Friday, 25 February 2011

New Course - vSphere: Advanced Fast Track

VMware have decided to create an advanced-level extended-hours course for vSphere 4 - vSphere: Advanced Fast Track. This course will combine together the vSphere: Troubleshooting course (4 days) with the vSphere: Manage for Performance course (3 days) into a single 5-day extended-hours course.

This new combined course will offer excellent preparation for the VCAP4-DCA exam, and will include a voucher for the exam as part of the course fee. The course is expected to be available within the next couple of months, the content is still being finalised at the moment, and pricing has yet to be determined.

This course is going to be perfect for anyone who's attended the vSphere: Install Configure Manage, vSphere: What's New, or the old vSphere: Fast Track course, and also for those who attend the new vSphere: Automation Fast Track - it gives students from any of those courses an excellent follow-on course as well as helping prepare for the VCAP4-DCA exam.

New Course - vSphere: Automation Fast Track

Until the end of 2010, one of the courses we offered to our customers was a vSphere: Fast Track - which combined together roughly 7 days of various vSphere 4.0 courses into a single extended-hour training course.

VMware updated the core vSphere: Install Configure Manage course for the 4.1 release and grew it out to 5 days at the same time, pulling in quite a lot of material that previously formed the old Fast Track.

I can now confirm that VMware plan to release a new Automation Fast Track course, which will run as a 5-day extended-hours course. This course will combine together all the material from the current Install Configure Manage course (5 days) with the Automation with vSphere PowerCLI course (2 days) - so 7 days worth of training in 5 days.

So what else can I tell you about this new course? Well some of the details are still emerging, but I can say that the course will include a voucher for the VCP4 exam. The release date has still not been confirmed, but I would expect it to be within the next couple of months, course pricing has also yet to be set.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Coming Soon - Book Reviews!

Like a lot of virtualisation bloggers, I've been asked plenty of times over the last couple of years if I would like to be an author or contributor to vSphere books - sometimes they're VCP study guides and sometimes they're vSphere reference books or admin guides - the problem is I don't have the time so I've always declined!

I've now started receiving reviewer copies of some vSphere-related books, and so once I've had a good read through them I'll start posting reviews here on the blog - I know other bloggers who are a lot more well-known than me who already do the same so I really appreciate being asked. All part of being a vExpert!

I've already read through one book I received recently, and I've told the publisher that I wouldn't want to tarnish their reputation "in public" by sharing my true thoughts on it with you all - so I'm in the process of doing an in-depth review of that particular book that will only be seen by the publisher so they can improve any future edition of that title - and no, I'm not telling you what it was... ;-)

If any authors or publishers out there would like to cast my eye over their wares, please get in touch with me:

I hope to get my first review posted in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Half-marathon - Done!

I blogged recently about me running my first ever half-marathon with some colleagues from Global Knowledge, for a special little girl called Evie who requires surgery in the USA - well we completed the run on Sunday 13th February! There were 10 of us who started, we all finished - I finished in a group of 5 with a time of 2:32:43 - I'm really glad I did it on a personal level as well as it being for an excellent cause.

We have raised a really large some of money from donations, and Global Knowledge agreed to double every single penny raised - this is going to make a massive difference to Evie and give her the chance to live the best life she can - I know some of the donations came from some of you who read this blog so a big thankyou to everyone who did donate!

If you haven't donated yet and wish to, it's not too late, follow this link and you can find out more about Evie too:

Global Knowledge also issued a press release to highlight the reason for the run:

Next up for me are a series of 10k runs, and a 140-foot abseil down the side of a rather tall building!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Free Webinar on VMware Certifications and Career Paths

One my colleagues within Global Knowledge, Marcel Teeuwen, is hosting a free webinar on 1st March 2011, titled Is there life after VCP? VMware Certifications and Career Paths

Here's the URL with the details and a registration link:

It should be a good session - if I'm free I'll join the session too.

London VMUG - Done!

I blogged a few weeks ago about the London VMware User Group (VMUG), I was invited to present at the most recent event yesterday, and thought I'd post a quick review.

I had a 30-minute slot and it flew by. There were plenty of questions from a wide number of people in the audience, and the session seem to be very well received - well I thought it went well anyway! I enjoyed the whole afternoon, but really felt in my element delivering my presentation.

The vBeers in the pub afterwards were also very enjoyable! I had some great chats with plenty of people I already know, and met a few new faces too. The next event is already booked for May 12th and I'll blog about that closer to the time.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Simply, the best!

I'm hugely proud to be able to confirm that Global Knowledge UK have been awarded the title of Education Partner of the Year for the entire EMEA region! Here's the full list of winners: VMware EMEA Partner Network Award Winners

I joined the company back at the start of 2009, on the same day that we became a VMware Authorized Training Center (VATC) in the UK, and one of the key reasons I chose to work here was that the company were really serious about becoming a significant player in the UK market.

Since then we have seen incredible growth, outperforming the market quarter after quarter, increasing our market share as we go, and have really established ourselves during challenging times in the global economy. I started this blog and all my other online activities as part of my goal to help us grow, and that has been hugely successful both on a personal level and for the company.

I was the only VMware Certified Instructor (VCI) at the start, and I now head up a team of 5 VCIs who have an incredibly broad skill set that covers Cisco, Citrix and Microsoft technology areas in addition to VMware. We also have a talented Business Development Director who manages our relationship with VMware, and drives activities within the business to help our growth, so achieving this award really is a team effort!

We've also gone above and beyond in terms of the content we deliver as a VATC, the VMware Xtra portal that we launched in 2010 attracted interest and praise from those in the VMware Education team worldwide, as well as at a corporate level throughout Global Knowledge. Moving forward, we will continue to innovate and deliver additional value to all our customers, we want to deliver the best overall learning experience we can.

I'm also able to confirm that Global Knowledge USA have won the equivalent award for the Americas region! Here's the global winners list: VMware Partner Network Global Awards

The amazing part is that VMware only split the world into three regions, and Global Knowledge now hold this award for two out of the three regions - an amazing achievement! I've thoroughlly enjoyed the last two years with the company, 2010 was a great year for us, bring on 2011!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

New Desktop Certifications

I knew this line of certifications was going to be launched in this quarter, but they've now been officially announced, VMware have launched a new range of certifications centred around vSphere 4.x and View 4.5:

VMware Certified Associate: Desktop (VCA4-DT)
VMware Certified Professional: Desktop (VCP4-DT)
VMware Certified Advanced Professional: Desktop (VCAP4-DT)

The current state of play is that registration is open for the beta VCA4-DT exam, and the beta exam blueprint has also been published. A mock exam will also be made available.

VCA4-DT has no compulsory training or certification pre-requisites, although VMware recommend completion of the following to help with preparation for the exam:

VMware View 4.5: Fundamentals - a 4-hour self-paced e-learning course
VMware View 4.5: Install Configure Manage - a 4-day instructor-led course

VCP4-DT and VCAP4-DT will both have certification pre-requisites, for example the VCP4-DT exam will only be available for those already holding the VCP4 certification.

Here are the sections in the current version of the VCA4-DT exam blueprint:

- Monitor VMware View Environment
- Maintain pools and desktop resources
- Manage ThinApp entitlements
- Support and Troubleshooting
- End User Support
- Component features and functions

It remains to be seen if VMware will announce further specialist certifications...

UPDATE: February 11th
A quote from Yves Sandfort who took the VCA4-DT beta exam: "I even tried the Beta Exam today, a few surprises but I think should be achievable by anybody attending View ICM and ThinApp courses... Wouldn't suggest to try without..."

Fancy a free re-take for your VCP exam?

If you've been reading my blog for a while, or have gone trawling back through any of my older posts, you'll know that Pearson Vue and VMware ran promotions in 2010 that gave students attending an official VMware course a 10% discount for the VCP exam - I've been in the Top 10 instructors worldwide for both of the previous promotions - I blogged about that recently here:

The new promotion has just launched today, and this time Pearson Vue and VMware have changed the incentive to offer a free re-take for the VCP exam, so however you pay for your VCP exam, whether it's by card or voucher, you will be included in the promotion and it really is a "no brainer" to use the code... You might as well, just in case you need it!

Attend an official VMware course with me and I'll give you my promotion code, apply the code to your booking for your first attempt at the exam, and if you need to book a re-take (on or before 8th July 2011) it will be free of charge - simple.