Not only with hardware (most of vSphere 5.5 hardware is in HCL also for version 6.0), but mainly for the software part, especially the 3rd part software!
And the most important is your backup solutions: if maybe you can accept some risks using a new release of vSphere, you cannot accept the risk of loose your backup or use beta backup product in an environment. Backup must be, first of all, reliable! Compatibility and support are not an option in a production environment.
The primary reason for becoming vExpert certainly should not be related to any possible benefits of the program. And once confirmed (for me is the sixth year in a row) you have to think more about what you can give rather to what is to be expected. But I’d be a hypocrite to deny that there are also practical advantages in being a vExpert!
Officially, VMware, according with the vExpert FAQ, say that the biggest benefit of the award is the public recognition as a VMware vExpert Award winner.
The Network Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX-NV) certification is something recent (introduced in October 2014) in the Network Virtualization path on the VMware NSX product. I’ve recently took the exam and I can share my consideration on it.
This exam is just like other VCAP Admins exam (and a pre-authorization is required), and consists of 18 live lab activities and a short pre-exam survey consisting of 9 questions.
The total time for this exam is 210 minutes (seems a lot, but for this exam could not be enough). Candidates who take the VCIX-NV Exam and have a home address in a country where English is not a primary language will have an additional 30 minutes added to the exam time. An additional 15 minutes is provided to complete the survey questions and agreements.
As written in a previous post, it’s possible study for the VCP-NV exam using only on-line resources, but the same it’s not really possible for the Network Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX-NV) certification that require really a good practice with the interface and a well understand of all NSX concepts. This exam is available since October 2014.
As usual, the first source of information is the Exam Blueprint (actually in version 1.7, dated 9 December 2014) that give you a lot of information about the exam and also the environment (note that actually there isn’t a simulator or a demo or a mock).
The virtual environment consisting of a management cluster, multiple compute clusters, and related virtual machines. The lab environment is based on vSphere 5.5 and NSX for vSphere 6.0.2.
One issue about VMware NSX it that it does not exist an evaluation or a trial code in order to study and test it. This because the code is still on a Nicira web site and is much more restricted compared to other VMware code.
Also VMware partner may be not entitled to download it, unless they don’t have the NSX competency. Individual can got an access only through one of the NSX official course: I’ve take the ICM on NSX 6.0 and the access on Nicira web site was granted me at the end of the course (but note only for the NSX for vSphere, not for the NSX multi-hypervisor)…
And it’s funny (and in my opinion also stupid) because if you are already a VCP, a course is not mandatory in order to become a VCP-NV… Also for partner, in order to gain the NSX competency you need to VCP-NV (or two people that follow the course)… so it could really difficult (how can you study something that you don’t have yet?) or costly (courses are not so cheap, and actually there are, at least for the on-line courses, long waiting queues).
If you plan to build a lab for vSphere 6.0 you can use all the approches for vSphere 5.x (see also Building a vSphere 5 lab): usually using a nested environment (or three physical systems, if you have) as a common platform.
Of course, the other way to test new products it’s just use the VMware Hands on Labs that you can also “broke” or use in a different path compared to the one suggested by the guide. But having a local environment permit more flexibility and more time for testing or learning.
The big issue with vSphere 6 is that the minimim requirement are increased (at least for the ESXi) and now are become hard requirement! You cannot install the product without the right mount of resources. But after the installation you can try to tune your environment in order to free some MB of memory.
With the new major version of most VMware products (the last was vSphere 6.0) there are, of course, new version of the main certifications (that mean also new exams). As written this was not the only change, because also some name has been changed (including the VCAP exams that now become VCIX). The VCP itself has been changed a lot, not only for the re-certification policy, but recently also the two different exams: a core one and one specific on each technology (for each path).
Nutanix announced a cutting edge technology certification, the Nutanix Platform Expert (NPX). This flagship educational program, set to become the most rigorous technical qualification in enterprise computing, creates a new standard in IT certifications and highlights the increasing adoption of multi-hypervisor environments in enterprise datacenters.
NPX is a peer-vetted, hypervisor agnostic certification designed for veteran Solution Engineers, Consultants, and Architects. It’s an higher level (or a next level) compared to the Nutanix Platform Professional (NPP).
As you probably know, some days ago Veeam has released the RC version of their free tool Veeam Endpoint Backup (announced for the first time on Oct 2014). Veeam Endpoint Backup is a free data protection and disaster recovery solution for physical machines, both client or server, but actually limited to “recent” version of Windows (mainly from NT 6.1 release).
Comparered to the beta version, this new version add a lot of new features, including:
Syneto is a young European storage vendor with main offices in Ireland, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and Romania, and with customers spread in all major European countries. Honestly this is a rare case, considering that most storage vendor came from US (and most of them from Silicon Valley) but it’s nice see some exception and that something good arrive also from the old continent.
This company has a clear market target (the SMB segment) and a clear vision, trying to solve this common dilemma (for the SMB market): SMEs needed storage solutions with powerful enterprise features, manageable by anyone, not requiring an IT department’s worth of people.
The new VMware vSphere 6.0 has so much interesting new features and scalability properties that make interesting for each new environment, but also for existing customers (with an active subscription, so that you can also upgrade your 5.x license keys).
But like each new version you have to make some consideration first and especially before starting the upgrade procedure, so be sure to start from the vSphere Upgrade Center, the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix, the VMware Compatibility Guide, but also read the following notes.
End User Computing (EUC) scenario has change in the last year… not one single killer application for all cases, but multiple Technologies for different user cases or customers needs. Does not make sense say that this could be the year of VDI… VDI is growing but will never been a killer application… just one solution with its market segment.
But there are also Apps and RemoteApps, DaaS, FLEX, Mobile, Managed desktop/laptop, and lot of other solutions!
VMware still consider the EUC a main pillar, but its proposition has been modified to cover the new scenarios. VMware Horizon is now a Desktop transformation solution for every user.