An Open Thank You to Pluralsight


This post is almost a year overdue.  I apologize to Pluralsight and the company formerly known as Trainsignal (whom Pluralsight acquired last year – I’ll refer singly to Pluralsight for the remainder) for the lateness of this post.

Thank you.  For the second year in a row, Pluralsight continued its over-the-top generosity by supplying those recognized as 2014 VMware vExperts with a free, yearly subscription to their immense IT and development training courses.

Thank you.  For the second year in a row I was blessed to be recognized as a vExpert for my contributions to the vCommunity and I received Pluralsight’s complementary subscription.

Thank you.  Many of us in IT know that our currency, the value to ourselves, our career, our clients and companies, is knowledge.  We value knowledge to a high degree.  Our livelihoods and those for which we work, to a large degree, rely on how well we know our craft.  Pluralsight’s gift of a free year of their premium IT training is incredible.  I value it so much because of the usefulness and success I’ve found with it.  Training in IT is crucial if you want to stick around very long.  One has to make it a priority if they want to succeed.  Pluralsight’s gift is like handing an IT guy a link to success.  Here you go – do great things.

Thank you.  Pluralsight, I know you didn’t have to do this. It means a lot to me that you think highly enough of this group of evangelists to give freely of your time and efforts in producing the highest quality training.

Thank you.  From a very grateful IT guy.


Getting Started with EMC Storage


EMC LogoSo I’ve been asked to get up to speed on EMC.  We’re really a Flexpod company, which includes Cisco, NetApp, and VMware, but we’re finding clients in our Dallas / Fort Worth market that are already EMC customers and would like to stay that way.  Many times, it makes more sense for these shops to stick with EMC.  One reason for this is that we find small to mid-size shops that already have the technical expertise to manage an EMC environment are sometimes reluctant to defenestrate the platform on which they’re most comfortable.  Selling them a NetApp would not be setting them up for as much success as we would if we left them with hardware already in their management comfort zone, assuming the sale met their needs in the first place.

And so here I am, ready and raring to learn EMC.  I’m already a NetApp dude and have a firm grasp on storage fundamentals, but this will be my first foray into EMC.  While I’m already using my google-fu to find training aids, I’d love to hear the recommendations from the vCommunity on how best to learn EMC products.

I’m already tracking on Joe Kelly’s Pluralsight training which I’m sure I’ll lean on heavily.  I also know that Nick Weaver has a simulator out there.  What other free learning tools would you recommend?


Book Review: Implementing VMware vCenter Server


Book Cover: Ipmlementing VMware vCenter Server

I was recently given the opportunity to review Packt Publishing’s recent release of Implementing VMware vCenter Server: A practical guide for deploying and using VMware vCenter, suitable for IT professionals.  At first glance, I wondered how an entire book could be written about vCenter alone.  While reading it, though, I was pleasantly surprised time and again when I saw how much good information was shared.  This book is an excellent primer for those new to vCenter and really, VMware in general.

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Reviewing NetApp Shelf Faults


imageWith the arrival of Spring days away, I’m getting the fever to get moving and share some great content.  I’m excited to be putting out some NetApp-related posts that I think people will find useful.  I’ve installed several new NetApp systems for clients recently and these posts should help them start managing, monitoring, and configuring their systems correctly from the start.  Or perhaps you’ve had NetApp in your environment for some time but have had questions about getting insight into your systems or some “best practices.”  These posts should get you started and answer some of those questions.


A coworker recently received an alert from NetApp AutoSupport and he didn’t know what to do with it.  Since the alert itself wasn’t detailed enough to take action, I thought I’d share this for those who also receive these less than ideal alerts.

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Thoughts on VCP Recertification


imageThanks to Twitter and Patrick Kremer’s article, I caught the recent news that starting 10 March 2014, VMware will require VCPs to recertify every 2 years to keep their certification current.  You can read VMware’s release here.  I took the time to read the comment threads on Patricks’ and other’s blogs to get an idea of folks’ reactions.  Since you asked, here are my thoughts on the subject.

I shouldn’t have to say that it’s obviously VMware’s prerogative to change or create new policies regarding their certification programs.  This shouldn’t be a topic of conversation. 

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Deploy and Manage Dell Management Suite Infrastructure


By request, this post is a reproduction of an internal operational document I handed over for the environment in which I installed it.

Overview

The Dell Management Infrastructure consists of two dedicated VMs in addition to relying on vCenter and a database. The two dedicated VMs run three separate Dell applications in a Windows Server 2008 R2 VM and a Linux Virtual Appliance. The three applications are Dell OpenManage (OME), Dell Repository Manager (RM), and the Dell Management Plug-in (DMP) Virtual Appliance itself. An overview of the infrastructure is below.

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Thoughts on Implementing Cisco Data Center Unified Computing Exam (DCUCI v5.0) 642-999


CCNA-DC

Working for a Cisco VAR, I recently had the opportunity to take the DCUCI exam to meet our Partner requirements. As noted in the title, I took version 5.0 of the exam. I thought I might take a moment and record my thoughts on the exam. As always, I have to stay within the limits set by Cisco’s non-disclosure agreement about test questions and content, but I hope to give someone an idea of what to expect and how best to prepare.

I haven’t recorded my test prep materials before, so here goes my first attempt. It includes a Data Center background in VMware vSphere, Cisco Nexus, and storage, on-the-job experience, lab time and training videos.

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