VCP on ESX 2.x (from 1st January 2010)
1. Pass the VCP on VI3 exam (only available until early 2010)
2. Attend the vSphere 4 : What's New course
3. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam
None of the above
1. Attend the vSphere 4 : Install Configure Manage or vSphere 4 : Fast Track courses
2. Pass the VCP on vSphere 4 exam
Phew, I think that's it all covered!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Official Training on vSphere

OK, I've now got the go-ahead from VMware Education to publish the information on the availability of training courses for vSphere 4.

If you're already experienced with VI3, there will be a 2-day "What's New" course for you to update your skills to vSphere 4 and learn how to migrate a VI3 environment to vSphere 4. You can actually take a pre-release of this class now, running on the Release Candidate software:

The current Install & Configure course for VI3 will be renamed to "Install, Configure, Manage" for vSphere 4. The course will remain at 4 days in length, and will still be the closest match to the VCP exam for vSphere.

There will also be a "Fast Track" course for vSphere 4, this will be 5 days with extended hours as at currently is for VI3. The content will be the new "Install, Configure, Manage" course, plus additional content on availability, scalability and troubleshooting.

VMware have yet to decide whether to release dedicated courses on availability, scalability and troubleshooting, along with possible content on automation and scripting, and possibly other topics too. These may only be available as part of the "Fast Track", as a separate 4-day course, or even as individual 1 or 2-day courses.

So, the important bit - when will they be available?

The pre-release "What's New" is available now.

The final release of "What's New" will be available from the end of June.

"Install, Configure, Manage" will also be available from the end of June.

"Fast Track" will be available from the end of July.

Keep checking back here, and on the main Global Knowledge site for further details:

UPDATE on 26th April:
VMware Education have now posted the official course overviews for "What's New" and "Install, Configure, Manage" on their website:


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

VCP on vSphere 4

I can now reveal the following information about the VCP on vSphere 4:

Right after the release date of vSphere 4, VMware will invite roughly 200 people to take a beta version of the VCP on vSphere 4 exam. The beta exam will be 3-4 hours long, it will ask questions that may appear in the final exam, and also ask about the experience and expertise of the testers. VMware expect that phase to take 2-3 weeks.

The beta exams will be analyzed to review the quality and value of each individual question, some questions will be removed, and those questions that will make their way into the final exam will have their weighting determined. VMware expect that process to take about 2 weeks.

VMware will then form the final exam, then Pearson Vue will need a couple of weeks to implement and distribute the final exam.

All in, the VCP on vSphere will be available to take within 6-8 weeks of the product release.

VMware have asked me if I'd like to help develop content for the beta exam, and if that doesn't happen than I've agreed to be a beta tester for the exam.

I should have news in the next couple of days as to when the official training for vSphere should be available.

Monday, 20 April 2009

vSphere VCP and Courses

I've been sent two separate emails by VMware today asking me for my opinion on:

1. The VCP on vSphere
2. The Fast Track training course content for vSphere

Tomorrow is the announcement of the release date, and it's great to hear from both the Certification and Education teams at VMware to know that they're gearing up to vSphere too :-)

VI3 Enterprise Administration Exam

The VI3 Enterprise Administration exam currently only forms step 2 (of 4) of the VCDX certification program, but as I mentioned last week it is going to form step 2 (of 2) of the "Master VCP" certification at some point.

The exam is split into 2 distinct sections:
1. 75 multiple choice questions (60% of the points)
2. 11 hands-on labs (40% of the points)

The time allowed in total is 2 hours 45 minutes, the clock ticks throughout the entire session, but although it suggests to you that you should spend roughly half the time on each of the 2 sections you can manage the time however you want. You HAVE to answer and review all the questions before moving on to the labs, once you've started the labs you can't go back to the questions - that makes sense to me as having access to a lab could help you answer a question ;-)

You don't get your score straight away as VMware have to review the lab work and score you on that. At the end of the whole exam you get a "Thanks for taking the exam" message and are told it will be 2-3 weeks before you get the result. I do know that the labs are not simulations, they are done on real systems in the VMware Education labs. The passing score is 300, and the top score you can get is 500.

The content is a mixture of concepts and administration, and both the questions and labs expect you to know how to use the VI Client and the CLI via an SSH session. In fact, the exam doesn't just expect you to know the right command in the CLI, it expects you to know the precise syntax too.

The questions are simple in format, just like the VCP exam, with a question that either has a single or multiple answers. Any question that needs multiple answers states how many answers are required. Just like the VCP exam you can leave questions incomplete, mark them for review, and move back and forward between the questions as you wish.

Each of the 11 labs has a specific task that must be carried out, or a specific problem that must be fixed, I'm going to call them "lablets" rather than full labs as each is small. Each lablet is performed on the same systems, so you need to be careful to make sure you don't do something in one lablet that affects other lablets, and the exam tells you to only perform the steps necessary as instructed and not to make other system changes. You do not have access to the internet from the lab environment, you only have access to a regular ESX and VirtualCenter deployment.

You should defintely review the Exam Blueprint:

This seems to be the most comprehensive study guide (link updated to latest version):

And by far the best training course to attend (with Global Knowledge) to prepare would be the Deploy Secure & Analyze (DSA):

From a training perspective, the lablets are very similar to some the of labs in the DSA course, and the answers to many of the questions also come from the slides, notes, and labs in the DSA course.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Now I am the Master

Something I predicted would happen a long time ago is actually going to happen after all.....

We've had the VCP for a long time now, we've just about got the VCDX too, but there's an enormous gap in the middle:

Nothing has been announced officially on this yet, but the "gap" is going to be filled by a "Master VCP" certification for those who complete 2 steps:

1. The current VCP

2. The Enterprise Admin exam which is currently step 2 of the VCDX

Quite how the exam will be run, and where you'll be able to take it, is yet to be determined, but expect the cost to be £250+VAT. The exam is part multiple-choice questions and part hands-on lab, and I'm actually taking it in 2 days time (I'm registered for the full VCDX) so hopefully I'll meet the requirements as soon as the "Master VCP" is fully launched.

The exam blueprint is available at:


The blueprint content is a great match to the Deploy Secure & Analyze (DSA) course, most of which is also covered in the Fast Track (FT) course:

DSA = http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/Default.aspx?page=461&coursecode=VMDSA

FT = http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/Default.aspx?page=461&coursecode=VMFT

Practice Tests for VCP

There are more than 25000 VCPs worldwide, and more people "join the club" every day. Certification is big business, and not just to those that get the certification. There's company after company on the internet that will sell you brain dumps and practice tests, but I would advise to be careful if using them to help you study and pass the VCP exam.

The attraction is obvious, you want to get an idea of the kind of questions you're going to get when you take the real thing. The danger is that the questions you see are not representative of the real thing, or more worringly the test you are using has invalid questions or the wrong answers!

From my experience, practice tests are never perfect, they all contain errors in varying numbers - I've seen some that had as many as 25-30% of the questions that were wrong or invalid in some kind of way. This means that you could be studying from pratice tests that are designed to help you pass but could actually help you fail.

All of the resources you need to pass the exam can be found in various places on the VMware web site:

The exam blueprint which will tell you what you need to know and where to find it:

The VI3 documentation which will provide you with the answer to every question:

The official mock exam which will show you the exam and question format:

The mock exam is produced by the same team that produce the real exam, some of the questions have previously appeared in the real exam.

VMware are not stupid, they know that unofficial practice tests exist, and there's not exactly a huge amount they can do to stop them. From conversations I've had with some of the guys and gals at VMware, they review these practice tests and when they find questions that are identical to those in the real exam they remove them from the real exam. BUT if practice tests contain incorrect or invalid questions they deliberately leave those questions in the real exam - they want to catch out anyone who is memorizing practice tests.

There is another way of focusing yourself on the exam, you could come and attend a preparation workshop with us at Global Knowledge:

The workshop will help you develop a technique to help you pass, there are lots of practice questions that we go through on the day, and the session is run by a VMware Certified Instructor - and although the regular passing score is 70 we have to get 85!!