Free Training for VMware Products

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This comprehensive list of training links came my way the other day and it was too good I just had to share it.

It’s the work of the former Omaha VMUG leader turned VMware TAM Jodi S (Twitter @rytalws)


Foundational Topics




VMware DataCenter Virtualization Fundamentals


Introduction to Virtualization and VMware Hypervisor


VMware vSphere Strategy: The Foundation of Your DataCenter


An overview of vCloud Suite


ESXI Foundation


Featured VMware Documentation Sets


vSphere Hypervisor – Installation & Configuration


vSphere Hypervisor -vSphere Client Installation


vSphere Hypervisor – Configuring VM Hardware


VMware vSphere: What’s New Fundamentals [V5.5]


VMware vSphere 5.5 What’s New!


VMware vSphere: VM Management – Web Client Overview


VMware vSphere: VM Management – Cloning/Templates


VMware vSphere: VM Management – Migration vMotion


VMware vSphere: VM Management – HA


VMware vSphere: VM Management – DRS


VMware vSphere: VM Management – Storage Profiles


Local Management Tools Overview


How to Install and Configure VMware ESXI 5.5


VMware vSphere: Installation – ESXI 5


vSphere 5.5 Installation, Administration and Training course


Build your own VMware vSphere ESXi 5.5 Datacenter, starting with one PC


HOL-SDC-1304 – vSphere Performance Optimization


HOL-SDC-1310 – vSphere and vSOM 101


HOL-SDC-1319 – Tech Preview: VMware NSX for Multi-Hypervisor Environments




VMware Virtual Networking Concepts


vSphere Networking


vSphere Distributed Switch


VMware Network Virtualization Fundamentals


Network I/O Control


VMware vCloud Networking and Security


VMware NSX Product Page


VMware NSX Blog


HOL-SDC-1302 – vSphere Distributed Switch A to Z


HOL-SDC-1303 – VMware NSX Network Virtualization Platform


HOL-SDC-1319 – Tech Preview: VMware NSX for Multi-Hypervisor Environments




Introduction to Storage


VMware vSphere: Storage – Thick & Thin Provisioning


VMware Storage Virtualization


Enable vSphere HA and Storage DRS for VMware vSphere


VMware Storage Profiles


VMware Storage I/O Control


VMWorld Session: STO1545-Architecting Storage DRS


How to identify and Solve Storage I/O Latency Issues


vSphere 5 Storage DRS IO Load Balancing


VMware Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler


HOL-SDC-1308-Virtual SAN (vSAN) and Virtual Storage Solutions




Security of the VMware vSphere Hypervisor


VMware Security Development Lifecycle


VMware Security Response Center


VMware Security Advisories


VMware Hardening Guides


Operations Management


VMware vCenter Operations Manager Documentation


VMware vCenter Operations – Introduction Video


VMware vCenter Operations Manager Fundamentals [V5.6]


VMware vCenter Operations Training Videos


HOL-SDC-1301-Applied Cloud Operations


HOL-SDC-1304 – vSphere Performance Optimization


HOL-SDC-1301-Applied Cloud Operations


Certification –


Certification – VMware Cloud Fundamentals


Certification – VMware DataCenter Virtualization – VCP5-DCV – Blueprint


VMware VCP-DCV 5.1 Exam Preparation



It’s my easy button for you this week.  You all probably already have something but I didn’t… 

In addition, here is a 5.5 Feature URL listing which provides information on each 5.5 feature.. Enjoy!


vSphere ESXi Hypervisor Enhancements



Hot-Pluggable SSD PCI Express (PCIe) Devices


Support for Reliable Memory Technology


Enhancements for CPU C-States


Virtual Machine Enhancements


Virtual Machine Compatibility with VMware ESXi 5.5


Expanded vGPU Support


Graphic Acceleration for Linux Guests


VMware vCenter Server Enhancements


VMware vCenter Single Sign-On


VMware vSphere Web Client


VMware vCenter Server Appliance


vSphere App HA


vSphere HA and VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (vSphere DRS)


Virtual Machine–Virtual Machine Affinity Rules Enhancements


vSphere Big Data Extensions


vSphere Storage Enhancements


Support for 62TB VMDK


MSCS Updates


16GB E2E support


PDL AutoRemove


vSphere Replication Interoperability


vSphere Replication Multi-Point-in-Time Snapshot Retention


vSphere Flash Read Cache


vSphere Networking Enhancements


Link Aggregation Control Protocol Enhancements


Traffic Filtering


Quality of Service Tagging


Quality of Service Tagging


SR-IOV Enhancements


Enhanced Host-Level Packet Capture


40GB NIC support



vSAN 1.0 Released Home lab update here I come!

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In case you missed the vSAN announcement and demo on www.vmware.com/now Here is a quick review…

  • General Availability of Virtual SAN 1.0 the week of March 10th
  • vSphere 5.5 Update 1 will support VSAN GA
  • Support for 32 hosts in a Virtual SAN cluster
  • Support for 3200 VMs in a Virtual SAN cluster
    • Note, due to HA restrictions only 2048 VMs can be HA protected
  • Full support for VMware Horizon / View
  • Elastic and Linear Scalability for both capacity and performance
  • VSAN is not a virtual storage appliance (VSA). Performance is much better than any VSA!
  • 2 Million IOPS validated in a 32 host Virtual SAN cluster
  • ~ 4.5PB in a 32 host cluster
  • 13 different VSAN Ready Node configurations between Cisco IBM Fujitsu and Dell available at GA, with more coming soon

Elaboration and analysis: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/03/06/vsan_emerges_at_a_whopping_32_nodes_and_two_meeelion_iops/

VSAN Hands-on Labs (already available): https://blogs.vmware.com/hol/2014/03/click-go-take-vsan-hands-labs.html

Cormac as always does a great review as well — http://cormachogan.com/2014/03/06/virtual-san-vsan-announcement-review/


vSAN will be the next direction for my home lab as I plan to move away from in my opinion a buggy FreeNAS product.

High speed networking is required for the replication network and my back plane will be something like this — http://www.bussink.ch/?p=1183

I’ll post up more as it progresses.


Patches? Patches? We don’t need no stinkin’ Patches

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Recently I reviewed some of the patching techniqus around ESXi and vCenter Server.

The question I wanted to know more about was – How are products (vCenter and ESX(i) patched (4.0 and above)?  

What I found was “it depends” J but I remember them this way…

Note – Before I apply ANY patch or update I always check the HCL, check with my hardware vendor, and read the release notes as most patches contain prerequisites.


vCenter Server is simple, I remember it this way “Patches? Patches? We don’t need no stinkin’ Patches…”

ESXi — Can be a bit more complicated…  It’s more like this — “I’d like the pie heated and I don’t want the ice cream on top, I want it on the side, and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it, if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it’s real; if it’s out of the can then nothing.”


Here is a bit more depth –

vCenter Server (VC) Windows Edition –

VC 4.x, 5.0 and 5.1 – There are no patches vCenter Server only full updates packages which contain all the content. AKA – Patches are included in the each releases.

VC 5.5 – No patches for VC just updates but there are patches for tcServer and JRE.  These patches will be released on an as needed basis.

It’s pretty simple, if you want to patch your vCenter Server then just install an Update, but do your


ESXi —

First off Patches are not exactly cumulative and depending on how you update ESXi the Build numbers and sub-components can be off.

Trying to simplify this… it’s not a cut and dry method but here is what I found…

In most cases (not all) it seems to come down to two ways of updating your host. Ask yourself this:

1.     Do you want ESXi to report the more accurate Build Number and have all the underlying sub-components (Virt Hardware, Tools, etc) up to date?

2.     OR is it more important to just have a specific Patch installed?


If Yes to “more accurate Build Number” then this is suggested…

Update ESXi to the latest Update, then apply the latest Patch.

This should ensure the sub-components contained within are updated uniformly and the build number should report properly.

Accurate Build Number Example – You are at ESXi 4.1U1, update it to ESXi 4.1U3 first, then Apply Patch 9

The result should yield an ESXi server and subcomponents fully up to date


If Yes to “more important to just have a specific Patch” Simple answer is just apply that patch

However depending on your current level of ESXi the patch may not contain all the updated sub-components.

It will contain the Patches and Security updates documented in its KB or release notes.


Specific Patch Example – You are at ESXi 4.1U1, Just Apply Patch 9

The result should yield an ESXi Server with Patch 9 and the sub-components may not be updated, it depends on the patch

This may also change the build number to reflect an unexpected result, meaning it may not look like the build number for ESXi 4.1U1 or Patch 9, it may be somewhere in between.


Last Monkey Wrench in this mix… Express Patches with ESXi

This is the exception to the statements above and add a couple of new rules…

Express Patches typically fix only a very specific function, and they are typically are NOT cumulative.


Monkey Wrench Example – You are at ESXi 4.1U1 let’s say Express Patch 3 (EP) is the latest patch level.

To fully update ESXi and Sub-components you should update to ESXi 4.1U3 first, apply the Patches and only EP’s just below EP3, then apply EP3

If you only want the EP then just apply EP3


Hopefully this makes sense and after reading this thread I’ll bet you never look at ESXi patching the same way J


One last item here is a great url around build numbers…






vSphere 5.x licensing Matrix

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Ever want to compare a full list of the vSphere features to the associated licensing level?

Well now you can… Check out >> http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2001113

Here is a quick snapshot of the matrix. Enjoy!


vSphere 5.x licensing Matrix

Posted on


Ever want to compare a full list of the vSphere features to the associated licensing level?

Well now you can… Check out >> http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2001113

Here is a quick snapshot of the matrix. Enjoy!


Top Blogger Voting for 2014 is now open

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For many years now Eric Siebert has held voting for the top Virtualization Bloggers. This is no easy task, and this year he has over 300 blogs listed.

If you found any of my blog posts useful, then please, do take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and vote. Every vote really does count, and the higher you rate a blog the more weight it gets in the final tally. Ratings do make a difference, and feedback is great. As any blogger will tell you, frequently writing quality content takes a lot of time.

Please, take a few minutes out of your day and vote. I’ll be voting for bloggers myself, including MIchael Webster and Jason Boche.

Voting is now open, and will continue through 3/17/2014 >> http://vsphere-land.com/news/voting-now-open-for-the-2014-top-vmware-virtualization-blogs.html




VMware Hands On Lab — HOL-SDC-1305

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I decided to take the HOL-SDC-1305 lab but only module four tonight. Why only module four? Well, it’s the one all about vCenter Server Heartbeat.

If you have not taken a VMware lab I would highly recommend it as you’ll gain the proper topic knowledge and you’ll get to do some great hands on lab work at the same time.

HOL-SDC-1305 (Module 4) didn’t disappoint me, it was straight to the point, went through the key areas, and was a great overview of the product.

I wanted to see more about requirements, design, and any constraints. However these items were outside the scope of this lab so I can’t really hold it against it.

I attached a quick screen shot of the lab for your enjoyment!


Note – Everyone has access to the VMware Hands on Labs, and it’s FREE to all.

Start here >> https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/resources/how

HOL Labs Main Link >> http://labs.hol.vmware.com/


VMware Product Walkthroughs

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Looking for a step by step guide to some of the top VMware products? Don’t have the time to go through the free VMware Hands offering (http://labs.hol.vmware.com/)? Is you company blocking access to VMware KB TV on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/user/VMwareKB)?

Then VMware Product walkthrough may be just for you. As of this writing there are 6 production walkthroughs.

These walkthroughs will give you an overview how to use or install the product.

Main Page –

Start Page –


Walkthrough for vCenter Server Heartbeat!

4 Years of VMExplorer Blog

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February 2014 marks 4 years I’ve been blogging. Thinking back 4 years vitalization was really starting to ramp up and the IT landscape was changing for us all. I was leading the Phoenix VMUG at that time and we were seeing tremendous growth in attendance.

Flash forward to 2014 and once again our industry is changing for the better. We are going from manual delayed processes to fully automated self-services. Companies who used to be fixed into single offerings are expanding daily, seriously look at Netflix they are now producing their own series for their customers. We have seen the fall and/or decline of many Brick and Motor companies in the retail, entertainment, computer, electronics, and book stores, etc. The ones who could keep their doors open are innovating to stay competitive. One area I find interesting are the local mom-n-pop stores around Video and Books, they seem are making a comeback as the retail giants in their areas close their doors. Yes these places still exist and they have a loyal customer base, but for how long that seems to be the question for them.

Personally, I enjoy change and what it brings. I think change is the zest of life. I enjoy working for a company that embraces change and is the market leader in many of these areas. These buzz words you hear in our industry – Public-Hybrid-Private Cloud, End User Computing, Bring your own devices, XAAS (Anything As a service) etc. these are the conduits for IT change as the company’s we work for continue to innovate. This type of innovation will provide services that we and the customers we serve want, need, and deserve. Keep in mind as some point XAAS will be on your doorstep. Yes I’m talking to you Mr. /Mrs. IT Admin working in SMB market. It’s coming your way too so be ready. Start thinking of Enterprise Technologies and strategies no matter how big or small you are. As these strategies will expand your personal knowledge BUT keep your company competitive.

One last topic INSPIRE. Over the next year I plan to work with a few of my old VMUG leaders to form a group to inspire youth around technologies and engineering. We are working out the details but our beliefs are simple – Help youth in our local community to embrace the technology at a deeper level. We feel this will help them stay on track in school and hopefully choose a career in Technology and engineering. I can still remember the day when I made my choice. It was 1982 and I was playing my good old Atari 2600. I just had to know how it worked and this desire to know naturally led me to my career today.

Next 4 years, yep, I’m looking forward to them and I’m moving forward with Embrace and Inspire as my guides!

Thanks for reading, enjoy, and please feel free to comment!