Tuesday, 17 December 2019

VMware Starting Certifications

VMware Certification Tracks, an overview

As with most major software and cloud vendors, VMware have a range of certifications that map to all levels of expertise and experience of their products, this blog takes a look at those certifications and the VMware authorised courses that can help achieve those certifications.

VMware Certification tracks

VMware have broken down their certifications into tracks, as with most things in life technology can be complicated and as such, VMware feel that breaking their certifications into a career focused set of tracks, this in turn will allow IT professionals to concentrate on a career track and then build on this track as their experience of the product evolves.

The tracks are as follows.

Data Centre Virtualisation (DCV Track)

This track focuses on the birth of VMware and their VM hypervisor product.

Network Virtualisation (NV) Track

This track focuses on the VMware NSX products, and now prioritises the VMware NSX-T product.

Cloud Management and Automation (CMA) Track

This track focuses on the vRealize suite of products, these products can be used in a truly multi-cloud environment

Desktop and Mobility (DTM) Track

This track focuses on VMware Horizon, which in its simplest form provides a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Digital Workspace (DW) Track

This track focuses on the VMware WorkspaceONE and Digital workspace solutions, this provides and extensive set of endpoint management technologies.

For a handy poster to track a progress through each of the certification tracks , visit the VMware certification site for the free download

VMware Certifications

VMware break down their journey to certification into a number of levels, and at each level their recommend certain training.

The following are the certifications for beginning the journey to VMware Certification.

For Administrators, Architects & Executives

This entry level certification is ideal for new IT professionals as well as executives making decisions about VMware solutions.

The recommended training for this certification is available via the VMware Learning Zone

This certification is a useful entry point for the DCV, NV, CMA, and DTM track.

VMware Certified Professional

For Administrators & Engineers

This level is designed for IT professionals who install, configure, manage, and optimize VMware solutions.

There are five different VCP tracks to follow, and these are:

The VCP-DCV 2019 certification validates candidate skills to implement, manage, and troubleshoot a vSphere V6.7 infrastructure, using best practices to provide a powerful, flexible, and secure foundation for business agility that can accelerate the transformation to cloud computing.

This certification requires passing both a Foundation exam and then passing one of the professional data centre virtualisation exams

The recommended training for this certification is as follows

Core course               - VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [6.7]
Elective course          - VMware vSphere: Optimise and Scale [6.7]

The VCP-NV 2019 certification proves you can transform the economics of network and security operations for your company. VCP-NV 2019 certification validates your ability to install, configure, and administer NSX virtual networking implementations, regardless of the underlying physical architecture.

Prospective professionals can choose either:

NSX-V, and this would require passing a foundation exam and then passing the network virtualisation exam


NSX-T, and this only requires passing the professional network virtualisation exam

The recommended training for this certification is as follows

Core course                           - VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [6.7]
Elective course NSX-T          - VMware NSX-T: Install Configure, and Manage [v2.4]
Elective course NSX-V          - VMware NSX-V: Install, Configure, and Manage [v6.4]

Earning this certification validates your understanding of virtualization concepts and how they drive an enterprise’s digital agenda. It proves that you are familiar with the VMware products and technologies that support VMware Cloud Foundation and Cross-Cloud Architecture solutions including vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and the vRealize Suite.

This certification requires passing both a Foundation exam and then passing one of the professional cloud management and automation exams

The recommended training for this certification is as follows

Core course               - VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [6.7]
Elective course          - VMware vRealize Automation: Install, Configure, Manage [7.3]

VMware Desktop and Mobility certifications are designed to gauge your level of skill designing, installing, and managing a VMware Horizon with View environment deployed on a VMware vSphere implementation. The VCP-DTM 2019 certification validates a candidate’s skills in performing in-depth configuration and management of VMware Horizon 7.5 environments. This industry leading certification proves that VCP-DTM 2019 earners can securely deliver personalized virtual desktops, applications, and online services to end-users.

This certification requires passing both a Foundation exam and then passing one of the professional desktop and mobility exams.

The recommended training for this certification is as follows

Core course               - VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [6.7]
Elective course          - VMware Horizon 7: Install, Configure, Manage [7.7]

The VCP-DW 2019 certification validates that a badge earner can configure, deploy, manage, maintain, optimize, and perform basic troubleshooting of VMware Workspace ONE and related solutions, as well as properly identify and differentiate any needed supporting products and components.

This certification requires passing the Professional Digital Workspace exam.

The recommended training for this certification is as follows

Core course   - VMware Workspace ONE: Deploy and Manage [v19.x]

Where Next

Once the VCP tracks have been covered, progression moves into the VMware Certified Advanced professional certifications, and then culminate in the VMware Certified Design Expert Certifications and these will be outlined in later articles.

For now however, this should give prospective VMware professionals a good starting point.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Deploying SQL Server on vSAN for Dummies

It's fair to say I'm a huge fan of vSAN and I could talk for hours about it as a product.

I get some really good questions about deployment, and I get asked questions about SQL.

VMware have very kindly made available a four page white paper that may help answer some of those questions.

To download visits the VMware learning download site.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Free stuff from VMware, a new ebook, Data Center Modernization with VMware Cloud on AWS

I was fortunate to attend VMworld in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago, and as part of the event, I visited Cloud city and listened to quite a few presentations on VMC on AWS. I also grabbed a copy of Data Center Modernization with VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware have very kindly made available for download  a free ebook version of the book.

The book covers the following:

The book is downloaded in PDF format, it consists of 9 chapters over 145 pages

The book is authored by Martin Hosken with Dan Gallivan

The 9 chapters are.

  1. Introduction to VMware Cloud on AWS
  2. Understanding the Business Drivers for Hybrid Cloud
  3. VMware Cloud on AWS Technical Deep Dive
  4. The Case for Data Center Modernization
  5. Planning for Application Migration with HCX
  6. Business and Technical Drivers for VMware Cloud on AWS
  7. Operational Readiness
  8. Building a Practice and Leveraging the Ecosystem
  9. Final Word
To download the book, visit the VMware download site

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Free stuff from VMware, a new ebook, Service Mesh For Dummies

At VMworld a couple of weeks ago I concentrated on the Modern App sessions , and was impressed by the concept of Containers and Kubernetes as a way to develop and maintain apps

VMware have very kindly made available for download  a free ebook called Service Mesh For Dummies.

The book covers the following:

The book is downloaded in PDF format, it consists of 6 chapters over 65 pages.

The book is authored by Niran Even-Chen, Oren Penso, and Susan Wu

The six chapters are.

  1. The Rise of Microservices and Cloud-Native Architecture
  2. Service Mesh: A New Paradigm
  3. Service Mesh Use Cases
  4. Recognizing Complexity Challenges in Service Mesh
  5. Transforming the Multi-Cloud Network with NSX Service Mesh
  6. Ten (Or So) Resources to Help You Get Started with Service Mesh

The book is available from VMware

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Pursuing a Career in Cloud?

As a member of the Cloud Credential Council Expert Panel I have an interest in the future and uses of the cloud, not only from the technical point of view, but also from a business advantage point of view.

Here's some thoughts.

Thoughts on a Career Move

If you are looking at a career in IT perhaps you’ve noticed that the Cloud is with us, and it is very unlikely to ever leave us now, companies are investing millions in the Cloud.

Once the services are up and running and companies see the flexibility to deliver services to their staff, due to the Global nature of the cloud , companies can truly deliver any service, to any user, on any device, they can also ensure that the service is secure, redundant and perform to the highest levels.

Developers can now write applications that can run on any platform, this can be achieved with containers, think of a shipping company, the ship doesn’t care what’s in the container, the container is designed to fit any ship, and the container can be easily moved between those ships, we have the same ability in IT with technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes.

How can Cloud Credential Council help you in your new career

The Cloud Credential Council is a leading provider of vendor-neutral certification programs that empower IT and business professionals in their digital transformation journey. The CCC has been supporting the professional development of professionals since 2013, and has delivered certifications in over 75 countries across all types of industries and governmental agencies.  

A nice quote from Mark O’Loughlin CCC Managing Director, “It is the CCC’s mission to prepare the global workforce to deal with disruptors and challenges, and make them digital ready professionals. Therefore, our mantra is, are you Digital Ready?”

Three Steps to Certification with The Cloud Credential Council

Step 1: Choose your Certification
Step 2: Start Learning and Training
Step 3: Pass the Certification Exam

Into the Future

Every journey starts with a single step, and a career in IT is a continuing journey, the Cloud is dynamic and changes at a rapid rate, the advantage of the cloud is it’s flexibility, but the downside is also it’s flexibility, with the Cloud you are always learning, new skills are obtained daily, and seeing how these technologies can enable the business to have that competitive edge is the real challenge.

Good luck to you , and enjoy the challenging and rewarding career you have chosen.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

VMware Showcase Keynote – Multi-Cloud Strategies to Operate at Scale-Summary

VMware Showcase Keynote – Multi-Cloud Strategies to Operate at Scale - My notes

The session presenter was Joe Kinsella

The evolution of the cloud has taken 10 years to get where it is today, we have moved from the cloud being used by developers and IT departments for test and dev, to where we are today running business productivity apps across a broad range of industries.

Primarily the cloud was used as IaaS, it is now for much more including Functions as a Service, modern apps, AI, machine Learning, and much more.

Customers are embracing multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud deployments, and using the flexibility and functions of each public cloud vendor to tailor their systems to provide the best user experience.

Just when we think we’re there, new innovations come along daily, along with new features to further boost productivity and the user experience, this gives us a dynamic environment in which to develop systems to give us the competitive edge.

Why move to the Cloud?

They’ll be a number of factors as to why companies move to the cloud and here’s a few.

·         Agility
·         Innovation
·         Consumption based model
·         On demand infrastructures
·         Global datacenters

However, a challenge of a multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud model is management, how do we manage multiplatform efficiently? This can in turn lead potentially to an increase in operational costs.

This can be for a number of reasons.

Number one is the speed of change, new features are added on a fast pace, which we have to leverage to give us efficient apps.

Number two is the distributed management of multiple clouds, sometimes apps are team based and designed by departments, rather than by IT, management interfaces can be different across all clouds. This may mean that potentially companies have multiple cloud accounts for multiple vendors, which in turn may mean that we have a completely distributed set of security issues to worry about.

Number tree is pervasive multi-cloud, companies now not only look after their own apps, but now have multiple SaaS based solutions as well, their CRM system may be running on VMware vSphere, their messaging and collaboration systems maybe running on Microsoft Azure, their web front ends maybe hosted in AWS, and test systems in Google Cloud.

How to be Successful in a Multi-Cloud World

Four factors are taken into account.

1)    Cost and visibility - As the cloud is based on a service model, sometimes costs can be unpredictable, so we need to understand our workloads and identify waste, and then optimise the services.
2)    Governance and Security - Need to push out to teams the information required in order to ensure best practices are followed based on policies, also managing the security of the business in the public nature of the cloud.
3)    Automation - Deploy, manage and maintain systems within a policy framework, the automation of policy decisions, allows system to grow and contract as required. If waste is identified automation can quickly release that resource to further manage cost, rather than awaiting an email or alert to be actioned by IT.
4)    Service Integration – Integrating on-prem systems and giving them on-prem and cloud visibility for optimal system management.

VMware Multi-Cloud Management

·         Provides Multi-Cloud Visibility,
·         Cost management by uncovering hidden costs, monitoring increases in spend, and making impactful changes based on custom recommendations.
·         Cloud Security, by allowing policies across business units, and receiving proactive notifications on potential security risks.
·         Cloud Governance, easily maintaining control over the cloud environment with custom policies and workflows based on how the business should be ran.

·         Identify and Increase Visibility. Better understand your cloud’s security and compliance posture by visualizing object relationships and mapping associated violations, metadata, and changes to objects.
·         Correlate & Mitigate Risk. Prioritize issues based on smart risk scores and gain deep insight into misconfigurations, complex violation chains, anomalies, and activities.
·         Automate & Scale Security. Receive immediate notifications to proactively detect threats within seconds and build security guardrails to automatically remediate violations.
·         Collaborate & Organize. Distribute cloud security responsibilities and empower developers to focus on critical issues by eliminating false positives.

·         To accelerate application delivery for multi-cloud and Kubernetes.

·         Self-Service Hybrid Cloud. Out-of-the-box experience for VMware Hybrid Cloud on par with public clouds.
·         Multi-Cloud Automation and Governance. Apply consistent orchestration & guardrails across all clouds.
·         Delivery with DevOps. Embrace DevOps and expedite infrastructure and application deployment.
·         Kubernetes Workloads. Manage PKS and Kubernetes clusters and container apps.

·         Is a SaaS-based metrics cloud monitoring and analytics platform that lets you visualize, query, and alert over data from across your entire stack (infrastructure, network, custom app metrics, business KPIs, etc.)
·         Massive scale built for the enterprise.
·         Ask questions and get instant insights to quickly diagnose and fix application and operational issues.
·         Create smart alerts to alert on things that matter.
·         Enable better collaboration between Dev and Ops teams since they can see data and get insights from one single platform.

VMware Multi-Cloud

With the VMware product stack, the following is possible, you can Build, Run, Manage, Connect, and Protect across your multi-cloud / hybrid-cloud.

VMware has support in AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud.

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

VMworld 2019-General Session 2-Summary

VMworld 2019 US General Session 2 

Presented by Ray O’Farrell

Ray in this session focused on Digital Transformation, and how the infrastructure and apps work together to give an excellent user experience.

The session also focused on how IT is no longer just about IT companies, but how different industries need to leverage the technologies available to become more efficient and productive in order to not be left behind their competitors.

The Problems of Modern Apps

Problem 1 - How to build modern applications that is repeatable, secure, and allows developers to be productive.

Problem 2 – How do we take advantage of all the new multi-cloud infrastructures.

With the above four questions should be asked.

1.    How do I build and run the applications?
2.    How do we connect to and secure those applications?
3.    How do we manage those applications?
4.    How do we give the best application experience?

The above should be a cyclic journey and ever evolving.

VMware have technologies to help in all of the above.

Build and Run

VMware Tanzu gives the following functionality

It can be used to build modern apps using Existing, Open Source, or Cloud native technologies.

It can run those apps via Enterprise Kubernetes, in any of the following locations, those being On-prem, Public Cloud or on Edge devices.

The apps can then be managed via Kubernetes for Developers and IT across Multi-cloud, Multi-Cluster, and Multi-Team

From the build point of view, Pivotal can be used to build theses apps, and we can package the apps via Bitnami.

To run we now have VMC on Dell EMC, and this allows the customer to order the kit via the cloud interface and then build the kit, Dell build the kit and install the kit.

To allow running of Kubernetes natively with VMware vSphere, VMware have announced Project Pacific. This technology makes the Application a unit of control, very similar to a running VM, the app can be limited, and those flows down to all components of the apps.

Project Pacific allows developers to deliver applications in an automated fashion, but still within the guard-rails defined by IT Operations.

From an enterprise point of view, customers maybe running a multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud environment application, customers need to manage these applications centrally and efficiently, the product to use is Tanzu Mission Control which uses an application centric control model. This allows for complete management of the app without having to use multiple consoles on multiple clouds.

Connect and Protect

How do we manage complex service level agreements in a multi-cloud world?

We can leverage the built in capabilities of NSX-T, by creating Service Level Objective policies. This can define acceptable levels of latency, and error rate for our applications.

The app can then leverage NSX Service Mesh to return back to an acceptable level of performance.

How can we successfully implement micro-segmentation in an ever-changing dynamic environment?

We can leverage a new capability of NSX called NSX Intelligence which allows granular planning and troubleshooting of the underlying infrastructure. The product can create automated policies and allow simulation before publishing policies.
How can we classify and mitigate vulnerability and critical security events for infrastructure and apps?

VMware can leverage the AppDefense plugin within vSphere, which can then leverage Carbon Black to identify vulnerabilities within applications, the vulnerabilities can then be patched.


Across multi-cloud, hybrid-cloud we need consistent management. VMware have a product called WaveFront, which provides enterprise observability as a service for all teams and at scale.

The product collects millions of metrics to a data lake and then pinpoints the offending metric to identify issues.

Wavefront can also switch into vRealize Operations to identify and fix the issues with the infrastructure, Project Magna can also be leveraged to provide AI driven adaptive optimisation and self-tuning for vSAN

How do we proactively optimise cost overruns on Cloud before they happen?

CloudHealth by VMware allows customers to manage the sometimes unexpected cost of the cloud across multi-cloud environments.

User Experience

We need to onboard employees as quickly as possible, so that they have a great employee experience.

This can be achieved by using Horizon Desktop as a Service, Horizon can be provisioned on-prem, or VMC on AWS, or within Microsoft Azure, and all this can be provisioned from the VMware Horizon management console. This is also a GUI driven wizard.

For application support VMware have Workspace ONE that allows management of any device, with any operating system, with any app, in any location.

Emerging Technologies

ESXi or ARM, low cost virtualisation hosts.
Cross Cloud vMotion, run apps and multi-cloud services without boundaries.

To watch the entire General session 2 go to VMworld.com

VMworld 2019 The digital workspace keynote my notes

VMware The Digital Workspace Keynote

Speakers Noah Wasmer, Shankar Iyer, and Shawn Bass

All images were sourced from VMware

This session was all about empowering the workforce, due to disruption the average worker loses a day and a half per year due to inefficient digital tools.

Another startling figure is that companies with highly engaged workforces out perform their peers by +147% earnings and market share.

Also as mentioned in Finance Digest Magazine, “Employee Experience: New way to win the war for talent” , it’s not all about the money, work has to be engaging and the company must make the environment easy for staff to do their job.

Services in The Cloud

VMware now have 100% of their Global SaaS Services Workspace ONE Ready.

Horizon On-Prem is a cloud ready VDI solution and now has the ability to have your VDI solution running on public cloud, whether that be AWS, Microsoft Azure or IBM Softlayer, and these vendors provide 25 datacenter locations globally to run this service.

Automation is key with the cloud, and with Workspace ONE Intelligence monthly over 450 billion data points are analysed to create a more secure environment for services.

Any Device, Any App, Any Cloud          

As technology evolves , users will require apps to allow them to be productive, today that may be on Windows, tomorrow it may be Chrome OS, in the future that may be Apple, but we as the IT team need to support all technologies easily and efficiently so that users do not suffer dips in productivity.

This is where VMware Workspace ONE comes into play.

Workspace ONE allows for the abstraction of Digital Silos and allows a unified workspace that gives a great experience to users, allows the support of any device, with any OS, running any app, in any location, it reduces the cost of management and maintenance, and increases the security of those devices.

The five pillars of Workspace ONE

1.    Enhanced customer experience
2.    Modern management
3.    Simplified VDI
4.    Real time insights
5.    Automation

With Workspace ONE the Intelligence-Driven Workspace comes to life, by redefining modern management, Simplifying App and Desktop Virtualisation, and finally Delivering Transformational Employee Experiences.

Redefining Modern Management

This involves radical simplification through intelligent automation.

Users and businesses can expect.

Day 0 Productivity, Actionable insights, software is always up to date, users gain self-service empowerment, and we implement zero-trust security, and this can all be managed from the cloud.

With the partnership with Dell, not only does VMware software have it’s place, but Dell can also offer Ready-to-Work experience, Zero touch restores, and trusted software authority, adding deployment technologies to the mix. This also allows management of devices below the operating system.

This will allow a device to be delivered and ready to go out of the box in minutes, by using Dell factory and Workspace ONE. Delivering a true Ready-to-Work experience.

VMware have also introduced Industry baselines for Windows 10, allows Microsoft baseline support, supported 3rd party baselines, custom baselines or industry standards baselines such as HIPAA. This also gives 100% GPO support.

As Microsoft give you a new OS every 6 months VMware are also supplying functionality to ensure app compatibility across different versions of Windows, and allows insights to see which devices will run new apps and which ones won’t, reports can then be generated in order to resolve these issues.

Workspace ONE also provides vulnerability lists imported direct from NIST, and gives extensive dashboards that allow remediation of these vulnerabilities automatically.

Workspace ONE added Device Support

Security Within the New Workspace

It has been reported that now 50% of workers work outside the walls of the traditional office, and this creates new security issues, as we now have moved the traditional perimeter of the office.

On average users also have multiple devices, including laptops, desktops, phones, and tablets, and they want the same user experience regardless of which device they have at that moment.

With these new devices come new attacks, AVtest.org have stated that on a daily basis more than 350,000 new attacks are being registered.

What is zero trust security? It’s that “trust no one” Workspace one protects the 4 main attack vectors.

Workspace ONE also allows for partner integration, such as Okta which allows device trust capabilities.

Simplifying Virtual and Physical Modern Management

Workspace ONE allows for Modern Management with virtual Apps and Desktops, this is achieved by leveraging automated setups, always up to date operating systems and apps, all managed from a single console, and managed with comprehensive insights, and automation delivered as a cloud service.
VMware with Horizon 7 are expanding existing VMware Horizon deployments across multiple clouds.

We start with Workspace ONE Intelligence and Insights, this sits with VMware Horizon Cloud Management Console, which provides

·         Desktop and App Management
·         Automated Install
·         Service Updates
·         Monitoring and analytics
·         License Management
·         System Health

On-prem Horizon can talk to the cloud with the cloud connector, Horizon can also be installed with VMC on AWS, or Microsoft Azure, or future locations.

VMware Horizon also supports up to 10 users collaborating by sharing the same desktop, leveraging technology such as NVIDIA.

Workspace ONE can allowing mixing virtual and physical desktop support as a unified service with Workspace ONE Intelligence Insights and Automation.

This gives the following functionality.

·         Over-the-air OS and Application updates.
·         Unified policy management.
·         A single pane for endpoint health.

Delivering Employee Experiences that Drive Transformation

Making sure that employees are ready to go on day 0, and also within their first month is important to recruiting the best talent, but also ensuring they have a productive environment in which to thrive.

VMware have now delivered Workspace ONE Intelligent Hub which delivers a great employee experience with IT flexibility, allowing support for both BYOD and company owned devices.