See the complete interview on: How To Use Certifications To Become a Virtualization Expert – with Andrea Mauro
In this interview you will find:
- What steps you must do to become VMware Certified Design Expert?
- Why you should not concentrate only on a virtualization technology, but also on other technologies like networking, storage and even SQL?
- Do you need to work with the biggest systems in the world to become a VCDX?
- What other certifications are good for vEngineers?
IT Certification Master: Tell us something about the beginning of your career and about your first IT certification.
Andrea Mauro: I’ve started (a lot of years ago) with a Commodore 64, but only with my first experience on a PC (with MS-DOS) I understand that this passion would also be my possible work area. During University, I also played with Linux distributions and this gave me a better understanding of Operating Systems and networking.
Things are really change. Now start in IT is simpler and cheaper (I remember how expensive my first PC was and how difficult it was to find good books or good documentation).
My first officially certification was the VCP3 obtained on 26-Apr-2007, so not really early (I’ve started my career on 1996). Why so much time before a certification? First reason was the cost of a certification (my previous employers have no interest in paying for certifications). But there was a second reason, where initially I was not convinced about the real value of a certification.
To be honest when I’ve started, certifications were not so common as know and was simple to verify the capacity and the knowledge of a person. Now the knowledge level has raised a lot and there are several interconnections between different areas and technologies.
There could some cases where you may have some Windows (Server) completely isolated from the Internet, for example in some appliances or storage solution.
One interesting aspect that learn on Windows products during a DataCore training was that in this case you can have some delay in the user interface, both on the DataCore GUI, but also on the Windows one.
There is an performance monitor at VM level that show always a null value: it’s the VM Power Graph. The same monitor at host level show the power usage of the specific host.
But by default, the power usage of the VMs are not calculated. To enable this experimental feature you must change an advanced parameter (Power.ChargeVMs) on each host (by default, as show in the picture, is zero… it must be changed to 1):
Reset the root password with ESX 3.x was quite simple, just because the service console was a partition writable a live CD… With ESX 4.x it was a little more complicated (the service console was basically a vmdk).
But with ESXi things are more complicated, due to the partition layout, that ESXi works in RAM and that all configurations files are stored in the banks it special archive files. The file containing the password hashes is called “shadow” and it is is contained in a nested structure of archives inside the state.tgz file.
The new VMware vSphere 5.5 has some interesting new features and scalability properties that make interesting for each new environment, but also for existing customers (considering that the license key remain still the same of the 5.x feature). So could make sense start using directly this version instead of the 5.1 and upgrade all existing environment to the new version 5.5?
Like each new version you have to make some consideration first and especially before starting the upgrade procedure.
The main consideration is that each new product (does not matter that is a major or a minor release) bring new features and so maybe new bugs. Of course it may fix some existing bugs. But it’s maturity may be not the same of the previous versions. So make sense first start using it on a dev/test environment or wait some months to see first feedbacks and also first issues. To be honest this new version has very few new issues compared on what was happened with version 5.1, but of course you have to read the Release Notes and check the VMware KB web site.
The new releases of Windows OS products (both Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2) are actually in a RTM state for OEM and will be public available on October (probably the 17th or the 18th). Actually, in the last days, Microsoft has announced that the RTM is also available on MSDN and Technet.
Or you can simple ask to download the evaluation product (but in this case it’s just a beta version).
In a VMware View environment usually PCoIP protocol is preferred to the RDP one due to several reasons. I don’t want to spend too much time about the latency, throughput, reactivity, user experience different between those two protocols… in most cases PCoIP is better compared to RDP.
But PCoIP protocol has some limits that your have to consider in your design and mainly are described in the View Architecture Planning guide.
One of the new features of vSphere 5.1 was upgrade procedure of the VMware Tools on Windows VMs: when you upgrade them the first time to version 5.1 (the right version number it’s 9.x), other upgrade will not require any reboot of your Windows system.
For Linux VMs there is no need to reboot the system (but I suggest in order to be sure that the kernel modules are loaded proprerly), and now also Windows VMs could have a zero downtime upgrade. But it’s really true?
With a vSphere 5 upgrade there is an important vDesign decision: if you already have some VMFS3 datastores could be better upgrade them to the new version of build new datastores directly with VMFS5? The upgrade procedure is quite fast and friendly and could be applied to a live datastore, so seems that there isn’t a big different between an upgrade or a clean format.
But usually the recommendation is to re-format each LUN to VMFS-5 rather than upgrade it. This will fix a number of issues, including: