Day 1 of training complete!

So the first day of training went really well.  There are 5 students in the class (including myself) and our trainer is Brian Watrous from VMware.  He is a great trainer as he really engages the class, and has an excellent form of dialogue.  Also has a great sense of humor.  Food is good too, which I’d hope so based on the cost ha!  The training materials that have been provided are very solid and thorough, and overall I am quite pleased thus far.  Since they normally pair people up to do things like vmotion and the like, and since we only have 5 people in the class, the instructor asked me if I just wanted to do an additional student and then pair up with myself.  I jumped at the chance as it’s more goodies I can play with ha!  Not that it’s as different as my lab at home, but hey, it’s fun!

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The day before heading to vSphere training

Well I woke up a bit late this morning and have been taking it very easy today.  My lab is all built up, with one DL360 as an esxi 4 host and the other as a normal esx 4 host.  I’m all packed and will be heading for the train station this afternoon.  I think my preparations thus far have been really good.  I’m finishing up Mastering VMware vSphere 4 by Scott Lowe, which has been an excellent book.  I’ll be taking the VCP next week, probably Wednesday?  Depends on how I feel over this coming weekend with practice tests and the like.  I’ll post throughout the week as the training continues to give a sort of blow by blow.

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The week before vsphere: the panic!

Okay, so it’s not really panic. It’s more “I don’t know enough!”. So, maybe panic. Regardless, I wanted to detail my lab environment so folks can realize it’s not retarded complex to get the party started. For my everyday life, anime viewing, and virtualizing, I have a macbook pro (for those inquiring minds, a 13″). VMware fusion is helpful, but it’s not the best to handle the business on a mac laptop. So, I’ve moved things to my lab for managing, and just use fusion for the windows vm for the vsphere client. So, on to the lab!

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So this lab I’ve got is somewhat piece meal and on the cheap, so it’s designed to get the job done. Well, it’s not even designed, it’s just how things have rolled out. So, I have an ESXi 3.5 box (DL580 G2 with attached disk cabinet) that runs my vcenter server, sql backend, openfiler server, and a few other odds and ends vm’s. For the real deal, I have two DL360 G4’s that handle the business, so to speak, with esx 4. I need to save up money for a Drobo. So I guess we are taking donations?

Additionally it is my goal to be able to obtain some modern servers so that I can leverage 64bit vm’s in a proper fashion. I’d really like to snag an HP C3000 blade enclosure. Ah, if only I had deeper pockets!

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VCP Studyin’ and on to the next book

Welp I finished up the two books I set out to read initially today.  I’m moving on to the last VI3 book I’ve got, then it’s on to the Vsphere books.  I’ve also got a copy of the Train Signal Vsphere dvds to peruse, which sounds like they are quite good.  I’m going to, for good luck, eat a burger at Boston Blackie’s on the Monday evening I get in to Chicago.  It’s on the walk from the train station to the la quinta where I am staying.  I hear great things about such tasty bovine delicacies.

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Countdown to Vsphere VCP class: 20 days

I’m scheduled for my class at the Microtek facility in Chicago for a March 23rd – 26th class.  I’m taking the train down as parking is 36 bucks a day, ouch!  I’ve been working on preparing for the class by reading 4 books (mostly because I had them already).  The first two are these (oldies but goodies):

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Now, I know, I am taking the Vsphere class, but I’ve got the quick start guide that I’ll be devouring shortly.  In these posts, I’ll also talk about the lab environment I have built in the spare room in my apartment (which warms up a cozy 8 degrees when the servers are on).  Plus I’ll be sure to document my experience with the class and my (fingers crossed) eventual success at the certification test.  Then I need to get a job with a larger VM implementation :-)

– Mike

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