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New Year’s resolution – Some back to basic reading and getting back into the certification game

December 31st, 2015 No comments

I bought a Safaribooks subscription during the black Friday week in my vacation time (who could resist unlimited access to basically every major tech book publisher for less than 300 bucks for a whole year).

As the new year is coming up it’s time for some resolutions as well, mine will mainly include some reading. 🙂

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VCIX-NV exam experience

January 17th, 2015 2 comments

After a little mishap in November (found a bug in the system, yay!) I could finally sit (and pass) the VCIX-NV exam yesterday. I will skip through telling about the obvious stuff like length and number of questions as they can be easily found in the exam blueprint.

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Categories: Certification, VCAP Tags:

Adding initial NSX configuration to HOL-1403

December 31st, 2014 2 comments

It looks like VMware modified the NSX beginner lab 1403 so that the tasks now are completely independent of each other and can be done in pretty much any order. Unfortunately this process lost all of the initial configuration steps that were included in the actual lab.

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Categories: Certification, VCAP Tags:

Setting up Cisco VIRL using VMware Workstation 10

December 24th, 2014 No comments

I did receive my Cisco VIRL download link yesterday and after a couple of minutes waiting (do use a download manager as they recommend, without it would abort a couple of times for me) I finally got the OVA and key file as well.

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Categories: CCNA DC, Certification, Homelab Tags:

VCDX troubleshooting mock scenarios – Part 2

October 11th, 2014 No comments

Just before VMworld starts I quickly wanted to share the new scenarios I created for the last batch of VCDX candidates, like last time, if you are interested in the actual solution to each of them hit me up on twitter via @fbuechsel and we can set up a webex session for you to actually do the 15 minutes troubleshooting mock and I will tell you the solution in the end.

As always all scenarios are based on actual SRs I had to deal with.

VCDX study group part 2

Categories: Certification, VCDX Tags:

VCP-NV exam experience

September 12th, 2014 2 comments

As I finally got the possibility to sit the exam I wanted to share the experience. The VCP-NV is the latest addition to the VMware certificate family and was officially released a couple of weeks ago.

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VCDX troubleshooting mock scenarios

September 8th, 2014 No comments

As another round of VCDX candidates will start doing mocks shortly I just quickly wanted to share the troubleshooting mock scenarios I put the last round of EMEA guys through.

Each scenario is based on an actual customer case, real world with little tweaks. Scenario 3 can also be tweaked by replacing the virtual against a physical vCenter Server.

VCDX study group

If you are interested in the solutions to each of them hit me up on twitter via @fbuechsel and we can set up a webex session for you to actually do the 15 minutes troubleshooting mock 🙂

Categories: Certification, VCDX Tags:

EMCCIS exam experience

September 7th, 2014 No comments

A while back I sat the EMCCIS and as there is very limited exposure for this exam track out there I wanted to do a small write up as I found the experience quite enjoyable.

The exam is clearly positioned as an entry level exam in a 3 step track so you can expect a very wide range of topics but no in depth technology questions. You should be familiar with all the concepts on the blueprint though, for most on a “describe” for some on a “configure” level.

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Categories: Certification Tags:

VCAP-DTA exam experience

February 21st, 2014 2 comments

Today I sat the VCAP-DTA exam and obviously don’t have any results yet 🙂

Overall I am extremely pleased with the exam experience, it had a very logical structure without jumping from A to B too much. You can see the experience VMware gained through the VCAP-DCA and VCAP-CIA exams there, while I was jumping around from one part of the blueprint and logical structure of the data center in the VCAP-DCA and the exam felt like all over the place, the VCAP-DTA almost tells a story with a very comprehensive logical flow.

I also liked the implementation of the troubleshooting section in general, it is much more relaxing to know what the issue is and not wondering at every task if something is set up the way it should be or if it is a hidden troubleshooting scenario like in the VCAP-DCA.

As described in the blueprint I had to do 23 tasks (of which some were further broken down into independent sub tasks of some sort) and got allotted 180 minutes to complete them to the best of my knowledge and ability.

On most VCAP reviews you will always read one sentence: “Time management is key!”. While this is also true for the VCAP-DTA I felt much more relaxed during the exam compared to the VCAP-DCA or VCAP-CIA. This might just be because having done 5 VCAPs I kinda get the hang of it by now but I do like to think that part of it also lies in the structural approach this exam takes. I could comfortably look at all tasks and if I had had the knowledge for all of them I could also have implemented them. As I am too lazy to update my information for the exam center I am not getting the 30 minutes extra time for not being a native English speaker, so if you have that “advantage” you should be fine for time.

There are a couple of things that I disliked though. This includes that I had no way to verify my solutions on ALL troubleshooting tasks I got, basically making it a game of educated guessing rather than real troubleshooting. I also struggled with several disconnects (I believe I had around 8 or 9 in total) which cost me a good 10 minutes of the total time. Documentation also still is in PDF format with Adobe Acrobat being the only available reader, even though that should change in the future. This makes scrolling in the documentation or zooming incredibly slow and documentation therefore rather useless. Some questions also could need some clarifications as sometimes there is no default configuration and you have several options in front of you of which all could make sense, making it a best guess game again.

Overall these points should not be contributing too much of me passing or failing the exam though, if I fail it is not because I lost 10 minutes of time or because I could not look up something in the documentation, after all this is supposed to be an advanced level exam where you simply have to know your ****.

I could have done a lot more for preparation, my exposure to Horizon View so far has been starting the View Client to connect to a desktop and seeing the administrative interface for roughly 4 hours in total. As my home lab server had a hard disk failure and I had not done backups of my environment yet I basically just read up on the tasks that were mentioned in the blueprint. I would NOT recommend that as a general practice though.

As for study resources I used:

Categories: Certification, VCAP Tags:

Book review: VMware Horizon View 5.3 Design Patterns and Best Practices

January 23rd, 2014 No comments

As I am currently studying for the VCAP-DTA I try to get all the literature safaribooks has to offer on the theme together to properly break down the blueprint.

One of the books I read so far has been VMware Horizon View 5.3 Design Patterns and Best Practices by Jason Ventresco.

As the title suggests this book is not overly suited for the VCAP-DTA as this is a practical exam and the content of the book is oriented for design work. It is a good read for people studying for the VCAP-DTD though. The 6 chapters cover a major part of the blueprint listing pros and cons of various design decisions. It also does some example calculations for compute and storage resources which might come in handy during the exam.

The content that can be delivered on 130 pages is of course limited but the author manages to talk about the most important subjects of the exam which would be general benefits, risks and design considerations, pool design, RDP vs PCoIP, network bandwidth constraints, sizing of compute resources, storage consideration, profile management and the various client options.

The only thing the book is lacking to not only be a good but a great read for exam preparation would be a design walk through as it is done in the vCloud Architecture Toolkit for example.

Nonetheless I would recommend everyone studying for the VCAP-DTD to have a look at the book as it contains alot of valuable and relevant information for the exam.

Categories: Books, Certification, VCAP Tags: