My VCDX experience

Friday the 30th of October Rutger and myself got the great news that we both passed the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) defense! What a trip it was! In this blog post I would like to take you through my experience of the whole process…

VCDX-DCV

For the ones not familiar with the VMware VCDX program, here’s a quick introduction…

VCDX-DCV requires enterprise-class vSphere and data center virtualization skills. This elite group is comprised of design architects highly-skilled in VMware enterprise deployments The program is designed for veteran professionals who want to validate and demonstrate their expertise in VMware technology.

Certification is achieved through the unique design defense process, where all candidates must submit and successfully defend a production-ready VMware Solution before a panel of veteran VCDX holders. This process ensures that those who achieve VCDX status are peer-vetted and ready to join an elite group of world-class consulting architects.

All in all it is a pretty time consuming track which goes back to the days where I was learning for the VMware VCP5-DCV certification. After that I went ahead and aimed for both VCAP5 certifications (soon to be replaced by the VCIX exams). Just about a year ago, I actually decided to step it up a notch and go for the pinnacle of VMware certification being VCDX!

However, It did take me up to 6 months to actually start with my application. If I would do the whole thing again, I would definitely started way earlier with it than I did. Oh well, once up & running I managed to stay focused and put in the effort required.

I’ve talked to a fair amount of current VCDX holders over time and always knew I wanted to be part of this. I wanted to know if I could do this. What was the worst that could happen, right?! To fail perhaps? Then I would go for a second chance. No shame in that.

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VMworld 2015 US recap

After our Silicon Valley Tour it was VMworld 2015 time! We registered on Sunday and immediately felt it was going to be pretty busy, numbers-of-people-wise. This was confirmed in the first general keynote. It was said there were approximately 23.000 attendees at VMworld US. That’s insane!!

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The general keynotes withheld some cool announcements, but it did lack of a real ‘wow’ factor. The most significant announcements were;

  • EVO:SDDC; A rebranded name for the EVO:RACK offering that includes SDDC manager and the following (updated) products:
    • vRealize Suite for management
    • vSphere 6
    • NSX 6.2 for Software Defined Networking
    • VSAN 6.1 for Software Defined Storage
  • Project SkyScraper
    • Cross cloud vMotion; Demoed and looking very nifty! vMotion virtual machines between your on-premises (private cloud) to vCloud Air (public cloud).
    • Content Sync; seamlessly sync your on-premises content library with the content catalog in vCloud Air.
  • Cloud Native Applications
    • vSphere Integrated Containersextending vSphere for visibility of deployed containers running in a VM from an IT infrastructure point-of-view.
    • VMware Photon platform; new platform built and optimized for cloud native apps
  • Windows 10 + VMware AirWatch = Project A2;  VMware has brought the capabilities of AirWatch and App Volumes together to create unified employee management. This allows simple movement of apps from previous Windows operating systems into the Windows 10 environment.
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Silicon Valley Tour

As mentioned in our previous post, we had have the opportunity to visit a couple of very interesting companies located in silicon valley prior to VMworld US.

Rubrik

We started off on Thursday at Rubrik. Chris Wahl, John Koo and Arvind Nithrakashyap (aka Nitro 🙂 ) were kind enough to welcome us at Rubrik HQ. We also had the pleasure to shake hands with Rubrik’s CEO Bipul Sinha!

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We had a preview on Chris his upcoming VMworld presentation and discussed the vision and strategy of Rubrik as we went along. Some very interesting statements there about converged data management. As far as we can tell, Rubrik is bringing simplicity and infinite scaling into backup and recovery. The ease of deployment and their idea to create SLA domains to protect your data is really something that impressed us.

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Attending VMworld 2015

This August Rutger Kosters & myself will attend VMworld 2015 US where we will represent our employer YaWorks. We will fly in a bit early (on Wednesday the 26th of August) to check on the Valley before we will head to downtown SFO. We will hook up with a (near) local who is quite familiar with the Valley and SFO surroundings. 😉


Update 1: Our befriended near local inhabitant (Frank Denneman) arranged visits to some of the most interesting vendors out there. We will meet-up with the clever minds of the following vendors in their HQ prior to VMworld!


Flights booked, straight from Amsterdam to San Francisco. Some pretty cool residences booked in Palo Alto (first few days) and SFO. Gotta love Airbnb! Ford Mustang > check!!
Needless to say we are pretty damn pleased, to say the least, with the support from our employer who made this all possible for us. 😀

vmworld2015-sfo

Cloudfix colleague Robert Verdam will, almost certainly, attend VMworld 2015 EMEA in Barcelona. We will try to make it to Barcelona also… Time will tell.


Update 2: Robert and myself are among the few of many vExperts to have received a blogger-pass by VMware for VMworld Barcelona!! Rutger will wander the streets of Barcelona during day hours and will be available for dinner and parties! 😀


 

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Exploring Hedvig

We had the chance to sit down and have a chat with the Hedvig EMEA guys last week. They gave us a very good presentation on what Hedvig can bring and what they are working on. As we recently got to know Hedvig and their software defined storage solution, we were pretty amazed with their view on SDS and their long list of supported platforms and enterprise storage features and services. Although it is pretty hard to explain all the goods Hedvig brings in one post, we will give it a try! 🙂

 

hedvig-cloudfixNot too long ago, Hedvig Inc came out of stealth after a period of developing since June of 2012. They are opting for a slightly different approach with the general availability (GA) status compared to other SDS start-ups. When their software will be GA with version 1.0, it will be a fully developed, full feature solution which is already running production at several enterprise early adopter customers! It is likely version 1.0 is released next week (week 23)!!

Okay, so let us focus on what makes Hedvig unique. They introduce themselves using the quote below.

Put simply: Hedvig gets better and smarter as it scales. Hedvig defies conventional wisdom, transforming commodity hardware into the most advanced storage solution available today. Hedvig accelerates data to value by collapsing disparate storage systems into a single platform, creating a virtualized storage pool that provisions storage with a few clicks, scales to petabytes, and runs seamlessly in both private and public clouds.

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VMTurbo? VMTurbo!

I have to admit I never used VMTurbo before. Heard a lot about them, read a fair deal about them, but never actually deployed their solutions myself. Let’s change that! And while I’m at it, let me write down my 2 cents on VMTurbo in this post…

vmturbo

So, VMTurbo first launched it’s offering in August 2010 and kept growing steadily. Their solution providing you the tools you need to utilize your virtual infrastructure at a much more efficient way compared to the resource monitoring and management your hypervisor brings you by default.

It will bring you great advantages like; less effort needed from your administrators to manually monitor and configure resources for your virtual infrastructure running your applications. And, it will create a more predicable performance for your applications! You will also benefit from being able to serve more workloads on your virtual infrastructure with less compute resources.

 

Quick deployment

Needless to say, I’m testing VMTurbo on a vSphere cluster. My homelab to be exact.
Using the OVA template, you should be up and running within minutes. I had to tone down the resources, used by the appliance, a notch. By default it’s willing to claim 4 vCPU’s and 16GB memory. No worries there in a common cluster, but within my lab environment, memory is scarce. 🙂

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