EP3 – Always Make Time For Game Of Thrones!

In episode three of The VCDX Podcast, we focus our attention towards preparing for the VCDX defense. How can we find ways to make time in both our busy work and personal lives and then make the most of that limited time we have?

Interview Notes & Links

Common VCDX Mistakes Links

If you have any questions you want answering, please send them to me via the two options below:

I’m always looking for feedback and ways to improve the podcast, so please, contact me with any thoughts and feedback you might have. If you enjoyed this episode, please remember to Subscribe (using the links below) and let others know about it on social media.

VCDX – Why Assume Anything?

<rant>Within our VCDX design documentation, why do we all have the habit of making assumptions? Examples:

Design Assumptions

AS01: Network Bandwidth between Datacenters is adequate for storage replication
AS02: Load-Balancers will be used to load-balance Horizon Connection Servers
AS03: There are enough DHCP IP Addresses available
AS04: AD / DNS / NTP is configured through the environment

Why are we assuming things like these? If your design relies on these ‘Assumptions’ to meet SLA’s then would it not be a good idea to actually find out if these ‘Assumptions’ are actually correct? Documenting assumptions is not a waiver that implies ‘this is the customers problem’. As an Architect it is your responsibility to assist your customers to by identifying areas of their existing environment that may or may not be able to support your design.

assumption-isDon’t assume there are enough DHCP IP Address for your virtual desktops. Figure out how many you need, document it and talk to your customer about the requirement and understand if this is something that can support. If it’s not, you might actually have to change your design because of this constraint.

If your assumptions are incorrect, your design might not be worth the paper it is written on.</rant>

Some Quick VCDX Preparation and Advice Tips

Thinking about going for the VCDX certification? Checkout this quick video for some of my top tips.

VCDX #105

vcdx4-logo1Around 1am this morning I awoke from a dream where I was repeatedly refreshing my email in the hope I would get my VCDX defense results. Before returning to sleep I decided to check my phone, and there it was. My result was in. Blurry eyed I open the attached PDF to see the magical words:

Your VCDX number is 105

I've passed! It's over! After working towards this goal for the last 4 years, I have finally made it. Time to relax. 

My VCDX Experience 

Overall, despite the many many hours I spent working on my design to make sure it was as solid as possible, I enjoyed the process. I learnt the most from just being extremely careful on EVERY design decision I made. I knew, if I made a mistake on anything I would be picked up on it, so I spent many days going through everything to make sure it was accurate and I could back up the reasons for making those design decisions. This has undoubtedly helped me as a consultant.

As for the defense itself, for some reason I wasn't actually nervous, no dry mouth, no shaky hands. I think this was because I knew my design was good, I was confident in what I had designed.

Filled with confidence and a clear mind, I tired to answer and explain everything that was asked and if there was something I really didn't know, I was honest and held my hands up. You can't trick these guys, so don't bother trying. The whole experience was over in a flash. The wait for the results was the opposite.

My VCDX Tips

Defense – Spend time making sure everything you have chosen in your design is accurate and you fully understand the reason you chose it and the reasons why you didn't chose the other options.

Design – Read the scenario thoroughly. Understand it. If something isn't clear, ask the panel. Talk them through everything you are thinking with regards to how your design might look. If you don't talk, they don't know that you aren't just making something up.

Troubleshoot – Don't worry too much about finding the issue. Make sure you troubleshoot methodically. If you need the "customer" to do/test something, tell them why you are asking them to do it, so they understand your train of thought. And DON'T PANIC if at first you don't know what the issue might be.

VCDX Defense Workshop at UK VMUG (Interested?)

Simon Gallagher over at vinf.net has come up with the idea for a side-workshop/session at the upcoming UK VMUG in November for people that are actively following the VCDX4/5 track.

The format would be that participants get a 15-20min slot to present their design defence to a “panel” comprising of other VMUG members. including some of whom have taken (and failed) the actual defense process with a view to providing feedback and some questioning. The goal is to allow you to dry-run your presentation in-front of a friendly audience of like-minded community members before you brave it for real.

You would need to commit to come prepared with a Powerpoint version of your defence presentation, the panel won’t have seen your full design documents, and won’t be reviewing them.

To register your interest, please visit: http://vinf.net/2011/09/01/peer-to-peer-vcdx-defense-workshop-at-uk-vmug/ and register your interest on the Poll at the bottom of the page.

VMware Certified Advanced Professional – VCAP

Today VMware finally officially announced their new Exam set named;  VMware Certified Advanced Professional – VCAP

The VCAP Certification will sit in between VCP and VCDX

The VCAP comprises of two Exams:

Read the rest of this entry »

My VCDX study notes

Now that the VCDX certification is widely available i have decided that i need to start improve my knowledge of Virtualisation systems and how they work for when i decide to take the plunge and attempt the exams.

This area is my blog is primarily going to be used to write up my revision notes, a bit like what Jon has done on his 2VCP’s Blog

Duncan over at Yellow-Bricks has a great post which has a long list of Articles and Guides that he studied before taking his VCDX Design exam, so I’m going to follow his advice and start reading.

Here is his current list taken from his post – “VCDX Design Exam, how to prepare?

Well there is plenty there for me to get stuck into.. so lets get to it!

Update: Here is a couple of Online VCP Exams you can use to make sure your knowledge is still at a good level. If you can’t pass these exams then maybe you shouldn’t be aiming this high!

 
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