VMware Certification & General Advice Thread

Caporegime
Joined
20 Sep 2006
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27,989
I've been meaning to do this for a while. For those who don't know, I work for VMware in the Professional Services Organisation as a Senior Consultant. I specialise in the SDDC suite of our products, mainly around VCF, HCI, vSAN, NSX etc. It involves the design and delivery as well as health checks for our customers.

I've amassed quite a few certs, VCIX DCV (both VCAPs) and a couple of VCPs (DCV and NV). I'm currently studying towards VCAP in NV and once the current COVID-19 situation is over I'll most likely be pursuing VCDX however I'm not sure in which track yet.

I thought I'd start this thread if anyone here, professional or otherwise, has any specific VMware questions, wants guidance on exam paths, our products and what not. Or if anyone is interested in joining VMware I can share how I feel about them as an employee (spoiler - very good!).

I do have a blog which you can check out here. I've just added a new homelab post and I'm working on an NSX-T 3.0 one at the moment.

So, anyone else certified? Or even any other employees? Please feel to share any questions you have.
 
Associate
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28 Feb 2008
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456
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Northamptonshire
Registering some interest here.

VCP5-DCV / VCAP5-DCD / VCP-NV / VCP-NV 2019.

Unfortunately my current employer doesn't place as much anywhere near value on certification as previous roles, but for my own benefit I need to start getting back into the certification wagon, I only managed to do the NV 2019 as it was a watch some "What's New" videos to get certified. Lots of my certification is old (MCSA 2017: Cloud Platform / VMCE 9.0 / Nutanix Platform Professional 5 / HP MASE v2)

Currently self studying whilst on furlough to try and get out of the rut, albeit with my Azure certs at the moment, VMware updates are on the list as well as Veeam. Studying seems a lot harder after doing no real certification for 2.5 years and 2 kids at home, but I'm determined to get updated!
 
Don
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It's been at least a few months since I had my last look at the vmware certification paths but the main thing that has always put me off is the requirement to pay £3k+ for a course run by an approved provider. Now I appreciate that there's an argument that this is a good way of protecting the value of the certification, but the other big players don't feel the need to do it, so why does vmware? Maybe this has changed, and if so, good, colour me interested!
 
Caporegime
Joined
20 Sep 2006
Posts
27,989
It's been at least a few months since I had my last look at the vmware certification paths but the main thing that has always put me off is the requirement to pay £3k+ for a course run by an approved provider. Now I appreciate that there's an argument that this is a good way of protecting the value of the certification, but the other big players don't feel the need to do it, so why does vmware? Maybe this has changed, and if so, good, colour me interested!
You used to be able to get VCP6-NV if you help CCNA or higher, although looking this morning that path has now been removed. If you speak to various providers you should be able to get a hefty discount, I think I paid around £1.5k when I did mine through Global Knowledge. It's paid dividends for me.
 

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Associate
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23 Mar 2005
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I have not bothered since I did my vcap4 even though we still use it across thousands of hosts. One thing we have been talking about nsx as I like the look but its just so expensive I don't see the value working here without some hefty cost reduction. Same for the new cloud formation with kubernetes it would make like easier but cost wise I cannot get a value add as we have skilled people.

Things driving me nuts is a currently deploy venter with a Sible but use modules, ssh with bash scripts, rest api, editing ldap files, powershell and i still need to do steps manually
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
Posts
4,470
It's been at least a few months since I had my last look at the vmware certification paths but the main thing that has always put me off is the requirement to pay £3k+ for a course run by an approved provider. Now I appreciate that there's an argument that this is a good way of protecting the value of the certification, but the other big players don't feel the need to do it, so why does vmware? Maybe this has changed, and if so, good, colour me interested!

Those courses never have any basis on what is required to pass the exam too. Been on many of the Vcp ones now, and not once has the content covered what is actually on the exams. They're usually at a ridiculously simple level.

Always end going down the brown paper bag or yellow bricks route to prepare for them once the box has been ticked for any course requirement.

As for the vcap exams, they do my head in too as it's more about learning how to work the exam software to make your perfectly valid solution work in the simulator.

Either way, vmware is why I've done alright in life so far.
 
Associate
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15 Sep 2009
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Manchester
Can I just say, VCF as a product, what a load of absolute buggy junk haha. Can't even update to the newer version because it's greenfield only.
 
Caporegime
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27,989
Can I just say, VCF as a product, what a load of absolute buggy junk haha. Can't even update to the newer version because it's greenfield only.
You mean 4.0? Yeah there is no upgrade path at the moment frustratingly but I am led to believe it's in the works.

The issue causing it most likely is that NSX-V cannot run on vSphere 7 so it's working out a V to T migration path without a huge outage.

What about it do you find buggy? The deployment process or once it's deployed?
 
Associate
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Manchester
You mean 4.0? Yeah there is no upgrade path at the moment frustratingly but I am led to believe it's in the works.

The issue causing it most likely is that NSX-V cannot run on vSphere 7 so it's working out a V to T migration path without a huge outage.

What about it do you find buggy? The deployment process or once it's deployed?

A huge amount of problems, the latest one we run into every time which is we have to get temporary vSAN licensing because VCF doesn't understand that adding additional hosts to the stretched cluster doesn't suddenly require over 500 vSAN Licenses.

It also doesn't add new nodes into a Fault Domain when adding them, but boots them up outside of maintenance mode so that we have to turn DRS to manual on a simple addition of nodes, plus you can only add nodes in a supported way two at a time, but we run into problems each time and have to add them 1 at a time because we have a stretched design across two sites and the networks are different, which of course means the pre-reqs fail to add a host each time.

We also ran into the fact that recently vRA doesn't do any form of string manipulation on their tenant ID's and if you use capitals it simply doesn't work, and you have to recreate the tenant from scratch, plus we had to get VMware back-end engineering involved far too many times just to iron out multiple bugs. Frustratingly VMware Validated Design that we were advised to go with was supposedly a global first. It was also NSX-T supported but we were recommended NSX-V (the design was done quite some time ago) so that was also a bit frustrating as it'll be an expensive project for the client to now also migrate to NSX-T.

Overall, just more issues than expected with a product sold to solve a lot of the issues haha, as always I'm sure it'll mature and I look forward to doing a 4.0 deployment to see where there have been significant improvements, but for the moment I will lament of how shoddy a product it is for us.
 
Associate
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1 Feb 2009
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Do you know if VMworld will be on hold this year? Our engineering team have all been so us Senior Ops leads are now able to get use of the tickets.
 
Man of Honour
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Essex

This is clearly the right place :) So tell me... Is Horizons worth it and how does it fit alongside my estate? i'm on essentials plus two seperate licenses for two geographical locations with veeam, you know the rest of the setup :D
 
Caporegime
Joined
20 Sep 2006
Posts
27,989
This is clearly the right place :) So tell me... Is Horizons worth it and how does it fit alongside my estate? i'm on essentials plus two seperate licenses for two geographical locations with veeam, you know the rest of the setup :D
What do you want to use it for? It's a large product suite. I've only ever set up desktop pools on it and it's worked extremely well and intuitive in the new HTML5 UI.
 
Man of Honour
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Essex
What do you want to use it for? It's a large product suite. I've only ever set up desktop pools on it and it's worked extremely well and intuitive in the new HTML5 UI.

Basically that I went to spin up virtual desktops on the fly.
 
Associate
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Manchester
Basically that I went to spin up virtual desktops on the fly.

It's definitely good for that. You can do various bits of provisioning whether it's linked-clones, instant-clones etc, if you want a thick gold image (old school) or a on the fly image. You can tie it in with the likes of UEM and FSLogix which is fantastic, and it has that VMware feel which is nice if you're used to managing a VMware estate. VMware do HOL for you to have a play if you're interested plenty of Horizon labs. Someone with a more focused and current VMware VDI background will probably be able to give a more up-to-date answer, but i've done plenty of Horizon deployments and it's the best product out there in my mind, I'm just forced to work with Citrix these days if I do get involved in EUC which I avoid.
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
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4,470
It's fairly pricey just to spin up a few desktops. You definitely need a business case for it.

I'd also say the standard license is not worth it either, as it gives you Vdi from 5-10 years ago. You want instant clones, and UEM to do a proper solid deployment. You also get App Volumes, which is best avoided unless you're a sadist (it's a house of cards).

There's also a hidden gem of product included called Mirage. Nobody uses it and I can't understand why: effectively introduces the benefits of vdi to your traditional desktop/laptops. It is a super powerful desktop management tool.

If you're serious about it, I'd look at Horizon Cloud too, as that gives you the ability to spin up desktops on public cloud or on-prem very quickly. Definitely next-gen Vdi.
 
Man of Honour
Joined
30 Oct 2003
Posts
11,997
Location
Essex
It's fairly pricey just to spin up a few desktops. You definitely need a business case for it.

I'd also say the standard license is not worth it either, as it gives you Vdi from 5-10 years ago. You want instant clones, and UEM to do a proper solid deployment. You also get App Volumes, which is best avoided unless you're a sadist (it's a house of cards).

There's also a hidden gem of product included called Mirage. Nobody uses it and I can't understand why: effectively introduces the benefits of vdi to your traditional desktop/laptops. It is a super powerful desktop management tool.

If you're serious about it, I'd look at Horizon Cloud too, as that gives you the ability to spin up desktops on public cloud or on-prem very quickly. Definitely next-gen Vdi.

I'm serious, but im also sensible as in I have a budget to work within. I think the thing to do is have a play and see what happens. I think I can evaluate it so perhaps thats the next thing to do.
 
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