Valerie Heatley, Author at Triangle Computer Services
The Benefits of VMware Certification: An Interview with Ross Wynne by Jill Liles

The Benefits of VMware Certification: An Interview with Ross Wynne by Jill Liles

Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to speak with Ross Wynne, a Technical Architect Consultant who works at one of VMware’s Premier Partners, Triangle Computer Services in Ireland.

 

Over the years, Ross has built skills and continued professional training through a variety of VMware educational and certification programs. Today, Ross offers consulting services to UK & Ireland-based VMware clients working across multiple products and services, including VMware vSphere®, VMware vRealize® Orchestrator™, VMware vCloud®, and VMware NSX®.

 

In the following interview, Ross offers his experience and insights into the value of getting – and remaining – certified with VMware.

 

Why is it important for people to continue building skills and training, particularly with VMware?

One thing is that the market and technology is constantly changing. That means that as a professional, it’s necessary to stay up-to-date, informed, knowledgeable about what’s new and what’s changing. A major benefit of doing a course with VMware is that you not only get outstanding, in-depth training in a particular product, but you also get the opportunity to test for a certification proving your knowledge.

 

What’s the value of getting certifications?

I can probably answer this best through my own experience. To date, I’ve passed about 20 different certifications with VMware. I did my first one — a VCP3 [VMware Certified Professional 3] — in May of 2009. Up to that point, I had a couple of years of job experience, but I didn’t have a way to validate my knowledge. From a career perspective, getting this certification was completely life-changing. Within a month of receiving my certification, I had a very attractive offer for a new job. This was due to the recruiter being able to simply search for VCP holders in Ireland and know that I met a particular set standard for the role that they were looking for. Beyond this, though, I had much more confidence in my knowledge when contributing to solutions within a team.

The reality is, you can say that you’re an expert in your field, but simply saying you’re an expert in something doesn’t amount to much on a CV or in an interview. What a certification does is it validates your experience to prospective employers. By definition, it creates a minimum standard by which an employer can assess your skills.

 

What’s your experience been like taking courses with VMware?

For me, I’ve had really enjoyable experiences taking VMware courses. There are a few different types of courses for beginning, middle, and advanced knowledge. One of the best things about the courses is that you can start off with the free online Foundation courses which you can take from the comfort of your own home or office when time allows. But when you are a bit more serious about your learning, there are whole host of excellent classroom courses. These classes have the added benefit of direct access to experts — course teachers who really know their stuff. You get the opportunity to have all of your questions answered, and then bring back what you learn to your company or employer. Additionally, VMware courses are a great networking opportunity. With the classroom courses, you get to spend time doing deep dives and sharing knowledge with peers who are as passionate as you are.

 

How important is it to renew your certification?

Keeping your certifications up-to-date is important because it proves that you still know what you’re talking about and are current in the market. New and updated technology stacks come along every few years, and while there are similarities between versions, there are always new features that can improve your day-to-day working life. Keeping your certification up to date proves that you know how to upgrade, fix, deploy, and manage whatever changes have come along. There was a point when I let one of my certifications expire. I was applying to a job, and it’s likely that I was well-qualified, but because my certification wasn’t up-to-date, there was no way I could prove that I had the knowledge compared to other candidates.

VMware has made it really easy for people to renew certifications. If your certification is expiring, instead of taking another course for the latest upgrades, you can just go and sit a VCP exam in the same track or a different track. Better yet, you can challenge yourself with a VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) exam. The VCAP exams are tough, but immensely satisfying when you pass!

 

Of the courses you’ve taken, which one stands out to you as a favorite?

I would definitely have to say that my favorite learning experience was the brilliantly titled NSX Ninja Course (aka, NSX Design & Deploy). During that course, we focused exclusively on network design. For me, it was exciting to meet so many likeminded people, get feedback on my thinking, and get to see how other people approached the same challenges. It was great to interact with people who were at a similar level and to geek out together on tech that we all get so excited about.

 

Click HERE for more information on the recertification process. To hear more from Ross, follow him on Twitter: @RossWynne.

Jill has worked in IT training and certification for 10 years and is currently the Senior Marketing Manager for VMware Education Services. She holds VMware Certified Associate – Data Center Virtualization (VCA-DCV) and Hubspot’s Inbound Certified accreditations. You can find her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JillLiles1 or behind the scenes at www.twitter.com/VMwareEducation.

Reposted.

CLOUD VENDORS AND CONSULTANCY

CLOUD VENDORS AND CONSULTANCY

Richard O’Brien – Technical director, Triangle Computer Services

 VENDORS & THE CLOUD 

The most difficult thing from a traditional business partner perspective is that most cloud vendors have a publicly published price list, so you have a defined percentage margin that increases with the larger volume of cloud you sell. In the past vendors sold you the hardware, storage and software, now they sell it as a service and expect you to build a service on top of that.

We see the consulting process in front of migration to cloud as an opportunity, along with the ongoing management. Most vendors support the partner staying between them and the customer. The partner stays engaged because of its local knowledge but has to find somewhere else to get the margin. The base offering is very clearly defined so there’s a lot less flexibility, which means it’s in the partner’s interest to add and wrap services around it.

For example, there are a unique set of requirements around DR (disaster recovery). A vendor can come up with a generic solution but it still needs local engagement with the customer to deliver the full stack.

Fairness in terms of arbitrating when dealing with a cloud provider is important. Recently I was at an event where a small customer asked ‘’what clout do I have with the provider?’’.

A business partner has a consolidated view of customers, so you have a bit more leverage, especially if you know how easy it is to move your customers between clouds. Partners can provide a multi-cloud portfolio with the tools to help customers move quickly.

 PORTALS

Distributors are being proactive in this space in offering portals and configurations tools. They’re taking on a consolidating role with a one stop shop to what a cloud solution might look like that covers all the moving parts from a pricing perspective.

When it comes to managing cloud business, some distributors have been quite proactive in supporting partners. They give you a drop down menu where you can see four or five different providers, look at the price per virtual machine, location, bandwidth and I will give you a bottom line price.

But it’s not about the initial cloud footprint, it’s about growing that and adding extra capacity and solutions.

SOFTWARE DEFINED EVERYTHING

SOFTWARE DEFINED EVERYTHING

There are a number of significant changes to the storage market that organisations must take into account when deploying solutions. There are currently a proliferation of vendors providing solutions ranging from ‘’white box’’ based systems to the traditional big iron. We have seen in the market a number of the niche players balance sheets struggling to deliver profits. In additional there have been a number of mergers and acquisitions, the highest profile one is the potential EMC/Dell deal. What organisations must measure as part of any solutions is the expected longevity of a potential vendor and the vendor’s products

There is a movement towards Software Defined everything. Storage is no different here, separating the cost of storage into hardware and software enables organisations to significantly reduce the TOC of their storage platform.

Day 1 costs are similar, however, when a refresh is required, organisations now have the storage software. Software Designed Storage has, in the past, been perceived as a platform for low data clue platforms. However, with IBM delivering the Spectrum storage family line and

‘’Separating the cost of storage into hardware and software enables organisations to significantly reduce the TOC of their storage platform’’.

RIGHT SIZED AND SCALABLE

RIGHT SIZED AND SCALABLE

CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE is becoming the de facto standard platform for enterprises to implement in their datacentres.

The success of the collapsing multiple operating systems onto one server has spread to the storage and network realm. And organisation planning to implement such a solution should ensure they have a thorough understanding of the impact such a shift will have on their ability to provide their services.

Hardware independence is important in the initial choice of a converged system in order to avoid being locked in .

Implementing the solution in the conjunction with existing infrastructure means that there are enterprise support and integration concerns. Ensuring that the chosen platform is right sized for the environment workload that is running on it but also scalable for future expansion of that workload need consideration.

Once operational the management of the infrastructure does not increase the operational overhead significantly or else it will just become a burden.the future roadmap of the chosen infrastructure is also important to understand what an impact that future plan will have on the existing or proposed infrastructure.

The points noted here provide a glimpse of the complexity that present day data centre IT environments have scaled to, regardless of the detail of the workload on them. As a result, while implementing such fundamental change to the platform needed for IT services, it is essential that such change is thoroughly understood to ensure that any migration is done with minimal downtime and impact of those services.

ENTERPRISE STORAGE EDITORIAL

ENTERPRISE STORAGE EDITORIAL

TechPro July 2016

The context of this question is really interesting with all major storage vendors promoting their flash storage solutions, converged infrastructures and software defined storage, enterprises could be forgiven for thinking they are lagging behind their competition by not deploying the latest and greatest.

Datacentre managers are keen to extend the life span of existing investments without compromising business demands, reduce maintenance cost and reduce operational costs

Software Defined Storage and extending the life span of existing investment are not mutually exclusive. In fact SDS solutions are extending the life of existing investments in the Enterprise.  By its very nature SDS does not care about the underlying hardware once that hardware is robust and has a performance profile that meets business demands.

A SDS platform for either block, object or file data, reduces existing SANs software maintenance, extends its life time and exposes additional features and benefits of the SDS platform to the enterprise

While there are a number of new SDS offerings available we in Triangle have been delivering SDS to customers based on the IBM Spectrum Platform for over 10 years.  IBM Spectrum provides SDS for block storage up to 32PB per system and the file storage has no known limits for performance or scale.

Within the SDS our customers are utilising Flash to manage critical workloads and then merging existing storage solutions under this SDS platform.  This significantly reduces operational costs, capex investments and once deployed completely removes the requirement for any distributive data migrations in the future.